In this final installment in our series of relatively easy toilet repairs that you could do yourself, we will show you how to replace a toilet. Our first entry in this series introduces you to all of the parts of the toilet and how it works. You can read part 1 here. The second installment will take you through 11 simple steps for fixing a leaking toilet tank. You can read part 2 here. Our third entry will show you that unclogging your toilet is something that you can do yourself. In the fourth post, we listed causes of a running toilet and how to remedy them. This final post will walk you through the process of replacing a toilet. Whether you are remodeling and want a new toilet or your current one has seen better days, you may wish to attempt this install yourself. However, if you would rather leave this job to a professional, contact us at WaterSmart. One of our fully licensed master plumbers will be happy to do it for you.
"Purchased a water softener, price was reasonable, sales staff was very informative and not pushy. Install was quick and clean and he gave instructions on the unit. I would highly recommend Watersmart Systems."
According to the Family Handyman replacing an old or broken toilet is not as difficult as it may sound. Even a beginner could manage to do it in a couple of hours or less. Simply follow the 12 steps listed below.
Step 1: Measure
If you are replacing your toilet with a new one make sure you get the right size. Measure the distance from the wall to your toilet's hold-down bolts. If it is approximately 30.5 cm (12 inches) then you have a standard sized toilet and buying a replacement will be easy. Some models, however, will measure 25.5 cm (10 inches) or 35.5 cm (14 inches). You may have a harder time finding these sizes. Be prepared to have to order one and probably pay more than you would for a standard toilet.
Step 2: Get Rid Of The Water
Turn off the water supply to the toilet and then flush it several times. This will remove the water from inside the tank and most of the water in the bowl. Scoop out any remaining water in the bowl. Sponge out any last bits of water until the tank and bowl are dry. You want to make sure all of the water is gone so that it doesn't drip as you carry it out.
Step 3: Remove The Toilet Tank
Unscrew the water supply line attached to the toilet tank. Be careful as there may be water left in the hose. Attach an adjustable screwdriver to one of the tank bolts on the underside of the toilet tank. Use this screwdriver to hold the bolt still as you unscrew the tank bolts with a screwdriver from inside the tank. Remove both bolts and gaskets. You may want to ask someone to help you lift the tank from the bowl. If you are doing it by yourself, make sure to bend your knees to lift it.
Step 4: Remove The Toilet Bowl
Remove the decorative caps covering the two bolts on either side of the base of the toilet. Unscrew both nuts with a socket or adjustable wrench. Use a putty knife to score the caulking between the toilet bowl and the floor. Gently rock the toilet bowl from side to side to break the wax seal underneath and free the base from the floor. Carefully lift the toilet off and onto some old towels or newspaper.
Step 5: Remove The Remaining Wax
Using a putty knife, scrape away any remaining wax. Next, plug up the drainage pipe with a rag in order to stop any sewer gasses from drifting up into your home.
Step 6: Check The Flange
The toilet flange sits on top of the floor and connects to a collar that fits through the floor. The flange helps to make a tight connection between the drainage pipe and the toilet. If the flange is corroded and is not fitting tightly in the collar then you should replace it with a new one.
The following two videos will show you how to replace a broken or damaged flange. The first video deals with the newer PVC flange and the second video will show you how to replace an older cast iron flange.
Step 7: Insert A New Wax Ring
Place a new wax ring around the hole in the base of the toilet. The tapered side of the ring should face away from the bowl.
Step 8: Put The New Toilet Bowl In Place
Apply a thin bead of caulking to the bottom of the base of the new toilet bowl and remove the rag from the drainage pipe. Lift the toilet bowl and line it up over the anchor bolts. Rock the bowl back and forth to seal the wax and then hand tighten the bolts. Don't tighten them too hard or you may crack the porcelain.
Step 9: Make Sure The Toilet Is Level
Place a level across the toilet bowl. If it is not level then put plastic toilet shims underneath the bowl to level it out. Fill the decorative plastic caps with plumber's putty and place over the bolts.
Step 10: Replace The Tank
Carefully place the tank back on the bowl. Attach the rubber gaskets/washers to the bolts underneath the toilet bowl. Place a metal washer next and then the metal nuts. Alternating from one side to the other, tighten the nuts until the rubber gaskets are properly seated.
Tip: Try not to overtighten the bolts; you can easily crack the tank.
Step 11: Re-connect The Water Supply Line
Re-attach the water supply line to the underside of the toilet tank.
Step 12: Caulk
Apply bathroom caulk around the base of the toilet to seal between the toilet and the floor. Dip your finger in water and then carefully smooth the caulk along the joint.
The following video will give you a complete overview of the steps you need to do to replace a toilet.
Why Choose WaterSmart
Whether you are simply replacing your toilet or remodeling your entire home, come to WaterSmart for any and all of your plumbing requirements. Our master plumbers have been servicing the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and surrounding areas over 20 years. We have the experience and know-how to quickly and efficiently address any plumbing issue you may have. Contact us today for your free estimate.