The new toilet has arrived and is sitting in the garage, now what?
Posted 03-16-2009 at 08:12 AM by faucetman886
Well you took my advice and decided to go “green” and bought one of those new fandangled Toto toilets. You went all the way, you bought the Ultra Max that uses the least amount of water per flush, you paid a little extra and got the “sana gloss” coating to make it easier to clean, you got the soft self closing lid feature to satisfy the wife and now your feeling very proud of yourself. So now the big decision… do you increase your pride by installing it yourself? Or do you buckle under and call “Joe the Plumber” and see if he has given up politics and is back to doing plumbing?
Well if you’re like me you’ll give it the old college try and install it yourself so the following are some simple step by step simple instructions on how to install a toilet. Frankly I went to college to be an accountant not a plumber so my college knowledge may not get us far.
1. Make sure everyone in the family uses the bathroom before you get started. A lot of pressure can be exerted on you by your wife and family asking every 5 minutes “can they use it yet?” and the kids doing that cute little dance they do when you know they need to go NOW!
2. We discussed in another blog here that you should have a shut off valve on each plumbing fixture. The one for your existing toilet should be under the bowl somewhere in the water line that comes out of the bottom of the toilet and then travels through the wall or down through the floor. SHUT THIS VALVE OFF.
3. Now with no water possibly coming into the tank and to make sure you turned the valve in the proper direction, FLUSH THE TOILET, allowing the tank to empty and notice that it does not refill. If it refills then either you haven’t turned the water off properly or you have created a miracle toilet which produces its own water.
4. With all the water out of the tank, use a sponge, rags, old towels or paper towels to completely dry out the tank and the bowl. Probably best not to use your wife’s best guest towels for this part of the job. You want this to be dry otherwise you will potentially have water everywhere as you remove and move the old toilet around and out to the curb or into the front yard for that unique planter you always wanted by the front door.
5. With a wrench, disconnect the water line under the tank.
6. You probably have a 2 piece toilet so disconnect the tank from the bowl and remove the tank.
7. The toilet is held down usually by 4 bolts that are under the decorative caps around the base of the toilet. Remove the nuts that connect the toilet to the bolts.
8. The toilet has been sealed to the floor with a wax ring and possibly some caulking so you will need to rock the toilet bowl back and forth and exert some gentle leveraging to break this seal and to free the toilet. Remove the bowl.
9. As I have discussed in a previous blog there is a danger as well as some real uncomfortable sewer smells that will seep out of the drain hole that is now exposed so save yourself the problem and immediately stuff some old rags into the hole to block this seepage. Be careful to not stuff the rags too far down the pipe to prevent a very difficult clog when you are through.
10. Clean the floor of any old caulking and clean the drain hole of any residual wax from the old ring. Remove the old hold down bolts and install the new ones that came with the new toilet.
11. Turn the bowl upside down and install the new wax ring. Please note for the best seal this ring should be at room temperature. If you have decided to put down a new floor while you had the toilet out you may have to use 2 wax rings to bring the level of the toilet to the level of the new floor.
12. REMOVE THE RAGS FROM THE DRAIN AND place the toilet onto the mounting screws and on top of the flange around the drain hole. Check for level with a level. If you install the toilet unlevel you may prevent it from working properly. You can correct the level by using non-rusting washers around the flange bolts.
13. Before screwing the toilet bowl down with the flange bolts refer to your manufacturers directions for any special instructions that may be peculiar to your specific toilet.
14. To recap, you have the new wax ring installed, new flange bolts in place, you have removed the rags from the drain hole, and you have the toilet level. Now gently rock the toilet from side to side to make the best seal. You may even want to sit down on it to exert pressure to make sure the wax ring makes good contact and a good tight seal.
15. VERY IMPORTANT! Its time to screw the toilet down to the flange by placing washers and nuts onto the bolts and tightening them down. You should only screw them down hand tight at first then adjust the tightness of each bolt one at a time a little at a time on each bolt until they are all snug. Do not over tighten and make sure that each are tighten evenly. If you over tighten or tighten them unevenly you risk a real chance of cracking the bowl.
16. Using the parts that came with the toilet mount the tank to the bowl. If you purchased a 1 piece toilet this step will not be necessary. Reattach the water lines, turn the shut off valve back on to check for leaks. At this time the tank should automatically fill and once filled test flush to make sure it works properly and that there are no leaks from around the toilet base that would indicate an improper seal. If there is no leak caulk around the base and the floor to make a clean installation.
17. Install your toilet seat and put the lid on the tank and you are DONE!
18. Remove the old toilet parts and start on that fancy new front yard planter or how about maybe on the patio?
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