Did you know that replacing an old toilet with a newer, more efficient version could mean using 13,000 gallons less water each year? That statistic also translates to big savings on your water bill. Maybe you’re wondering if toilet installation is a home improvement that you should tackle yourself. Here’s how to do it and here’s when to know if it’s time to call in a professional plumber to help.
Measure first for trouble free toilet installation
One of the worst things that could happen when you’re attempting to install a new toilet yourself is to buy the wrong size toilet, lug it home, remove the old one, and get it into position before even realizing. It’s always wise to measure a couple of times to be sure you have the right dimensions before you head to the home goods store for toilet shopping. All toilets are not created equal and even a 2 inch difference in size could cause big headaches during installation. If in doubt, ask a pro to help you get the right measurements that will mean a successful installation.
Remove the old toilet
You will want to turn the water off to the toilet, or the bathroom, or to be extra safe, the house while you’re working on your toilet installation. Drain the remaining water from the toilet tank by holding down the flushing handle. Once it’s close to empty, you can begin working to remove the old toilet. The first step is to free the bolts that attach the toilet to the floor. These can be stubborn and time can cause corrosion to set it. Once the bolts are removed, you should be able to lift the toilet up out of position. Never drag the toilet out of place because you could destroy the base that will remain in place.
Set the new bowl
Once the old toilet is removed, you’ll see the two screws that come up from the floor to which you’ll attach the new toilet. You will need to align the two screws with the predrilled holes in the toilet, and gently lower the toilet onto the screws. Once the new bowl is in place, you can fasten the nuts to the bolts and assemble the remaining toilet pieces.
Toilet installation problems
You might run into problems along the way that could call for a professional hand. A few things you might encounter might be a major water leak caused by a broken connection despite your best efforts at the DIY installation. Problems encountered with the flange or wax ring that exists on the floor below where you place your toilet, or a toilet that rocks despite your best efforts to shore it up with a shim. A knowledgeable plumber can help with any of these scenarios.