Installing a new toilet can be a scary process, especially to homeowners without much plumbing experience. Though it does take careful attention to detail, if you follow the proper steps, you can have your brand-new toilet installed and ready to go sooner than you think. After years of professionally installing toilets in homes and businesses, we've learned a lot. In this article, we outline the steps it will take to install a new toilet in your bathroom.
Disconnect the Water Supply
The first step is to disconnect the water supply on the back of the toilet. Turn the valve clockwise to turn off the water. If there is no shut off valve next to your toilet, you may have to locate your home's main water valve and turn off the water going into your home. Fortunately, most bathrooms have a valve next to where the toilet is intended to be installed. Make sure that the water is turned completely off by flushing the toilet with the tank lid off. If the toilet fills back up with water, the valve isn't turned far enough.
Remove the Existing Toilet
Before removing the toilet, be sure to flush the toilet as many times as necessary to remove all the water that might be left in the tank. Doing so will help you avoid a potentially messy cleanup after removal.
Once the water is gone, use a wrench to remove the bolts that connect the tank with the toilet base. After removing the tank, you can take off the bolt caps located on both sides of the base and use a crescent wrench once more to remove the bolts that are connecting your toilet base to the floor. Move the toilet base back and forth slightly to break the wax seal underneath, and discard the old toilet.
Use a Rag to Block the Hole in the Flange
Before you move forward, use a rag to block the drain opening so you can avoid any potentially hazardous or foul smelling gases that may come into the bathroom from your sewage system. Don't let the rag fall into the hole, it could cause a clog if the rag gets pushed too deep into the pipe.
Assess the Condition of the Flange and Floor
Once the toilet is removed, it's important to thoroughly inspect the floor, flange and drain pipe. If the old toilet has been in place for many years, you'll need to check for signs of leaking and potential wood rot in the subfloor. After you've determined that the flooring is safe, you can look at the condition of the flange. It's relatively common for homeowners to need a new flange or possibly a new set of bolts.
Remove Any Wax Buildup
Gently remove any wax buildup that might be left on the flange from the old toilet. This will make it easier for the new wax ring to adhere better to the flange.
Position the New Wax Seal
Some prefer to place the wax seal on the flange itself, and place the bowl on top. Others like to put the wax ring on the bottom of the toilet and press gently to ensure the seal is adhering well to the bottom of the toilet. Use whichever method you prefer, just make sure that the wax seal is placed properly. If the seal is not installed correctly, your toilet will leak, which could lead to disastrous consequences for your bathroom's subfloor. Apply pressure to the toilet by sitting backwards on the seat, this will make sure the weight of the toilet has sunk properly into the wax ring, sealing it completely.
Bolt the Toilet Base onto the Floor
Place the bolts into the proper holes at the base of the bowl. Screw the bolts with the right amount of pressure. If they are too loose, then the toilet will wiggle. If they are too tight, it could crack the porcelain. After your bolts are in place, you can put the cap over them and you're done.
Place the Tank on Your New Toilet
Carefully place the tank on the back of the toilet base, and bolt it down. Again, being aware of the amount of pressure being placed on the porcelain.
Install the Valve Assembly
Be sure that the valve assembly is properly installed inside the tank per the instructions provided by the toilet manufacturer.
Make Sure the Toilet is Level
Use a level and place it on the ring of the toilet bowl to make sure the toilet is flush with the floor.
Connect the Water Supply
Reconnect the water supply to the toilet, and turn the valve. The water should immediately begin to fill the back of the tank.
Caulk the Toilet Base
Use a caulking gun to seal the base of the toilet to the floor.
Test to Make Sure the Toilet is Working Properly
Give the toilet a few good flushes to make sure that the toilet is functioning correctly.
Do You Need Help with Your Toilet Installation?
Installing a new toilet is certainly possible by homeowners, but it can be intimidating. If you are short on time but need a new toilet installed, the plumbing experts at Mr. Rooter are available to help. Give us a call and schedule your toilet installation appointment today.