Skip to Content

How To Flush Toilet Without Handle

If you have older toilets, there is a good chance you can’t flush the toilet with a handle at some stage. Fortunately, manually flushing without a handle is still possible. All you need to do is lift the tank lid and find the chain or rope connected to the flapper valve inside the tank. Pull this chain, and the toilet should flush just like normal.

If your toilet does not have a chain, you may be able to use an object such as a broomstick or even just your hand to press down on the flapper valve inside the tank. This should force enough water out of the tank to flush properly.

In our guide, you can see how to flush the toilet if there is no working handle manually. By the end, you’ll better understand the different ways how to flush your toilet manually and what to do to fix the issue without calling a professional plumber. (Read Does Bleach Dissolve Toilet Paper)

toilet without handle

Three manual flushing methods for toilet

You may think you need a professional plumber to fix older toilets that no longer flush using the lever, yet you may not need one as bad as you think. Here are three ways you can manually flush so your toilet works without the handle lever.

1. Remove the Toilet Tank Cover

Removing the tank lid is necessary to flush a toilet without a handle. To do this, locate the tank lid at the back of the toilet, and sit on top of the water tank.

Once you have located it, gently lift it up and off. Place it somewhere safe where it won’t get broken or damaged while you work on your project.

2. Find the Toilet Mechanism

The second step to manually flush a toilet without a handle is to find the mechanism. This involves looking inside the tank. The mechanism may be made of plastic or metal and can vary depending on the make and model of the toilet.

It should have a handle arm that connects to the flush valve, which moves when triggered by water pressure from pouring at least one gallon of water into the tank. To ensure enough pressure, adding more than one gallon for effective toilet flushing is safe.

3. Flush Your Toilet Manually

Once the toilet tank is full, it’s time to activate the mechanism. The chain connected to the flapper should be pulled to open the valve and release water into the toilet bowl.

Pulling this chain activates a lever that opens up a small hole inside the tank, allowing water to flow down to flush your toilet. Once enough water has been released, you can let go of the chain, and it snaps back into its original position, closing any additional water from entering your toilet.

4. Replace the Toilet Tank Lid

After toilet flushing this way, you can replace the toilet tank lid. Inspect connections for leaks or blockages and ensure everything is tightly secured to see why you must manually flush your toilet without the handle.

Why Does the Toilet Handle Get Stiff?

The toilet handle plays a vital role in the mechanism for toilet flushes. When the toilet handle becomes stiff, it can make flushing difficult and even prevent the toilet from flushing as you can’t list the rubber flapper to flush the toilet.

This stiffness often occurs when sediment or other debris gets stuck inside the inner workings of the flush lever or the connection or chain is broken. This sediment can obstruct water flow, making it hard for the handle to move properly and complete its job of releasing water into the bowl.

To prevent this problem from occurring in the first place, it is important to keep your flush lever and toilet tank clean from debris or build-up that impedes normal operation. When you have a toilet handle issue, you can find these are the more common reasons you can’t flush the toilet. (Learn How To Unclog Toilet Clogged With Flushable Wipes)

The Chain is Snagging

If you see your toilet chain snagging, you have a problem with the handle or the lift arm. To replace the handle, you will need to unscrew it from the toilet tank and reattach a new one.

To replace the handle attached to the lift arm, you will need to unclip it from where it attaches to the flapper and reattach a new one. After replacing both components, start pouring water directly into the tank until you nearly reach the overflow level.

Flush your toilet to ensure everything works and the water level on the float is set right. If all is good, you should not have any further issues with your toilet’s chain snagging as you pull on the lever.

The Chain is The Wrong Length

If the chain connecting your toilet’s handle to its flapper isn’t the correct length, it can cause the toilet to continually pouring water in a trickle into the bowl when the chain is too short.

Too long, and your rubber flapper won’t open. You’ll need an adjustable wrench or pliers and a new chain of the appropriate length to fix this issue. Just connect the loose end to the flapper and the handle.

Worn-out Flapper

When a flapper becomes worn, it can cause the toilet not to flush properly. The first step in fixing this problem is locating the flush handle or arm connected to the flapper.

