I have a toilet paper holder that fell out recently. The holder looks like this:

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What's the purpose of the alligator clips on the screws, and how should I go back reinstalling this? I can't seem to find a plate in the wall that the screws attach to.

enter image description here

Thanks very much for your help.

  • have a closer look at the toggles (alligator clips) .... don't you think that they should open the other way?
    – jsotola
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 18:12
  • Is the other side tight? If it is tight or can be tightened as it is, then assume the toggles are installed correctly. You cannot unscrew the bolts to check because the toggles would fall off inside the wall. Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 18:57

2 Answers 2


Those are anchors and they are installed backwards on the screws. Turn them around the other way, slip them into the holes, and they will spread and hold as the screws are tightened. I don't really like this type of anchor, but if it what is already there I would use it.

  • Thanks so much. I never would have realised that they were backwards. Worked like a charm.
    – goodcow
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 18:40

The toggles (the two things that expand on a pivot) on that holder are on backwards. The pivot end of the toggle should be facing the wall so as you push it into the wall it gets smaller to fit through the hole and once in the hole it expands bigger than the diameter of the hole and can not be pulled back through. [Edit by JGS: This means that if you ever remove the screws the toggles will fall into the wall cavity and be lost to you.]

Unscrew the toggles from the bolts and turn them around, but do not screw them on all the way to the holder as they are in the photo. Just screw them on far enough that are on securely then pinch the wings of the toggles together and push them into the holes in the wall. You will feel or hear them expand once they are into the wall cavity. You then pull back on the holder which pulls the toggles up against the back side of the drywall as you use a screw driver to tighten them down. Here is a video that shows how to install them. Go to the 1 minute mark to see how the bolt goes into the wall.

  • The second answer adds a lot of detail which would be a benefit to a novice in installing these toggle bolts. Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 18:48

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