If you haven’t read part 1, you can find it here.
Picking up where we left off, I decided to replace the downstairs toilet first because it gets used more and if something went wrong, I had easy access to the plumbing from the crawlspace.
The new toilet comes with everything you probably need minus tools. As you can see, the instructions are printed on the top of the box (sorry for the blurry photo).
The tools that you’ll need to remove and install a toilet are:
- Adjustable wrench
- Flathead screwdriver
- Putty Knife
- Rag or Sponge
- Pair of Disposable Gloves
Start by turning off the water supply valve to the toilet. Then flush the toilet and hold down the handle to empty the tank out as much as possible. Use the rag or sponge to finish emptying the tank of water. Once the tank is emptied, disconnect the supply line and then use the wrench and/or the screwdriver to disconnect the tank from the bowl.
At this point, you’ll probably want to use a plunger to get as much water out of the bowl as possible so it doesn’t go splish splosh on your bathroom floor. To remove the bowl, you’ll need to start by popping off the decorative caps and unthreading the nuts at the base. Once the nuts are removed, the entire base can be lifted away from the floor.
At this point, you will see the toilet flange (a fancy name for the drain pipe). It probably won’t look pretty and it will likely smell worse because of sewer gas escaping from the pipe. Put on those disposable gloves if you haven’t already and use the putty knife to scrape up the old (and gross) wax ring. Just remember the plumbers motto… “The more disgusting it is, the more money I make”. You can plug up the drain pipe with a rag to keep the smell at bay. Just don’t forget to remove it before installing the new toilet! With the toilet flange cleaned off, and the old closet bolts removed we can get started on installing the new toilet.
Start by doing a test fit of the new base. The new closet bolts inserted into the flange should match up with the holes in the bowl base.
Once you know the fit is good, apply the new wax ring to the bottom of the toilet base. Carefully set it down onto the flange and give it a good press down to set the entire thing in place. Thread nuts onto the closet bolts to secure the base to the floor.
The closet bolts probably have to be trimmed in order to fit the decorative caps on. Use the hacksaw to shave off everything above the nuts. I found this step to be the hardest part, most likely because I was using an old blade.
With the base firmly secured, we can go about attaching the tank. Here’s an obligatory plumber butt shot of yours truly.
Each toilet model will differ a little bit in how the connection is made. Just follow the instructions. You will probably need the wrench and screwdriver for this step.
With the tank attached, reconnect the supply line and turn on the water. If there are any leaks, tighten the connection and try again. Sometimes the supply hose is shot and needs to be replaced. They are only about $5 so it’s not worth trying to salvage a 10+ year old hose. Once the tank fills up, give it a couple of flushes and make sure everything works properly.
Finally, place the tank lid on and attach the toilet seat.
TADA! That wasn’t so hard was it? The whole job took only about two hours and that was with no previous toilet experience. Dispose of the old toilet(s) according to the rules and regulations of your municipality. In our case, that meant a trip to the city bulk waste drop off facility.
Goodbye water wasting, easily clogged, smelly toilets! By our calculations it will take about 2 years for the new water saving toilets to pay themselves off. Also, we have yet to have a single clog!