Building and Carpentry

What is wrong with your toilet if you have to hold down the handle to get it to flush all the way and how can you fix it?

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2014-06-20 17:55:11

To be honest, my whole family have had to hold down the handle

to get it to flush in one of our toilet for two years until today

that I searched this page and do my trouble shooting.

I replaced the Flapper two years ago, and did not realize that

the first step that you need to do is to cut the collar off from

the new Flapper if your toilet has mounting arm. The Flapper is

designed to fit two different kind of toilets, the one with

mounting arm and the one that doesn't have(and thus need a collar).

If the collar is not cut off. it generates push down force every

time you press the handle to flush the toilet. That is the reason

that you need to hold down the handler. Inside the tank, there is a

flush valve. Depending on the age of the toilet, it typically

either is a "flapper" or "tank ball' style. Each type have a little

bouyancy...when you press tank handle, the suction is broken, and

the flapper or ball floats open. As the tank empties and the water

level gets lower in the tank, the flapper or ball re-settles on its

seat. Your flapper or ball is not floating open. Look inside tank,

press handle. Observe flapper or ball. If the flapper or ball does

not float open, you may need to simply shorten the chain...just a

little. Typically, you can readjust the chain linkage where it

connects to the handle. Also, you can pull the chain from inside

the tank...without using the handle to see how it is supposed to

work and determine how much slack is needed in the chain. Good Luck

The "floating open" problem in the previous answer may be from a

deteriorating flapper. The upside down cup that holds the air may

be torn, and allow the air to escape too fast, dropping the flapper


I had the same problem and thanks to these previous answers, I

solved my problem. It is very hard to describe parts without

pictures, but here goes. There is the small hose that emits water

into a "column" which goes to the "rubber flapper". I first checked

my flapper to see if it had eroded and it seemed fine, actually

almost new. While I was checking that, I noticed that the flapper

had a rubber round part which instead of being over the "column",

was behind the column. It made sense to me that this round rubber

part should go over the column, so I pulled the flapper off at the

sides where it was connected (by these two small tabs) and pulled

the rubber ring up and over the column. I pushed the ring all the

way down to the bottom of the column and over the two plastic tabs

at the bottom of the column. I then felt around and made sure the

flapper was not leaking (kind of like checking to make sure a

rubber stopper in a sink is not leaking) and it was good. The chain

was adjusted so there was not a lot of slack.

I had a toilet that was constantly running in the powder room.

It is an Eljer installed when the house was built in 1992. The

flapper valve was quite deteriorated and the flush handle/lever was

worn and sticking. I replaced the other 2 toilets in the house with

much higher quality Toto toilets a few years back. Money is tight

at the moment so I decided to just fix this one. I bought a new

"Korky" flapper valve and a replacement flush handle at a local

hardware retailer and replaced them. After this I noticed that the

water level in the bowl was much lower after refilling and that I

had to hold the lever down to get it to complete a flush. After

reading the above answers and several others from other websites I

took the lid back off the tank and this is what I found:

The new flapper valve was manufactured with a hole in it that

immediately let the air out once the flapper valve is vertical,

causing it to drop down and reseal the tank too soon. I shut off

the water and removed the flapper valve, dried it off, and placed a

smal piece of electrical tape over the hole to see if the flapper

valve would then perform properly and it did.

Also I noticed that when I had done the original work I failed

to replace the bowl refill tube back into it's original location in

the overflow tube and that was what was causing the lower water

level in the bowl after flushing.

There is nothing complicated or requiring long explanations

about this - Simply remove flapper, get a universal flapper and fit

it - done !

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