Sunday, January 27, 2008

Do It Yourself: Refurbishing your bathroom: Replacing a Toilet

My toilet was set crooked and had a hole in it but i was afraid to tackle the replacement alone. So i consulted  Ron is used to people looking at a toilet and saying, "I'm not touching that!" But Ron reassures the novice do it yourself person,  that it is really not a difficult job. Here are a few things that you will need to complete the project:

Tools and supplies: 
 Rubber gloves 
 Utility knife 
 Putty knife 
 Plumber's putty 
 Socket wrench 

 New toilet (including hardware for assembly) 
 New water supply line 
  Wax ring

1. Disconnect water supply:
  • The first step was to turn off the water supply to the tank. The shut off valve was located on the wall behind the toilet.


3-4a disconnect water  
  • Next, they removed the water from the tank by flushing and then holding the drain valve up. 


3-4a remove excess water  

  • They would need to soak up the rest with a sponge. Unscrew the float to get it out of the way.


3-4a runscrew float  
  • It only takes a minute or two to remove the remaining water from the tank.
3-4a remove excess water  
  • Next, they would need to empty the standing water from the bowl. Put on a pair of latex gloves for the task at hand and began sponging. Although the water in the bowl appeared dirty, Ron reassured us that it was actually the scale that came out of the bottom of the tank and emptied into the bowl.
3-4a remove water from bowl  
  • With all of the water emptied, use an adjustable wrench to loosen the nut that attached the water line to the tank. 
3-4a pull water line free  

  • then pull the old line free.



3-4q old line free  

2. Remove old toilet: 

  • They were now ready to detach the old toilet from the floor. The toilet was held in place by two bolts. Lift off the decorative cover to expose the bolts, which in this case were very badly rusted.
  • Normally they would remove the bolts with a wrench, but these had rusted through so completely that they were no longer holding the toilet to the floor. Actually the bead of caulk at the base of the toilet was the only thing holding the toilet in place. They used a utility knife to cut the seal.
3-4a remove old caulk  

  • They bent their knees and carefully lifted the toilet straight up.



3-4q lift toilet straight up  

3. Remove old wax ring: 

  • When the toilet was lifted out, the old wax ring was left behind on the floor. Toilet wax rings are made out of bees wax and they create a very good seal between the bottom of the toilet and the flange on the floor. It would need to be replaced.
3-4a remove old wax ring  
  • Remove the wax ring with putty knives and then scrape the remaining wax from the flange.
3-4a scrap remaining wax with flange  

4. Replace water supply line:

  • Before you carry in the new toilet, replace the water supply line. Ron almost always recommends this when installing a new toilet or sink. Older lines can often lose their seal after being disturbed.
  • They carried in the new toilet bowl, which was made of vitreous china, the same thing you're dinnerware is made out of.

3-4a replace water line


5. New wax ring:

  • Unwrap the new wax ring. The wax ring had a slightly smaller plastic ring on it. They set the ring in place on the bottom of the overturned toilet with the plastic part up, away from the toilet.

  • Pack pieces of plumber's putty into the slots on the flange.3-4a pplumbers putty



3-4a putty holding bolts upright

  • The putty helped hold the two new bolts upright that were placed in the slots in the flange.




6. Replace new toilet:3-4a place new toilet

  • Next, carefully lower the new toilet into place so that the two bolts extended through the two holes in the base of the toilet.





3-4a bolts

  • Once the toilet was in place, they pressed firmly down on the bowl. Becareful not to rock or wiggle the toilet but to just press it straight down with as much weight as possible. The weight would compress the wax ring and give them the seal they needed. If the toilet was rocked or twisted then the seal may easily break and they would have to remove the toilet and start all over again.




3-4a nut cover base on bolt

  • Next, Kelly slipped a nut cover base over each bolt…




3-4a add washer

  • …followed by a washer…



 3-4a nut 
  • …and finally a nut.



 3-4a bolt is pre-scored

  • The bolts were pre-scored, so that the excess could be broken off easily with pliers. If the bolts had not been scored then they would have had to cut them off with a hacksaw.


 3-4a decorative cap 
  • Finally, they snapped the decorative caps in place over the bolts.


7. Water tank:3-4a Water tank

  • There were three bolts on the underside of the water tank. These would be dropped directly into the three holes that were behind the toilet bowl.


 3-4a place water tank in place 
  • Ron helped line up the bolts with the holes while Kelly and Kate carefully placed the tank on the bowl and gently dropped it down into position. The tank was designed to fit on the bowl with a watertight seal.

 3-4a place tank over bolts 

  • Ron reached inside the tank and pushed the bolts down so they extended all the way through.


 3-4a slip washers and bolt on and tighten 
  • With the bolts fully extended, they slipped on the washers and nuts and then tightened them with a socket wrench. As they did this, they also checked to ensure that the tank was level.

 3-4a check level 
  • They kept tightening each bolt and compressing the rubber grommet underneath until the toilet tank was level.

8. Toilet seat:3-4a toilet seat and nylon bolts
  • It was simple to install the toilet seat. It attached just behind the bowl with nylon bolts.

 3-4a tighten from top 
  • The attachment was made with a cylindrical nut, shaped so that it can jam itself into the hole and it won't spin around as the bolt is tightened. Ron began by screwing a nut on the bottom but he explained that you couldn't finish tightening it from the bottom. There was a slot on the top of the bolt. Ron used a screwdriver to tighten the bolt from the top. The nut below did not spin because of the way it was shaped.


  • Finally, place the tank lid on the new toilet for the final crowning moment of completion.



34a place lid on 'throne'

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