Sunday, March 11, 2012

How to Change a Toilet Seat - Super Easy!

We had a toilet seat where one of the bolts had broken off and sitting on it required a certain amount of balance so you didn't end up on the floor. (Nick said it was a game for his friends, but I just kept imagining my mom falling off and the grief that would cause.) I had to fix it before anything happened.

This is probably one of the easiest tasks you can do on your own as a homeowner, with the hardest part being to get the right seat size. There are different sizes of toilet seats, some are "round" and some are "elongated" or oval and some are even padded! What I did before going to the store, was to get a tape measure and hold it over the toilet seat and take a picture with my camera in both directions, width and length. That way when I got to Home Depot I could get the right shape and size without having to try and remember the dimensions. It worked like a charm except the person working at Home Depot looked a bit dumb-founded when I showed him the picture. He actually said, "You did that?". Sigh... sometimes it is hard to not kick a person who so desperately deserves it.

After you get the right size seat, next is to take the old one off...your first instinct is to grab the nut under the seat and try to undo it that way. Don't do it...where the seat is connected to the toilet, flip open that little hatch and use a screwdriver instead. This is how you will connect it again as well.

Use a screwdriver from the top, not a wrench from the bottom.

Then you will have the seat off and it looks like this... I cleaned it really good at this point because well, that is just me but you never get a chance like this very often.

Old Seat Off
The new seat will only have a couple of things in there - the new seat of course, a plastic bolt and a locking nut. There are no spare bolts so be careful with them!

Bolt and Locking Nut

Flip open the new seat latches
Take the new seat and flip open the latches and line the holes up on the toilet.

Drop in the plastic bolt and screw on the nut underneath just to get it started.

Then use the screw driver to tighten it up while holding on to the nut underneath. Make sure you just get it to steady and don't screw it down too tight. If you over-tighten it, you will snap the plastic bolt and be right back where you started!

Done- just close the hatches.
See how easy that was? It cost about $25 for the seat but you don't have to have a handyman or worse, a plumber in to fix these kind of things. I think a lot of people don't try these things because they are worried they will do it wrong but my philosophy is to try it first, and call for help if it doesn't work out. Trying new things that are easy like this, give you the courage to try something a little bit harder next time.


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