The installation of a toilet is a relatively easy job for a homeowner. With a couple of wrenches, a screwdriver and a few shims a new toilet can be installed in about one hour.
Toilets can be purchased at any home improvement store or plumbing supply center. Typically a gravity flush toilet costs between $150 and $300, however the price can double or triple for more elaborate units, such as pressure flush systems. Today’s toilets are mandated to use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, where as older units used as much as 5 gallons. The initial 1.6 gallon toilets were notorious for frequently clogging, however over the past several years suppliers have improved the performance of these low water-use systems.
Setting the Toilet
A toilet usually consists of two main parts: a bowl and a tank. It is best to first install the bowl. Prior to seating the bowl, check if the closet flange has been temporarily plugged with insulation or a rag to prevent sewer gases from escaping. Remove this. Next set the bowl on top of the closet flange to determine if it sits level. If it does not, prepare some shims to use later.
Next remove the bowl, and insert the closet bolts (approximately 2” long bolts) into the slots on the closet flange.
Then turn the bowl over and install a wax ring gasket over the outlet of the bowl. This outlet is also know as the “horn”.
Place the bowl onto the closet flange. Make sure the bowl is well seated by rocking the bowl down. Once the bowl has been seated, place a level on it and use the shims as necessary. Next, using nuts and washers tighten up the bolts. Note: be careful not to over-tighten these bolts as it could crack the bowl.
Next attach the tank to the bowl using the tank bolts, nuts and washers. Again, do not over tighten.
Installing the Float Supply Unit
Install the float supply unit into the tank and hook up the water line to the tank inlet. Again, do not over tighten and make sure to use the washers supplied.
Next, turn the supply line on and adjust the float as necessary. Finally, caulk around the base of the unit and you are done.
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