How to Flush a Toilet when the Handle is Broken

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Toilet and shower components are household features that we often take for granted. They are crucial for the personal hygiene of any member of your family, and if any of those components could not be used there would be chaotic disorder in your bathroom.

Although it might sound unexpected, one of the biggest problems that could occur in your toilet system is a broken toilet handle.

Since most people usually don’t think about this issue, probably because it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when you need to use the toilet, you would be surprised by the consequences of this malfunction.

Luckily, there are ways of coping with this issue.


Difficulties of a Broken Toilet Handle

When this issue happens, it is important to know that it is still possible to get rid of the toilet waste even without the toilet handle.

By pouring one gallon of water from a bucket into the toilet trap hole, you should be able to dispose of the waste. But, if you have a large family it would be very tiring and difficult to repeat this process over and over again.

You need your toilet mechanism to work, with or without the handle, to be completely capable of using your toilet normally.

You can, of course, buy a whole new toilet tank with its original handle, but it will most probably take much time to choose and find the right one for your toilet, and they might be expensive depending on the manufacturer.

You would waste much time, effort and money by searching for the replacement of the whole water tank, and the worst thing is that while you are searching for the right component to buy, you and your family would not be able to use the toilet at all.

And the installment after you find the right tank might take some time too, so you might be unable to use your toilet for a while.

How does the Toilet Handle Work

Before we find the right way of flushing the water without a handle, it is important to understand the exact purpose of a toilet handle, so you will know how to replicate its mechanism in use.

The toilet flushing mechanism works by operating many levers inside the cistern by simple moving of the handle in the right position.

When the cistern is filled up with water, and you push the handle for a flush, the most important lever called the flapper raises and lets the water flow through the outlet beneath it.

When you let go of the handle to make the cistern refill, the tilt lever opens up a ball valve and water under big pressure enters the cistern and refills it so you can use and flush the toilet again.

When the water reaches the desired level, the float will stop the water supply.

When you know these simple facts, it is not that hard to operate the flushing mechanism without the handle since you know the purpose of the toilet handle.


How to Flush a Toilet when the Handle is Broken

When you are done educating yourself on how does a toilet handle works, you are now prepared to flush the toilet water manually and on your own without using a handle.

There are two ways of doing this for different toilets, and both require lifting the cistern lid first, for a better visual on the components of the water tank.

Manually lifting the flapper valve

After removing the lid, take a good look at your tank components.

Search for the flapper valve which is preventing the water from going through the outlet of the siphon. In most cases, it is located at the center bottom of the cistern.

Because of the other components involved, it might be difficult to reach the flapper valve, so it would be more convenient to use a wooden or a metal stick for the removal.

Some toilets have their flapper valves attached to the handle by a string, so in that case, simply pull the string and it will move the flapper valve out of the way for the water flush.

If not, use a stick to find and lift the flapper valve. The water in the tank is clean, so there will be no trouble if you use your hand for this.

Lift the float to flush the water

This component is used for determining the required water level in your tank. It is connected to the handle by a mechanism that lifts the float when the handle is pressed.

When the float goes up, you will have a clear sight of the flush valve. Slowly lift the float and look for the changes in the water level.

When the flushing valve becomes visible, lift the float as high as it goes, and by the effect of this valve, the toilet will flush.

As long as your toilet handle is broken, you will be able to use these methods to flush a toilet, so it is recommended to leave the lid unscrewed for better handling of the cistern components.


Is it Possible to Damage a Toilet by Flushing Manually?

Cistern components are sensitive mechanisms, and by pulling too hard you could easily damage the float or levers connected to the exit valve.

It is important to deal with these components carefully, to prevent further investments in the repair of this system.

On toilets which have their handle physically connected to the flapper valve, be sure to watch out when pulling the string, as it may get easily pulled out.

Conclusion: Flushing a Toilet with a Broken Handle

While it might appear as a minor difficulty, a broken toilet handle can cause quite a few bigger problems.

This experience might happen to anyone, and as funny as it may sound, it is important to be prepared for these situations and to know your way around toilet components to be able to manually flush your toilet.

The damage done to your toilet system by having your handle broken is minor, so there is no reason to hurry with replacing and buying the whole new water tank, although by doing so you might be able to spare your tank components of some damage made by flushing manually.

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