Toilets. We simply can't do without them. One of the necessary evils of our lives is that apparatus in the bathroom that sooner than later will start to develop problems.
So when problems crop up, what are you going to do?
You have two choices. One, hit the yellow pages and find a plumber. Two, tackle the job yourself. Hint"¦ the first choice will cost you dearly. However, there may be repairs that should be left to the experts simply because they involve heavy lifting.
Toilets are not high tech machines.
Toilets have very few parts. There is the bowl and the tank, that sits on the back of the bowl. First let's take a look at the bowl.
The bowl sits directly on the floor. On the bottom of the bowl there is a drain hole. That hole sits right inside the drain pipe on the floor. The drain pipe has a brass ring surrounding the lip. The ring has two flat head brass bolts that fit into slots in the ring and stick upright waiting for the bowl to be placed over the drain pipe. The slots allow for the bowl to be positioned over the bolts upright. To seal the pipe and the hole there is a wax ring that is in the shape of a large donut. The toilet bowl is set on its back or side, the seal is pressed around the drain hole with your fingers and it is ready to go. All that needs to be done is to place the bowl over the drain hole, line up the bolts, press down the bowl, place the washers and nuts on the bolts and lightly tighten them down.
The tank sits on the tank. A rubber seal sits in the joint. Two bolts with fiber washers hold the tank and bowl together.
Now for the tank. Inside the tank is a filler pipe in the center. Fitted on that pipe is a rubber flapper that covers the drain hole. There are a few different flappers but basically they do the same job. The flapper is attached to the flush handle with a chain. Turn the handle, the chain lifts the flapper, it raises up allowing water to flush the toilet. The flapper can be easily replaced because it has two ears that fit over two fingers on either side of the ring that is fitted to the filler pipe.
The float system on the left of the tank is there for the job of filling the tank with water and stopping the water when the tank is filled. To replace the float system, turn the water off with the shut-off located under and behind the toilet bowl first. Drain the tank as much as possible and then dry up the rest of the water with a sponge or rag until there is none left in the tank. With a wrench, back off the nut under the float system where it is connecting the small pipe connecting the tank to the water supply shut-off. The small pipe should be now free from the float system. Now there is only one more nut fastening the float system to the tank. Back that one off. You need to get your head down so you can see the nut under the tank.
You should follow the directions that accompany the float system for the placement of the two rubber washers and adjusting the height of the float. Now you should attach the filler tube to the float system, fit the filler tube clip onto the filler pipe and trim the filler tubing and fit it onto the clip.
Now you should turn on the water but only a little. Check for leaks. Tighten things up so that all fittings are dry. Now fill the tank, check by flushing and see that the flapper does its job. Place the tank cover on top of the tank and flush it again a couple of times.
You now have completed your first toilet repair job. Congratulations.
Joe and Irma Mac Millan have enjoyed the Whistler Mountain and valley area of British Columbia for many years. They have camped, hiked and skied the mountains and fished and kayaked the rivers and lakes. Their website Whistler-outdoors is a must for anyone considering a trip to Whistler as well as the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. They invite one and all to take a look.