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Why Do Toilet Lever Nuts Screw Backwards?

So a couple days ago our toilet handle broke off. Since my roommate is never home and I'm a guy, I was making due for awhile with just lifting the lid off and pulling on the long plastic thing as needed, always with the vague promise that this weekend I'd hit a hardware store.

Today she was actually home. Doing what it takes to fix an important household appliance made me feel... if not "manly," then at least like I was closer to pulling my weight around here. (One guy, two women, of whom one is a complete neat-freak. You can guess the cleaning ratio here; I'm not proud of this.)

Long story short, it was a three-dollar part and some quick fiddling around, but what gets me: On both the broken one and the new, fixed one, a counterclockwise twist tightened the thing instead of loosening it. What possible logic does this serve? I've taken it as second nature that everything that screws or twists, will go the way it's supposed to. Even if I were ignorant, though, doesn't everyone at least know "Lefty loosy, righty tighty"?


(But if I hang onto the receipt, I'll save $3.24 off my monthy rent! Woo. My roommate was reminding me of this before she knew how much it really cost; I think if she'd had to guess at what the part cost, she'd have been off by an order of magnitude, or about the difference in weight between our dogs, Sammy the rottweiler and Gizmo the shi tzu. Yes, they get along. No, Sammy never tries to eat Gizmo.)


If that was not a rhetorical question...I can tell you why it is threaded "backward."

The toilet flush handle ALWAYS moves in only one direction when influenced by the "power" of a human hand. When moving in the other direction, it is influenced by the weight of the long lever attached to the Plastic thingy. The downward, human hand powered, "flush motion" direction is opposite to the direction needed to tighten the nut...thus, this is supposed to insure that the nut does not loosen on its own over time. Think about it.

It wasn't rhetorical... and that actually makes sense. Thanks! I can sleep easy now.

You mean it wasn't made in Australia?

Kidding. I've noticed and wondered about the same thing. That makes perfect sense.

actually, you'll find that any repetitve motion "handle" or whatever is always threaded backwards to (as Clarence already said...) prevent loosening during repetition.