Whether you are planning to set up or replace an existing toilet, it is always tempting to call in a plumber to do all the dirty work for you. While this sounds like a very convenient choice, it is not impossible for you to do this task by yourself. Given the right tools and instructions, you can easily give your toilet a makeover without spending cash on plumbing services.
What you need
Preparation is the key to a smooth and organized installation of your toilet. To start with, you will need a good quality toilet that could last many years. Next, you have to buy a wax ring to close any gaps between the flange and the lower end of the toilet. Other essentials are closet bolts to fasten your toilet to the flange, toilet connectors for the water supply, a soil pipe, and PVC cement. Additional materials include steel washers, a torpedo level to make sure that your toilet is at a perfect angle, an adjustable wrench and a screwdriver. All these materials are readily available at hardware and plumbing supply outlets.
Before anything else, prepare the bathroom floor by checking the measurement of the hole to make sure that the closet flange can fit in snugly up to its neck. After inserting the flange to the soil pipe, connect the soil pipe to the closet bend and apply PVC primer on its inner portion, as well as on one outer end of the soil pipe. Once this is done, PVC cement should be applied to the exact areas and rotate the pipe in the closet bend without delay to avoid hardening of the cement. Repeat the same procedure on the exposed areas of the soil pipe and closet bend then insert the flange onto the soil pipe. Rotate and apply pressure until the collar is settled and fitted on the floor. The slots must be in its proper position on the floor and should be parallel to the wall where the tank will be situated.
Prepare the closet bolts and position them on the slots on both sides, followed by the steel washers. After this, place the wax ring on top of the flange so that it will not be dislodged while placing the toilet. Extended-height rings are available if the flange is too low on the ground. Finally, it is time to position the toilet onto the flange by checking that either holes are properly aligned with the bolts. Once it is placed, carefully push down the toilet towards the ground. When the toilet is firmly attached to the ground, place the washers above the closet bolts then twist the nuts on either side and make sure it is tight.
Inspect the toilet if it is equally leveled otherwise insert steel washers or plastic shims to prevent it from rocking. After tightening the nuts with a wrench, cover the bolts with bolt caps.
Finally, connect the toilet to the water supply line using the toilet connector and twist open the valve so water can fill the tank. Make sure that the water meets the appropriate fill line simply by adjusting the fill valve.
Easy Tips and Tricks
Executing this little do-it-yourself project can become quite challenging especially for first-timers so it would be extra helpful to remember these tips to make it more hassle-free. When buying a toilet, it would be best not to buy models that use below 6 liters of water for each flush. Also, ask for self-adjusting closet bolts that are available in plumbing stores to avoid the stress of having to cut the extra length. Next, you need to be quick and efficient when aligning the slots after applying the cement on the flange or else, you will end up with dried cement.
Most people prefer assembling the toilet before anything else so that it is readily available during installation. If you are alone and cannot handle the weight of the tank while installing the toilet, you can attach it later. Review everything for any misplaced items and do not tighten the nuts excessively as they can cause damage to the porcelain.
If you are trying to level the toilet, plastic shims are available although it is much better to use steel washers instead as they are stronger and does not crack.
For those who want their toilet base to appear more clean and polished, you can opt to caulk it, however you must leave a little space in the back portion to help you detect any leaks and act on it sooner. For more DIY installation, check HOW-TO category. If you haven’t bought your toilet yet, click to see comparison of toilets in pickmytoilet.com.