Toilet handle sticks on a toilet that is rarely used. how to fix

I’m visiting someone who has a bathroom in their basement, the basement bathroom is rarely used.

I’m not sure if that is why the handle sticks, but they told me to just push hard. I was worried I’d break it but it flushed after I pushed hard. after that it flushed fine.

would there be flappers that do not basically glue shut after not being used for an extended time? or is that totally abnormal anyway?

First, figure out why it is sticking. Is it the flapper, or is the handle broken somehow. I’ve had a handle break on me. Replacing it isn’t quite as easy as replacing a flapper, but it’s close.

If you remove the tank lid and examine the back of the handle, there should be a threaded nut (plastic/metal) holding the handle in place that can be adjusted to either tighten or loosen its movement. Might be worth a try.

Actually, in my experience replacing the handle (and lever) is really easy, possibly the easiest toilet repair. Though when mine broke once, I just reached in and pulled on the chain until I was able to get to the store to buy a replacement.

If its an older American standard toilet its probably just a mater of replacing the handle and attaching rod and the flapper valve. Often it’s easier just to replace that plastic pivoting dohickie that has the flapper attached. Might have to adjust the length of the attaching chain as well.

The toilet in our small downstairs lavatory has the opposite problem. It flushes easily, but then the handle doesn’t go all the way up and the toilet doesn’t stop running. After it flushes you have to lift the handle all the way up to stop the running.

Which is easier to replace is clearly a matter of taste. Replacing the handle doesn’t involve shutting off the water, but there are more choices of handle types. And there is that darn nut.

Is the chain tangled somehow? Or the handle might have gotten sticky.
Handles and flappers are so cheap and easy to replace that it is the first thing I do. I replace the assembly if I have to.
I once had to replace a “handle” that wasn’t a handle but a button on the side of a tank, so be thankful you have a standard part.

If you decide to mess with the handle, keep in mind that it’s a left-hand thread (loosens by turning clockwise). Not knowing this can result in a broken toilet tank.

Toilet repairs are pretty straightforward and are largely do it yourself and inexpensive. Youtube can be your friend, and parts aren’t that expensive.

Hell you can replace a whole toilet for less than $300 yourself.

The handle is probably too tight. It should be kind of loose and jiggle a bit. Whoever installed it didn’t realize this. You don’t normally put things together and leave them loose, but in this case you should. Just back the nut off a little. If the handle isn’t the issue then look at the flapper and chain. It is pretty simple.