Toilet Chain Keeps Getting Tangled? (We Have a Fix!)

Kerry Souder
by Kerry Souder

Many different components make up your toilet, all of which work together to ensure it functions properly without fail. One of these crucial parts is the toilet chain. When it does what it is supposed to do, you will be able to flush your toilet in a normal fashion. It will also stop running when the tank refills again.

If your toilet chain is too long, however, it will continue to twist and tangle every time you flush. A quick fix to this issue is to jiggle the toilet handle to untwist the chain or take the tank lid off and manually untangled it. For a permanent fix, you will have to shorten the chain to permanently.

While this may seem like a difficult process, it is actually quite simple to do on your own. After reading this article, you won’t even have to call a plumber, which will save you time and money.

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What Does a Toilet Chain Do?

A toilet lift chain is a crucial component that is located inside the toilet tank. It connects the toilet lever to the flapper valve, effectively letting the water rush from the tank and into the bowl to flush.

The lever, or lift rod, attaches directly to the handle, which you flush from the outside. Once you push it down to flush the toilet, the lever lifts, which in turn raises the chain and subsequently the flapper.

The flapper itself is at the base of the tank and triggers the flush by unplugging the flush valve and letting the water rush through. Once the flush is over, the chain will lower, effectively placing the flapper back over the valve.

Your #1 Sign that the Toilet Chain is Tangled

If your toilet is constantly running, it can be a clear sign that your toilet chain is tangled up. When the chain catches and twists, it will cause the flapper to sit unevenly over the flush valve at the base of the tank. Without a proper seal, your toilet continue to let water rush from the tank into the bowl, which causes that constant sound of running water.

What Causes the Chain to Tangle?

The cause for a tangled toilet chain is most likely going to be that it is too long. With all that extra slack, it’s easy for the chain to wrap around itself and get caught on things inside the tank This will cause the flapper to malfunction and water will continuously leak out of the tank. Your toilet will try to compensate for this leaking water by trying to refill it. This can waste approximately 26 gallons of water every day.

How to Fix a Tangled Toilet Chain

The easy answer for temporarily untangling the chain is to either shake the handle to untwist the chain or open up the top of the tank and manually untangle it. However, that’s just going to leave you with the task of untangling it again in the near future.

That’s why we’re going to offer you a long-term solution that will save you time and frustration going forward. The good news is it is an easy fix, too!

All you have to do is adjust the chain, so it is not as long. You’ll want the smallest bit of slack between the trip lever and the flapper, so there’s no chance of the chain scrambling itself up again. Usually, you should leave about an extra inch of chain available, so it’s not too taught. There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • Cut off the excess links: To permanently change the length of the chain, you can cut it to better fit the space between the lever and the flapper. You can do this very easily with a pair of cutting pliers.
  • Move the connection further down: The trip lever to which the chain is attached usually has a series of holes in it, so you may just be able to hook the chain into a different hole to pull the chain a bit tighter. Just make sure it’s not too short.
  • Bend the trip lever upwards: If the chain itself is not terribly long, and your toilet’s trip lever is bendable, you may just be able to bend the lever itself away from the flapper, stretching the chain out in the process. Of the three options, this one is probably the least stable solution.

What is a Chain Float?

A chain float is a buoyant device that is placed on the toilet chain. Its purpose is to regulate the amount of water that is in the toilet tank at any given time. With an adjustable flapper, you can adjust the position of the float to control exactly how much water is in the tank.

It does this by delaying the flapper from closing right away. The longer the flapper is open, the more water that goes through and the stronger the flush will be. This can be especially helpful when you are flushing larger amounts of waste down the drain.

Related Questions

What is the difference between one-piece and two-piece toilets?

Two-piece toilets feature a separate tank and bowl while one-piece toilets are all connected. Since two-piece toilets have a detachable tank, they are more customizable in terms of style and height. They are also usually less expensive. One-piece toilets, on the other hand, are more expensive, but they are also durable and easier to clean.

What are all the parts in a toilet tank?

For your toilet to function properly, all the components need to work seamlessly with each other. These parts include the handle, supply line, chain, float, flush valve, overflow tube, toilet fill valve, flapper, lever, and tank cover.

How much does it cost to install a new toilet?

Typically, toilet installation costs will cost around $615, including the materials, labor, and the toilet itself. However, this price will vary depending on what type of toilet you get and the complexity of the project.

Do You Need to Install or Repair a Toilet?

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Final Thoughts

While a tangled toilet chain can be frustrating, it’s surprising easy to fix. The main reason a toilet chain will tangle is because it is too long. Therefore, the best way to fix it is to shorten the chain.

If you’re short for time and want a quick fix, you can also simply jiggle the handle or open the tank to untangle the chain with your hand. Just be aware that this will not permanently fix the problem. Without actually shortening the chain, you will most likely find yourself with a tangled chain again.

Kerry Souder
Kerry Souder

I am a copywriter and editor based in the Las Vegas area with nearly a decade of experience under my belt writing landing pages, cost guides, blog posts, newsletters, case studies, and social media content. I have a degree in Strategic Communication and experience working in both the account and creative spheres. My goal is to always be discovering new interests and bettering myself as a writer and editor along the way.

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