How to Repair a Stuck Handle on a Toilet

Woman's hand flushes toilet that has a stuck handle
Fixing a toilet that sticks when it flushes is easy. (©Jo Panuwat D, Adobe Stock Photos)

The flusher handle on my toilet stays down and won’t come back up. How can I fix it? -Dee

Hi Dee,

There’s a small tab inside the handle mechanism that acts as a stop to hold the handle in the upright position. If the tab is worn or broken, the toilet handle won’t stay up.

To fix a toilet handle that won’t come back up when flushed, you’ll need to replace the handle. If you can’t find a handle that fits, you might have to replace the entire handle mechanism.

Different makes and models of toilets vary on how to do this, but generally, you will need to:

  • Remove the lid from the tank.
  • Unhook the chain from the handle arm.
  • Unscrew the nut inside the tank that holds the handle mechanism.
  • Pull the handle mechanism out of the tank.
  • Unscrew the handle from the handle mechanism and replace it, or replace the entire handle mechanism.
  • Slide the handle mechanism back into the tank.
  • Screw the nut back on the handle mechanism from inside the tank.
  • Reattach the chain to the handle mechanism.
  • Flush the toilet to see if it works okay.
  • Put the lid back on the tank.

Good luck with your project,


Further Information


  1. the handle is porcelain has screw
    inside tank. can not break it loose
    tried spray nut cracker. nothing
    everything. the screw will not turn. phillips nut soft head

    • Hi, Joe,
      There are countless toilets on the market, and each has its unique features, so we would recommend contacting the manufacturer to see what might help this situation.
      Good luck!

  2. It looks like my toilet handle has a spring inside it, but I cannot open it up. It is locked in with a stripped allen screw. should I just replace it. Or can I fix that somehow?

    • Hi, Mario,
      “I’ve never seen one with a spring, but they are extremely easy and affordable to replace. I recommend checking Fluidmaster’s selection of toilet handles. Good luck!”

  3. My toilet sounds like it’s running all the time. I just press the float down and up and it stopped and I flushed it again and it made the sound again so I repeated the same thing and ut stopped. Can you tell me what’s wrong with my toilet please.


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