There are several reasons for replacing your old toilet. The style and color may by outdated and new models use about half the water of older ones. Some new toilets even offer full and half-flush options. Replacing your toilet is something you can do yourself in about an hour or two. And if you have your house on the market, either to sell or as a rental (we have several properties in the Tucson corporate housing rental market), updating from an old toilet to a newer one can make a big difference in the appeal of any bathroom. Stick around and we’ll show you how you can do this yourself.
Before you begin, you’ll need a new toilet, a new wax ring, an adjustable wrench, a bucket, sponge, some rags, rubber gloves, a scraper or putty knife and a mini-hacksaw. Also, measure the distance from the wall to the bolts on your existing toilet. It should be twelve inches. If it isn’t, talk to a plumbing team member about what your options are.
Begin by shutting off the water at the supply valve and flush the toilet. Wearing rubber gloves, remove any remaining water in the tank and bowl with a sponge. Now you can disconnect the supply line from the bottom of the tank.
Remove the caps covering the nuts and bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. Remove the bolts with the wrench. If the bolt turns without loosening the nut, cut the bolt with a hacksaw. If you wish, you can separate the tank from the bowl by taking out the nuts and bolts from the bottom of the tank and remove each one separately, but it’s easier to remove the entire toilet with help from an assistant.
Remove and discard the old wax ring from the toilet flange with a scraper. Use a rag to plug the sewer pipe to keep sewer gas from entering the room. Replace the flange bolts with new ones and you’re ready to start installation.
Now you can remove the rag from the sewer pipe and set the new wax ring into place. Make sure it sits squarly on the flange. Carefully lift the new toilet over the flange until the holes line up with the bolts and lower it into place. Press straight down on the wax ring until the toilet sets into place. Sit on the bowl if necessary. Place the included washers over the bolts and only hand tighten the nuts into place.
Most new toilets come with the fill valve already installed. If it isn’t, install the fill valve at this time and attach the new tank to the bowl with the rubber gasket and bolts provided. Tighten the bolts evenly so the tank is level and secure, but don’t over tighten or you may crack the china. Check to make sure everything is properly aligned.
Now you can tighten the bolts at the bottom with a wrench. Make sure the toilet is secure but don t over tighten. You may need to cut the bolts with the hacksaw so the caps will fit.
Now you’re ready to re-connect the supply hose to the tank and turn the water back on. Set the fill valve according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Flush the toilet several times and check for any leaks. If desired, you can add a bead of caulk between the base of the toilet and the floor, and you’re done.