Pardon the expression but your toilet puts up with a lot of crap. Our humble commodes don’t ask much of us in return but there are times when the inner workings or the outside of the toilet will fail and replacing a toilet is your only option. Your best bet for replacement and to prevent leaks is by hiring competent plumbing companies to have the professionals handle the task. That being said if you’re feeling brave, follow these steps to install and reset the toilet yourself.
Purchase Your Gasket Kit
What you need to remember about replacing a toilet and avoiding plumbing leaks is that the seal between the unit and the floor needs to be water tight, obviously. If there isn’t a proper seal between where the water leaves the toilet and heads through the sewage lines things can get messy. A wax gasket ring with a rubber flange in the middle will give you the most complete seal as it fits up into the pipe. You can find these special gasket kits from your local plumbing service professional or hardware stores throughout Canada.
Install Closet Flange
The part that your toilet sits on is called the closet flange. This piece of hardware works as a middle man between the toilet and the floor and is relatively easy to install when replacing a toilet. The white pipe that comes out of the floor is called the soil pipe and the closet flange sits on this piece. You may have to make some cuts to either the floor or the soil pipe so that the closet flange sits snugly on top but these are easy to do with a hand saw. Once you’ve dry fit the two pieces together, apply a PVC primer and PVC cement to the areas of the soil pipe and closet flange that touch. Twist the flange on aligning the slots to the left and right and screw the piece down with stainless steel screws long enough to reach the sub-floor.
Set the Bolts
Most plumbing companies supply long brass bolts with your toilet and they’ll need to be set next. These simply slide into the closet flange you’ve just installed with a brass washer being slid over top. If you can align these as close as possible to the corresponding holes on the toilet it will make setting the heavy piece that much easier when replacing a toilet.
Wax Ring Slide On
Next slide the wax ring that came in the gasket kit on top of the closet flange. Some instruction manuals will recommend that the wax ring goes directly onto the toilet but most plumbing experts agree that putting the ring on the closet flange instead makes the unit easier to set.
Set the Toilet Bowl
You might need help for this because the toilet bowl can be heavy and you want to make sure not to drop the unit and crack it before even installed. Plus setting the toilet bowl while at the same time aligning the bolts underneath can be quite a daunting task. Either way it’s time to set the bowl by lifting it up and aligning the bolts for a nice straight fit in the bathroom. Once the toilet bowl is partially on push it straight down into the wax ring without twisting or rocking the unit so that it goes on straight. Push down until the base of the toilet rests evenly on the bathroom floor. If the base rocks back and forth or is uneven you may need to shim up one side for a solid fit. Next tighten up the toilet by slipping a washer and nut over each bolt. Thread each bolt 1/4” turn at a time so that the base goes down evenly. Once the toilet bowl is tight take a saw and cut the excess of the bolt off and slip a cover over top.
Install the Toilet Tank
Before lifting the tank onto the toilet some minor prep work is needed. There is a rubber spud washer that fits in the large hole that goes from the tank to the bowl that needs to be installed properly. Once that device is properly seated install the rubber washers on both the inside and outside of the tank along with the bolt holes. If you lose any of these parts make sure to visit plumbing companies for a replacement because they are essential pieces. You’ll also want to install all the parts of the flapper at this time for convenience and easier maneuvering. When the bolts and washers are in place, gently lower the tank onto the bowl. Once again you may want to get assistance with this because you’d be surprised how easily the tank can crack.
Tighten the Tank Evenly
Once the tank is in place, hand-tighten the washers first. Once they’re as far as they can go tighten them up by holding each bolt head in place with a screwdriver and switch back and alternate with each turn of the night so the tank stays level. Check the tank for straightness as you tighten it and take extreme caution not to over tighten and crack the unit.
Hook Up the Flapper and Test
The final steps in replacing a toilet is hooking up and testing the flapper. Simply attach the tank’s handle chain to the flapper and turn the water back on. You may need to adjust the flapper so that a proper water level is achieved but this is a relatively easy task. Finally check for any obvious leaks and be very vigilant the first few times using your new unit.
There are two must haves in your house, a toilet and a TV. Hopefully by following these instructions to a T you’ll be able to enjoy functionality in the former while the latter is on a commercial break.