Sunday, 6 March 2011

How to Replace a Broken Toilet

You can turn on a fan if the Air Conditioner breaks, bar-b-que if the stove shoots craps or hire the neighborhood kid if the mower stops, but one thing you absolutely can not do without is... a working toilet.

The easiest way to replace a broken toilet is to get in the Yellow Pages, call a plumber and pay him a $1000 to replace it. That will get you a standard water closet, as it's professionally referred to, installed and the broken one put outside for the trash man. (maybe)

Although that's probably a reasonable deal, you could do the same job yourself for about $200. Although I am a licensed plumber, you don't have to be to perform this repair if you follow my easy to understand instructions. Ready?

First, let's go to your neighborhood Home Depot, Lowes or whatever supplier around your home to buy supplies. As a caveat here, plumbing fixtures are a lot like a new car or truck. There's the $10,000 base model or the $35,000 fully loaded model. We'll stay with the base model.

Purchase a toilet, which comes with the commode and tank separately boxed, but priced together. Almost all new toilets come equipped with the internal parts of the tank assembled.

Purchase a wax ring, the type with the rubber flange attached, a toilet water supply line, being sure it's a toilet and not sink water line. I recommend the flexible water lines over the chrome, plastic or copper water lines for ease of installation. Might as well buy a new toilet seat while you're at it.

Removing the broken toilet. Here are the basic steps to removing the broken fixture.
1. Turn the water off at the stop valve located behind the toilet.
2. Once the water is shut off, flush the toilet letting it drain as much water out of the integral trap as possible. It doesn't hurt to try flushing it twice.
3. Lift the top off the tank. Depending on the amount of water still in the tank either use a wet / dry vac or a sponge to remove it.
4. Unscrew the water supply line from the bottom of the tank. Have a rag handy because water will invariably still leak out no matter how good of a job you thought you did drying the tank.
5. Inside the tank are two bolts holding the tank on to the base. Unscrew these two bolts and carefully lift the tank from the base. Remove tank to the trash.
6.There are two, one on each side of the toilet, closet bolts which hold the toilet to the floor. If there are caps over the bolts, remove or pop them open. Using a small crescent wrench unscrew the nuts from the bolts. Alternate side to side when unscrewing, this will be much more important when reinstalling the bolts, but alternate anyhow.
7. Once the nuts and washers have been removed from the bolts, slowly rock the toilet base back and forth to break the seal loose. Once loose, lift toilet straight up until it clears the closet bolts. You now have the broken toilet completely removed.
8. There will be a closet flange and a hole, which is the sewer line, in the floor. Place a rag loosely into the sewer line to keep anything from falling into it and creating a clog later. Don't lose the rag down it.
9. There will be a wax ring or residual of it stuck on the closet flange and pipe. Scrape all the wax off and wipe clean. It must be clean or risk the chance of a leak.
10. Place the toilet on its side and carefully unwrap the new wax ring you just purchased. Place the wax side against the toilet bottom where the sewer pipe and toilet will meet. Gently, but firmly press into place.
11. Lifting the toilet, and being careful not to hit the floor or anything else which could compromise the wax ring, place the toilet onto the closet bolts. Insuring the rubber flange goes down into the pipe, firmly push the toilet, with a slight rocking motion, down onto the floor.
12. Reinstall the washers and nut on the closet bolts and finger tighten. Sit on the toilet using your weight and a slight rocking motion to secure it to the floor by expanding the wax ring.
13. Using the small crescent wrench tighten the nuts on the closet bolts. Alternate sides using the same turns on each. Six turns on the right...six turns on the left...and so on until the toilet is secured tightly to the floor. Do not over tighten as you could break the base of the toilet ruining it.
14. Remove the tank from the box and secure it to the toilet base with the two bolts from inside the tank.
15. Replace the toilet water supply line with the new one. Turn on the water and allow the tank to fill with water, watching for any signs of a leak, which 99% of the time would come from the two bolts used to secure the tank to the toilet base or where the supply line connects to the toilet or the shutoff.
16. Flush toilet, again watching for any leaks.
17. Install the new toilet seat.
18. It's not a bad idea, but not required on residential homes, to run a bead of caulking around the base of the toilet and the floor.

Tag : toilet,broken toilet,broken

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