Many people think that removing their old toilet and replacing it with a high efficiency one is a difficult task, but it is actually quite easy. First things first-gather up some hand tools, study the literature that came with the new toilet and your all set to get started.

Removing the old toilet:
Reach down behind the toilet and turn the handle on the shut off valve clockwise to turn off the water to the toilet. If the valve won’t turn, you need to locate your main house valve and turn it off. Next, you need to remove all the water from the toilet. Although it is possible to pull a toilet with water in it – plan on a small clean up job. So go ahead and flush the toilet and hold the handle down so most of the water drains from the tank. You may need to hold the flapper up for a minute. A sponge or wet vac will help remove the remaining water from the tank and bowl. After removing all the water, place a towel on the floor directly under the supply that connects to the toilet. Remove the supply line from the toilet tank. The towel will catch any water that might remain without making a big mess. All that’s left now is to remove the nuts from the toilet bolts. These are located at the base of the toilet under the bolt caps that conceal the nuts. Gently pry them off with a flat screwdriver. If the nuts don’t come off easily, you’ll need to cut the bolts instead. A mini hack saw is ideal for this. Once the nuts are removed, gently rock the toilet side to side while applying upward pressure. This will help break the seal on the bowl wax. Now that you have the toilet off it’s floor flange, carry it outside so its out of your way.

Setting the new toilet:
Next thing to do is to prep the existing floor flange for the new toilet. Remove any remaining old bowl wax from the Floor flange. Also remove the old toilet bolts from the flange and put new ones in their place. Inspect the floor flange for cracks, severe rust or other defects. Make sure it is anchored securely. If it has any movement to it, chances are your new toilet will too. You might also want to consider installing a new water supply shut off valve before you set your new toilet. It’s much more accessible while the toilet is out of the way.installtoilet
Now it’s time to read the instructions that came with the new toilet. Depending on the manufacturer and model, toilet tanks attach to the bowl differently. Don’t try to second guess the manual. Follow it step by step. It might save you some grief.
Once the toilet is installed, turn on the water and check for leaks by flushing several times. Now, sit back and enjoy your latest do it yourself project. Oh, don’t forget the new seat.

Trade secrets:

  • Use a bowl wax with a deep seal ring. This helps center the bowl wax while setting the toilet and improves the seal between the toilet and flange.
  • There are two ways to place the bowl wax before setting the toilet. Either on the floor flange or on the bottom of the toilet. Both are fine, it’s just a matter of personal preference.
  • Some plumbers install the bowl first and then attach the tank to the bowl. Others, assemble the two parts before setting toilet. Again, it’s a matter of preference.
  • Plastic toilet shims help level the toilet if the floor is uneven. You do not want your toilet to rock or wiggle – a sure way to develop a leak.
  • Porcelain is fragile! Do not over tighten bolts or stress the toilet.
  • Be sure the toilet flange is slightly above the existing floor. If not, use flange spacers to raise it and be sure it’s securely anchored.
  • When placing the toilet bolts in the flange, be sure to center them to the pipe opening in the flange.
  • To improve looks and sanitation, apply a bead of kitchen and bath caulk around the base of the toilet where meets the floor.