Skip to Content

Easy Fix When You Have to Hold Down the Toilet Handle to Flush Your Toilet


Do you have to hold down the trip handle to flush your toilet? If yes, I may have a simple solution for you.


When you press down on the toilet handle, chain that is attached to it pulls up a toilet flapper (a.k.a. tank ball).

Toilet flapper’s job is to open (to allow water into the bowl via flush valve inlet), and remain floating until the water level is lowered. As the water level is lowered, flapper is lowered at the same time, ultimately closing the inlet so that the water can be refilled.

You have to manually hold the flapper open by holding down the toilet lever because the flapper is unable to stay afloat by itself.


Flappers are made from rubber and it degrades over time, especially in a mineral rich, wet-environment. The degradation allows rubber to lose its floating capability so to solve this problem, we need to replace it (during the removal process, the old flapper literally disintegrated in my hand – see fig. 1.1).

Required Tools and Materials

I tried bunch of different flappers and found Korky to be the best. I chose the repair kit version, just in case I needed to put on a new rim.


  1. Shutoff the toilet water supply;
  2. Flush the toilet to drain the water in the tank;
  3. Disconnect the trip lever chain from the flapper;
  4. Slip off the flapper’s collar from the overflow pipe;
  5. Before replacing the flapper ball, gently scour the seat or rim, of the outlet valve with paper towel. If there are any remaining deposits, soak a sponge in a 50/50 mix solution of hot water and vinegar and to gently scour the rim again; Do not use a steel wool or scouring pads as they may score the rim, resulting a leak;
  6. Reverse installation Steps #3 – 4, making sure that the “ball” side is facing down;
  7. Turn on the water supply and test flush


Korky flapper repair kit comes with a tube of silicone and a new seat. If your seat is nicked or otherwise damaged, you may want to use these parts to ensure that your new flapper does not leak.

If you found this article to be useful, can you do me a favor and sign up for my newsletter? The signup form is found at the top of the screen on the right side.

Good luck with your repair and let me know how it turns out!


Steve Hoskins

Tuesday 3rd of May 2022

My issue started when I changed the old disintegrating flapper. Old one was lighter (since it was disintegrating), so I think it closed slower. New flapper is heavier and that is causing it to close too quickly. Any ideas?


Monday 31st of January 2022

Be sure you read the directions,our toilet is old before 1994 and.there is a place on the flapper that says cut and we did and now it works perfectly.

Ken Mueller

Friday 28th of January 2022

I have a new just installed American Standard toilet. The flapper should be as new as the toilet. I have to hold the handle down to flush. Why?


Friday 17th of January 2020

Have to hold handles or LEVER to get a flush. Flapper drops down like a brick and ? stays I. The bowl,,,,,, brand new universal rebuild kit. korky krap guts in the toilet selected this brand because it was touted as ‘the best’ NOT SO MUCH 4 men 2plumbers and 3 calls to korky. Still can’t make it work correctly You still have to hold the handle down to flush. New technology my hind foot! Korky will not replace. ( its 3 weeks old who knows where the original packaging is. I. The middle of renovation Chain is taught. new guts water adjusted. What else. Give me the old float type

Ronnie D

Tuesday 25th of June 2019

Ours still won't float, I even attached the little foam "bobber" that came with the new flapper but the darn thing still won't allow a full flush