white toilet installation in a Calgary home

Getting Jiggly With It: A Toilet Handle Story

When a toilet won’t flush properly any longer, it can be almost as annoying as running out of toilet paper. You may have to ‘just jiggle the handle’ to get it to stop running, then one day, suddenly there is no resistance at all. At this point you may be forced to pull off the top and deal with the toilet chain and the handle arm. It might also be an issue with the flapper. As most Calgary plumbers know, this may be an easy fix, or require a bit more attention. Either way, there are a few things to look for when it’s time to get ‘under the hood’ of your commode.

The fact is, these parts will eventually wear out: arms are usually plastic and break, chain links will wear and snap or corrode. Not to worry, they are easily replaced. There could be other issues at work if you’re still hearing water running long after the flush.

  • Is the flapper catching on the chain or wedged open on the hinge?
  • Is the flapper properly aligned?
  • Is the flapper just old (and needs replacing)?
  • If you have a ball seal instead of a flapper, is the wire that lifts the ball straight and does it move freely?

An easy fix for these issues is to adjust the valve and float then replace the flapper. With mineral build up, especially in towns with hard water, cleaning may help, but you may be best to replace the entire part. Also, be sure you take the old one to your local hardware store to ensure the correct size. There are plenty of videos online to assist you if you like a bit of DIY visual assistance.

Try flushing a few times to ensure the chain is the right length for the new flapper. It should open when you push the handle and then drop closed all the way when the tank empties. You may have to trim and adjust the chain a bit. Also, make sure that the flapper aligns properly with the opening.

If none of this works, and you’ve exhausted your options, you may need the help of a plumber, and we're happy to help. Call the Calgary plumbing company who knows what to do, call your friends at Alpha Plumbing. Please contact our team at Alpha Plumbing today.