How to Repair the Chain in the Toilet Tank

If you press the toilet handle on your toilet and nothing happens, you've got a problem with your toilet chain.

Repair the chain in your toilet tank to get flushing again.Repair the chain in your toilet tank to get flushing again.
The handle on the outside of the toilet tank connects to a flush rod that raises in response to the handle action. When this rod raises, it pulls on a chain. Attached to the other end of the chain is the toilet flapper. When the chain raises the flapper, it allows the water inside the tank to escape and flush. Repairing the chain in the toilet tank is a relatively simple operation.

Turn off the water supply for the toilet that contains the chain that you want to repair. The toilet supply valve is located on the wall behind the toilet. You should see a hose or pipe leading from the supply valve up to the toilet tank. Rotate the knob on the end of the water supply valve clockwise to shut off the water.

Lift the lid off the toilet tank. Locate the toilet flapper, which is the rubber cap at the bottom of the tank. Normally, when you press the flush lever, this lifts the flapper and allows the water to turn out of the tank. This, however, will not be the case if the chain needs to be repaired. Reach your hand into the tank -- don't worry, the water is treated -- and grab the flapper with your hand. Pull up on the flapper and allow the water inside the tank to escape.

Examine the chain and determine where the break is. A break in the middle of the chain can be repaired by relinking the two halves of the chain back together with a piece of wire. If the break is at either the flush lever or the flapper, replace these links as needed, either with wire or by adding a replacement link. You can purchase chain replacement links that slide onto the flapper or the flush rod like a car keychain ring.

Press the flush handle and check that the chain opens and closes the flapper when operated. Press the flapper down into the flapper opening at the base of the tank.

Restore the water supply by turning the water supply knob counter clockwise. Allow the tank to fill.

Flush the toilet and watch the flapper and chain. Ensure that it works properly with the tank full. Replace the tank lid.

Things You Will Need

  • Wire
  • Toilet chain link
  • Toilet chain repair kit


  • Some hardware stores sell toilet chain repair kits that have many of the repair parts that you need.


  • If the chain is broken in the middle, this repair is a good temporary fix. However, the chain should be replaced as soon as possible.

About the Author

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.