Part of the chores last weekend was replacing the toilet in the hall bathroom. It is the one that everyone uses because of it's location, and one that I just couldn't repair. The flapper was leaking which made the toilet run constantly. I tried at least 4 different flappers but none of them fit right, so for the last few months I just had it turned off. With Nick and the family coming, I took the opportunity to replace it and teach my nephew and niece how to do it as well. Nick has replaced one already at the Moraga house with his friend Jason, several years ago. At that time, I did actually call a plumber and ask him how much he would charge to install a toilet and the answer was $300! It really isn't that hard to do so here is my tips on installing a new toilet.
First, it is really critical to buy a good toilet with all the parts included. If you get a cheap one, it will not have the wax seal or the seat and it often doesn't go together as easily. I like the American Standard brand because they just go together so well and I bought the "champion 4" model which is advertised as being able to flush a bucket of golf balls. (Although I don't recommend that.) I also like the two piece toilets (tank and bowl are not permanently connected) because they are lighter and if you are by yourself that really helps. One piece toilets are nice looking but heavy!
Step 1 - Turn off the water line and flush the toilet a couple of times. Then you will need to scoop out the remaining water in the bowl. This is Jacob and since he is the "rookie" he gets this job and the nasty wax ring job. Get as much out as you can so there will be less leaking on the floor when you remove the toilet.
|After scooping use a sponge to get it all out.|
|Unscrew both nuts holding the toilet to the floor|
|Unscrew the water line to the tank. We ended up removing it from the valve and replacing the whole thing.|
|Toilet is out!|
|Scraping the wax|
|New shiny bolts|
|Wax ring installed on the upside down toilet|
|Nick applying pressure to set the wax.|
|Nick is taking the high road while Jacob is taking the low to attach the tank.|
Step 10 - Attach the seat. The girls got into the act at this point and got the seat attached... one held the plastic nut underneath while the other one screwed in the plastic bolt. Here is that word again, gentle. The plastic bolts for the seat can snap as well. You want it tight enough that the seat doesn't move but not too tight that it snaps!
|Laine trying to figure it out on her own.|
|With a little help from Jessy they get it done.|
Last step - turn on the water. Make sure everything is tight and turn the water back on while you stand by to make sure you can turn it off quickly if something starts to leak.
Flush it a couple of times, check around the base and you are done!
See how easy that was! Why would you pay a plumber $300 to do this when it is totally a "do-it-yourself" job.