How to Change a Toilet

If you want to know how to change a toilet let me tell you that you can change a toilet yourself and save the high cost of paying a plumber. This article gives you all of the information you need to replace a toilet on your own. Switching a toilet is easy, let’s get started.

The first thing we need to do is help you identify certain parts of the toilet you will be working with. There is of course the bowl and tank that will have to be bolted together, the flange bolts that connect the toilet to the flange on the floor, the wax seal that you will place on the bottom of the toilet that sits on the flange. You will also need a water supply flex line that goes from the toilet tank to the shut off valve, you might have to purchase your water supply line separately from the toilet and make sure the one you purchase is long enough to reach the 2 connections. Other than the seat and the tank lid that is about all the parts of a toilet you will need to worry about.

1) Removing a toilet is your first step in the process. If you have a shut off valve under your toilet on the water supply line shut it off, if not then you will have to go turn the water off at the water meter. If you don’t have a shut off valve you should consider installing one. You can purchase compression shut off valves that do not require any soldering, all you need is a couple of wrenches to tighten the valve to the pipe. Unless you have PEX flexible water lines then you will have to crimp your valve on. This article will assume you have a shut off valve already connected. Once you shut the water off flush the toilet to get excess water out and then you can disconnect the water supply line. You might need to put a small pail under the area that the water supply line is to catch any extra water that drips out.

2) Next thing to do is to disconnect the toilet from the floor. To do this, find the bolt on either side of the toilet at the floor. There is one bolt on each side. Loosen the bolts off. You can now lift the toilet off the floor and remove old toilet. Make sure not to set it down on your good floor as there will be some of the old wax seal stuck to the bottom of the toilet. Throw it outside or set it on newspaper or something like that.

3) Once your old toilet is out of the way you can clean the old wax seal off the floor flange. The floor flange is the round (usually black) thing attached to the floor that the old flange bolts were resting in. Get all of the old wax cleaned off and throw away the old flange bolts as well if you have new ones to use.

4) Put your new toilet together attaching the tank to the bowl using the tank bolts supplied with your toilet. There is also a rubber gasket that you need to place on the large plastic nut on the bottom of the tank. This large rubber gasket came with your toilet. Make sure to use the bolts that have a round head with rubber washers supplied to bolt the tank to bowl. Do not tighten too much or you will crack the tank. Snug up the bolts alternating from one bolt to the other until the tank is first touching the bowl. Stop tightening when you are ahead of the game. Better to not tighten enough and tighten after you have the water in the tank than crack your new toilet.

5) Now you can sit the flange bolts in the toilet flange. There are slots on both sides of the flange to slide the flat oval head of the flange bolt under. Set both bolts so they are approximately the same distance from the back wall. Now you can set the new wax seal on the toilet flange pressing down on it to flatten it out a bit. The wax will spread out and past the flange bolts holding them in place. The toilet directions say to put the wax seal on the bottom of the toilet bowl. It is actually harder to do that with the tank attached than it is to just place it on the toilet flange. Trust me.

6) Now it is time to set your toilet on the flange attaching it to the bolts. Carefully lift your toilet up and place it over the bolts looking through the holes on both sides of your toilet. Lowering the toilet so the bolts come through the holes and then pressing down on the bowl to squish the wax seal down sealing the bowl to the flange to prevent leaks. Square up the tank to the wall so everything looks lined up the way you want it and then tighten up your flange bolts. The bolts will be too long to place the caps on that came with your toilet so you will have to cut them down. Use a hack saw and take your time so you don’t scratch your bowl with the saw. Snap on your plastic caps.

7) Hook up your water supply line to the underside of the toilet tank and the shut off valve. Snug up each end nice and tight without trying to kill the nuts or you could crack something.

8) You are almost done installing your new toilet. Turn on the shut off valve slowly and watch for leaks on the supply line. Once your tank is filled with water (tanks are pre adjusted for how much water should be in them so you shouldn’t have to adjust anything) you can flush the toilet and check for leaks around the base of your toilet and between the toilet tank and toilet bowl. If you find a leak tighten the nuts in the spot. If you don’t find a leak then you have completed replacing a toilet.

You just saved the cost of replacing a toilet and it really wasn’t that hard was it? Now you have enough money saved to change another toilet. I just showed you how to change a toilet and you did it.