If there is a toilet in your home or office that is always clogged or has trouble flushing, the chances are high that it is either faulty or needs to be replaced. While a qualified plumber has the experience necessary to repair the toilet, dealing with a toilet that requires continual repairs can be costly.
It’s much more cost-effective to replace the toilet. If you have some hands-on experience with do-it-yourself plumbing projects, you can install the new toilet yourself without hiring a professional. Think of the task as a remodeling project for your bathroom. The following steps will make replacing your toilet easier.
1. Brush Up on Toilet Anatomy
Start by learning about the ins and outs of toilets. Read up on standard toilet designs and find out which are popular. Most importantly, search for one that comes with a tank on top of the bowl, as this makes the toilet compact and easy to install.
2. Get Ready for the Installation
Before you install the toilet, make sure you have the right equipment. If you have a ceramic tile floor, gather old towels and used newspapers to lay the toilet on so as to prevent breaks or cracks. Last but not least, make sure that the new toilet fits the space that the old one takes up.
3. Prepare the Old Toilet
Shut off the water supply to drain the water in the toilet, then flush it several times until there is no water left in the tank or bowl. Following this, use a container to scoop out any remaining water from the bowl. Keep in mind that any water that remains in the toilet could leak out when you carry it away for disposal.
4. Disconnect the Old Toilet
Disconnect the old toilet by unscrewing the nuts that attach it to the water supply line, then remove the caps covering the bolts at the base of the toilet. After that, unscrew the nuts under the caps.
Use a utility knife to probe the line between the floor and the bowl then rock the toilet back and forth until you’ve freed it. You can then lift the old toilet and place it on the newspapers or towels. Remove the wax gasket with a putty knife before blocking the drainpipe with a rag to prevent sewer gas from escaping.
5. Position the New Toilet
Position the new bowl and insert a new wax gasket on the outlet. Ensure that the tapered side faces away from the bowl and the toilet flange, which keeps the connection between the toilet and the waste pipe tight and free of corrosion. Putty was commonly used to secure the flange in the past, but today you can use plastic flange gaskets.
6. Replace the Wax Ring
Now it’s time to replace the wax ring. Those with inserts provide a great connection when the bathroom is being remodeled or the flange is set low. Those without inserts, on the other hand, make great seals against sewer gasses.
7. Secure the New Bowl
Apply caulk to the base of the toilet and remove the previously mentioned rag from the drainpipe. Following this, lower the bowl onto the flange and press it down. You will then want to fasten the bowl to the floor and gently tighten the nuts and washers into the bowl. Be careful not to tighten them too much, however, as this could cause the porcelain to crack. After this, try to level the toilet out and cover the bolts. If you find that the toilet isn’t level, don’t worry, simply use plastic shims to correct the problem. Following this, fill the caps with plumber’s putty and place them over the bolts.
8. Place the New Tank
Set the new tank by inserting the bolts through its base. Position the tank over the bowl before gently lowering it into place. Secure the nuts and washers so that they attach the bowl to the tank. Make sure that the connection is secure and level. Once it is, set the tank lid on top of the tank but refrain from sealing the joint between them.
9. Connect the New Toilet
Start the toilet by connecting the water supply line to the fill and the shut-off valve. You should then tighten the compression nut and open the shut-off valve. Apply caulk along the bottom of the toilet to seal the joint between the toilet and the floor. Finally, use a wet finger to smooth the caulk along the joint for a clean finish. Congratulations, you have just installed your new toilet!
It goes without saying that this is a job that is exclusively for the do-it-yourself, handy types. You should not attempt to install a toilet yourself if you don’t have any prior experience with it. In that case, a professional plumber should be the one who installs your new toilet.