Not every project goes as well as planned. We would be happy to spend a few minutes answering your questions.
A loose toilet paper holder can be a real nuisance. It eventually will fall apart and someone will just stick the toilet paper on one of the arms sticking out from the wall. It is usually the case that one of the arms is loose from the wall. The way the arms are held in place is that there is a bracket that is secured to the wall, and then the arm is secured to the bracket with a small set screw.
You might get lucky and just have to tighten the setscrew. It is unlikely that this will totally fix the problem as it is usually the bracket that becomes loose from the wall…but you might get lucky.
To really fix the problem, you will have to loosen the set screw and remove the arm from the bracket. The set screw will be at the very bottom of the base of the arm where it meets the wall. The screw is very small and takes a standard screw driver.
When you get to the wall bracket you will see the screws holding it to the wall. In all likelihood the installer uses small plastic anchors that can’t withstand much stress. In this case, the screw will just turn and not tighten. If the bracket isn’t located over a wall stud (if it was the bracket would not be loose), use a toggle bolt (also known as a butterfly bolt). You will probably have to drill a larger hole in the wall to accept the head of the toggle, but it will hold tight. It is probably a good idea, depending on the shape of the bracket) to use two toggle bolts at opposing ends of the bracket.
Once the bracket is tight to the wall, replace the arm and tighten the set screw.
Fixing a loose toilet paper holder is pretty easy. They have small arms that stick out of the wall which require small tools.
The toilet paper holders arms are held to the wall with small brackets. In order for the toilet paper holders to be tight, these brackets must be tight. But before you go after the brackets, use a small screwdriver and try to tighten the arm against the bracket. Look under the arm and you will see a tiny hole. Use a small standard screwdriver and turn the screw clockwise. If you are lucky, the screw will push against the bracket and the arm will tighten up. Problem solved…unless it is still loose.
If the arm is still loose, loosen the screw and remove the arm. Now you can see the bracket. You can try tightening the screw that holds this bracket (doubtful this will work), add an additional screw in the bracket, or use a molly bolt or an EZ anchor to hold it in place. Once you have the bracket secured, you can slip the arm over the bracket and tighten the screw until snug. Slide the TP onto the spool and place the spool into the recesses in each arm.
I can't tell you how many times I go into a house and the toilet paper holder is about to come off of the wall. People lean on them, use them as a grab bar, set coffee on them...and this Las Vegas handyman gets to fix them. These are held in place by some pretty flimsy hardware.
It's usually the case that one or both of the arms get loose and the plastic spring-loaded tube falls out. Most people can fix these but it takes a very small standard screwdriver (think eyeglass repair). Underneath each arm is a small screw that tightens against a bracket screwed to the wall. In most cases, if you can't just tighten the small screw, the bracket at the wall has lost it's bite and is loose. So you have to unscrew the arm and remove it to get access to the wall bracket. This will likely be source of the problem.
Over time with people putting weight on these, the weak wall anchors will create an oblong hole caused by the movement. You have a couple of options here. You can use a larger wall anchor, a molly bolt (aka butterfly bolt), or an EZ anchor. You could also move the location of the toilet paper holder, but if the decorative arms don't cover the old holes, you will have some additional repairs.
Once the bracket is secured to the wall, tighten the small screw on the arm to complete the repair. Then you can load the roll of toilet paper and you're in business.
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