DIY Toilet Replacement

DIY toilet replacement  is a very simple project, and it shouldn’t intimidate anyone with a couple of wrenches and about 2 hours of time.  (Oh, and you’ll need to be strong enough to lift a toilet and carry it to where it needs to go.)

I won’t go into too much detail since the process of removing and installing a toilet is so well-documented on the web.  This video gets a link because it covers the whole process in just 3 minutes, while every other video I found wanted me to commit 9 whole minutes of my life to this crap.

Removing the Existing Toilet

Here is our old toilet, guilty of many crimes including incontinence (it leaks water at its base), and creating intolerable levels of drama when attempting to flush loads of “a respectable size”.

DIY toilet replacement

Toilet Removal Steps

Removing a toilet is easy and fun.

  1. Turn off the water supply at the wall
  2. Flush it to get rid of the water in the bowl and the tank
  3. Disconnect water supply from toilet
  4. Use a big towel to mop out any water remaining in the bowl
  5. Remove the caps at its base to expose the screws/nuts holding it to the floor
  6. Unscrew the nuts
  7. Lift toilet!  You’re free now, toilet! (We put ours on a towel in the next room)

Overreact to Wax Ring

EWWW GROSS!  (I don’t think poo actually touches the ring, but it’s fun to pretend.)

Our wax ring was basically a wax pancake.  We’re lucky our toilet leaks weren’t floods:

DIY toilet replacement

Remove Wax Ring

…with your bare hands!  Just kidding, use a tool for god’s sake.

Here I am scraping off all the old wax, which is the bestest most awesome job in the entire world:

DIY toilet replacement

Yes, I have cat pajamas, look upon me and despair.

New Wax Ring

Here’s the plump new wax ring ready to receive new potty.  Lift the potty and place it squarely on the ring.  Rock the toilet a bit and sit on it to squish it down.

DIY toilet replacement

Filling the New Toilet with Water

Connect the water supply to the toilet.  This might be a good time to switch to a braided water supply if your old one is a metal pipe.

Turn the water supply on and let the tank fill.  You can adjust the water level inside the tank by adjusting how high the float is allowed to go (your toilet may vary).

DIY toilet replacement

The Maiden Flush

Am I the only person who half-expects the toilet to explode on the first flush?  :D

All done – a new toilet, installed all by ourselves!  DIY toilet replacement is fun for the whole family.

DIY toilet replacement

Can you believe Home Depot charges $120 to replace a toilet? Wow.

Disposing of the Old Toilet

Good luck.

Our local garbage pickup here won’t take them. The annual recycling event takes them, but … we missed it by a weekend.  Your options are basically: smash it inside a garbage bag, haul it to the dump yourself, pay someone to take it.

Update: This particular toilet lived in our computer room for two months until we paid the guys who hauled out the deck debris to take the toilet, too.  They were surprisingly happy to take the toilet off our hands.

2 Min Fix: Tighten a Toilet to the Floor!

Ah, just when I thought we were done with plumbing for the year… a wild leaky toilet appears!

While cleaning the computer room’s bathroom, I noticed a thin border of water between the toilet’s base and the floor.  My first reaction, of course, was to completely flip out and assume the worst – new toilet, new floor, new bathroom?!?!?

(Yes, the toilet seat doesn’t center on the bowl.  Yes, I would love to re-do this entire bathroom.)

BUT… the solution was simple: the toilet just needed to be tightened to the floor!  A gap nearly 1/4” in height existed between potty and floor.

Let’s get this potty on the floor.  (Let the potty hit the floor… let the potty hit the floor… )

Step 1: Pop the caps off both of the bolts that hold the potty to the floor. This deserves its own step thanks to the thick seal of crusty crap holding the caps on, which I chiseled off with a screwdriver. I knew I was in trouble the second I saw this : the nut wasn’t even on the bolt anymore, it was trapped loose inside the cap.

Step 2: Put the nut on the bolt if it isn’t already, and use a wrench (or a wrench-like tool) to turn the nut clockwise, bringing it down towards the toilet. Apply this to both sides equally – do a few turns on the left, then a few on the right, then go back to the left, etc.

Step 3: Put the caps back on. In this case, the toilet is now too low for the caps and I’ll have to come back and saw the bolts to be a little shorter, but you might be luckier than I was.  Either way, this is a minor problem compared with a water leak.

Step 4: Check for leaks 24-48 hours later I like to use some TP for this step, as it’ll absorb anything it finds.

Phew, leak fixed!

Total cost: $0.
Time spent: a couple minutes
Crises averted? YES

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