Installing a toilet might seem like a big job, but mechanically it’s one of the easiest DIY tasks.
- Tools and Materials You Will Need
- Bucket and sponge or towel to bail out the toilet
- Crescent key or channel lock pliers
- Putty knife
- wax ring
- closet bolts and a hacksaw (if you are installing a new toilet)
Turn off the water
Shutting off the water is usually the first step in most plumbing repairs. Turn off the water at the shut-off valve. If there is no valve, you will need to close the line at the nearest valve on the bypass line. If you must do this, turn on the sinks in the house to drain the line down.
Disconnect the supply line
Unplug the power line now that you’re at the bottom. It should only be hand tight to the tank. If not, use pliers or a channel lock to loosen it. This will make sure he is not on the toilet when you go to pull him up. As silly as it sounds to forget to disconnect the line, it does happen. The toilet isn’t light and finding the power line is always connected when you lift it up is annoying.
The first step to refloating a toilet is to flush it out. This will empty the tank, making the toilet lighter when you pull it out. With the reservoir empty, use your sponge or cloth to squeeze the water out of the bowl. Ring the saturated sponge or rag in a bucket. It is also a good idea to remove the tank cover at this point. Put it somewhere where it will be out of your way and safe from being broken.
Take off the nuts holding the toilet down
First, slide off the nuts using the putty knife. Putting them in the open tank will ensure that they are not separated from the toilet. Use an adjustable wrench or channel locks to loosen the nuts that hold the toilet.
Pull out the toilet
Spread a newsprint on the floor near the toilet, but still out of the way. This is to keep any wax left on the bowl from entering your floor. With the paper facing down, straddle the bowl and grab it in front of where the bowl connects to the reservoir. As with anything, be sure to lift with your knees.
Bottom of the toilet should clean
Making sure the bottom of the toilet is clean will ensure a gap-free seal when you reset it. This step is much easier with a wizard. You can have them check the bottom of the toilet right after lifting it up and removing the stuck-on wax. If you don’t have help, you can put the toilet on its side and check it yourself. Be careful when installing the toilet, porcelain chips are very easy. Make sure to clean the flange as well. It is just important to clean the bottom of the bowl.
Lay down the new wax
With the flange cleaned, you are ready to apply the new wax. If it’s cold outside, it’s a good idea to put the wax on the dashboard when you get home. Hot wax will make a much better seal. If your bridle is far from the ground, you may need to put on a lift ring to make up the difference. You can also use a flangeless wax ring on the other ring. If you are replacing the closet bolts, this is when you want to place them in the floor flange. Use a washer and nut to tighten them to the floor. Make sure they are even so that your toilet sits straight when you go to tighten it.
Reset the toilet
Make sure to line up the bolts with the holes, help is helpful here again. Once the bolts are aligned, press down on the toilet, rocking side to side and front to back to make sure the seal is even. Once the bowl is on the floor, check that the bowl is sitting upright.
Tighten the bolts and reconnect the water
With the bowl set upright, it’s time to clamp it to the floor. Using an adjustable wrench or channel locks, tighten the nuts on the cabinet bolts. It is important to do this slowly and carefully, squeezing each side evenly. Over-tightening can break the bowl, which is obviously an expensive replacement. To make sure the bowl is taut, put your arms around it and try rocking it side to side and back to back. If it does move, continue to tighten the nuts, alternating sides. Once the bowl is tight, you are ready to reconnect the water supply. The power line should only be tightened by hand. With the line plugged in, turn the water back on and flush the toilet several times, checking that it does not