How to Replace Your Toilet’s Flush Mechanism

When the flush mechanism of your toilet breaks and cannot be repaired, don’t assume you must replace the entire toilet. This is often an unneeded step if your toilet is otherwise in good condition. Instead, a savvy homeowner can save time and money by replacing only the flush mechanism.

A new flush mechanism can be purchased in most home improvement stores, but be sure to take a look at your existing device before replacing it. You may also want to not the manufacturer to help insure you buy the right flush mechanism for your toilet. If you can’t find the right one at your local store, take a look online: shipping costs are usually minimal and often cheaper than at many home improvement centers.

Before beginning this project, be sure to shut off the water supply to the toilet. Then, empty the toilet of as much of the water in the tank as possible by flushing the toilet. The flush should empty out most of the water in the tank, but you should place a container underneath the tank in case of any leaking.

Remove the top of the toilet tank and use a sponge to remove any water still in the tank. With the tank as empty as possible, you can continue by removing the flush mechanism. To begin this process, remove the tub coming out of the bottom of the toilet tank with an adjustable wrench. The piece you just removed is called the supply tube.

Next you can remove the rest of the flush mechanism. To do this, you will need a locking wrench as well as an adjustable wrench. Attach the locking wrench to the nut in the inside bottom of the toilet tank. This nut attaches the device to the tank. With the top nut secured, use the adjustable wrench to unscrew the bottom nut of the flush mechanism. This nut should be located on the outside of the tank, below the top nut of the flush mechanism.

Once the bottom nut has been removed, you should be able to lift out the entire flush mechanism. After removing the flush mechanism, take the time to clean all sides of the opening to the toilet tank. This will ensure that the new flush mechanism will have a good seal with the toilet tank.

To install the new flush mechanism, use plumber’s putty around the washer of the top nut of the mechanism. This will create a good seal between the tank and the device. Place the new flush mechanism in the hole left by the old device, making sure that the plumber’s putty is compressed between the tank and the newly installed system. Then tighten the nut on the outside of the tank, securing it.

Before attaching the supply line, add a small amount of water to the tank and check for leaks. Leaks should be addressed by further tightening the nut that secures the device, or adding more plumber’s putty to reinforce the seal. Once you are sure that the mechanism does not leak, reattach the supply tube. Finally, you should turn on the water to the toilet and check for any possible leaks.

Replacing the flush mechanism to a toilet is an easy job for a homeowner with some basic plumbing knowledge. By completing this project, you can restore the functionality of your toilet, without worrying about the expense or time required to replace the entire unit. Of course, if you aren’t confident in your ability to complete this project, contact a professional who will be able to complete the job for you and take care of any problems that might occur.

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