Once you have located the handle lever, ensure it is securely connected to the leaking flapper and not wiggling around, as this can indicate wear and tear. To do this, disconnect any screws or clips connecting the flush handle arm to the rubber flapper before lifting off its hinge points at either end of your toilet bowl opening.

Remove rubber seals or other materials that remain attached to the rubber flapper from underneath and discard them. Finally, attach your new flapper in place with screws/clips again before testing out its function by turning on your faucet or running water into the toilet bowl for a few seconds until everything appears normal again.

the handle

The Handle Itself

The toilet handle is an important part of the toilet’s flushing mechanism. It comprises two parts: a lever arm and a chain connected to the arm. The handle is used to pull up on the chain, which in turn lifts the flush valve inside the tank and releases water to flush your toilet. Once the toilet flapper closes, the toilet tank refills, ready for the next time you flush your toilet.

If there are no problems with your handle but you still need to fully flush your toilet without using it, there are several options available as we have seen, all of which you can get parts from your hardware store.

As long as you can maintain a water supply, you can flush your toilet without a toilet handle. (Read Disposing Of Ammonia)

How to flush a toilet manually

To flush a toilet without a handle, look inside the tank for the flushing mechanism. Use a flathead screwdriver to press down on the flusher and start to release the held water.

Hold for 30 seconds before releasing pressure and letting all the water in your tank flow into your bowl. If you can’t find your flushing mechanism, you can flush a toilet by pouring water directly from a bucket of water comprising more than a gallon.

Lifting the flapper is the most effective method for flushing toilets without handles. The flapper is a rubber or plastic cap located inside the tank at the bottom of the bowl.

It offers a tight seal to keep water out in the tank when not in use. To flush a toilet without a handle, lift up on the flap and hold it in place for several seconds until the water has drained out of the tank and into your bowl. Once flushed, take your bucket of water and start slowly pouring the water supply up to the tank water line.

You can turn off your water supply pipes if the water fills the tank too much and it runs down the overflow.

Pour Water into the Toilet Bowl

The next step is to pour water into the toilet bowl. This can be accomplished by removing the toilet tank lid and adding water to the tank in a bucket until it reaches the desired water level below.

After that, reinstall the toilet tank cover and let it for about five minutes for the water level at the bottom to rise sufficiently to flush out all the waste and dump fresh water into the toilet bowl.

Use an adjustable wrench or pliers to release the broken chain from its hold close to the flush handle if it is broken, which can occasionally occur from normal wear and tear.

Once removed, you must find a replacement chain that matches your existing one. Try flushing one more after attaching the loose end of your new chain by adding another bucket of water into the tank if necessary.

Until then, keep a bucket of water handy in your bathroom.

How to get the Toilet to flush With Broken Handle?

The handle of your toilet tank plays a vital role. If the toilet handle is broken, it can be difficult to flush. However, there are still ways to get around this issue. One way to flush a toilet is by using needle-nose pliers or a broken toilet handle.

Find the running water in line from the tank bottom to the handle. Then, gently position the jaws of either type of plier around the water line and squeeze to stop the flow.

Once this is done, swiftly lift the float ball located inside the tank, which will send an immediate rush of water out through the open flapper, effectively flushing your broken toilet without you having to touch or move any part outside of it. (Read Shower Valve Rough In Height)


Alternatives to Manually flush toilet

A flapper lift chain may flush the toilet without a handle. This entails attaching a lever-like item to the flapper chain and pulling it up with your hands or feet. To do this, cut off all water and supplies at the shutoff valve located behind your toilet.

Find the flapper lift chain at the bottom of the toilet tank. Connect one end of the lever-type object (such as a stick, hook, or wire hanger) to this chain and pull it up until you hear water rushing into the bowl from below. Let gravity seal any leftover water entry holes and finish flushing the system by releasing the lever.

An emergency flush kit can replace a toilet tank handle. This kit comprises two plastic tubes—plunger and outlet tubes—placed directly into your tank’s plumbing system.

Pulling down on top of both tubes simultaneously creates suction that draws all remaining water out of your tank and forces water into the bowl to remove any waste. Take your bucket of water and add water to fill your toilet tank, ready for your next flush.

How To Flush Toilet Without Handle (2)