At one point in your life, you may need to replace and upgrade your toilet suite. Whether your old toilet is malfunctioning or you are looking to upgrade your style, replacing a toilet can be achieved if you have the right tools and follow the correct steps.
Can I replace my toilet myself?
You can install a toilet yourself if you follow correct instructions and have the necessary tools ready to go. More and more homeowners are going down the DIY route and are gaining confidence with the help of streaming services such as Youtube and home improvement stores like Bunnings.
So to answer the question, essentially yes you can replace your own toilet bowl and cistern. But you must make sure you are prepared and capable to carry out this task.
A toilet system has many parts and components that work together. Closet Flange, closet elbow, close bolts, different flushing mechanisms and wax ring are just some terms and materials that you should become familiar with.
It comes in two installation parts. A toilet tank (cistern) and bowl. And each of these has its own respective components.
Supplies and tools you will need
- Rubber gloves
- Sponge and bucket
- Supply tube
- Utility Knife
- Putty Knife
- Adjustable wrench
- Pliers. channel type and regular
- Toilet seat
- Bolts for the toilet seat
- Penetrating oil
- Wax ring with and without flange
- Teflon tape
These supplies are needed when carrying out a new toilet installation. Without the proper tools and equipment, your toilet replacement will be harder and the finished results will be of a low standard.
Some things to take into consideration when you install a new toilet are to make sure your measurements are correct. Purchasing a system that fits perfectly in the space that you are working with is important. You want to leave enough room for other fittings such as bath, shower, vanity and toilet roll holders.
Allowing at least 1 hour to complete this project. This includes time to dismantle, remove and install the new cistern.
Another thing to factor in when replacing a toilet is the shape and style. They come in two shapes, oval (long) or round. The common rule of thumb is buying a bowl that is the same shape as your old toilet.
How do you replace toilet plumbing?
The first step is to remove the existing toilet. You will need to shut off the water supply to the toilet at the stop valve. This should be done before dethatching anything.
Empty the tank of any water by flushing it repeatedly until there is no more water left inside. Clean up residue with your sponge or towel. Once this is done, you can start unthreading the coupling nut by using a channel type of pliers. This is the nut that connects the toilet to its water supply.
Removing the cistern. Grip each tank bolt with a pair of pliers or box wrench. Remove the bolts and discard the old cistern. To make the step easier, stabilise the bolts with a slotted screwdriver.
If the nuts are hard to remove they may be stuck. You can try applying oil to loosen and if that doesn't work, simply cut them off using your hacksaw.
To remove the toilet bowl from the floor, start by prying off bolt covers with a screwdriver. You can choose to use either a socket wrench or channel or locking pliers for this. Remember to use penetrating oil if the bolts and nuts feel stuck. Or cut them with the hacksaw.
Remove the bowl and discard. You should then be able to see your existing toilet drain opening. This leads to your sewer pipe. You will need to remove the old wax ring.
Remember to use gloves with this process as it can be quite messy. With your putty knife, scrape the old wax from the flange ring and discard it immediately as it can be quite sticky and dirty from toilet waste.
When all of the wax is gone and the area is clean, stuff the rag into the drain opening to block sewer odours from escaping.
It is time to insert the new wax seal. Take the rag out of the drain opening and place new floor bolts into the flange holes at 9 and 3 o'clock.
Rotate each bolt at a 1/4 turn to ensure the heads won't be withdrawn. Secure the bolts with washers or plastic keepers. The next step is to put the nuts onto the bolts to secure the floor flange. Position your new wax ring onto the flange.
The next step is to install your new bowl. Carefully lower and position the bowl over the floor ring. Two things to remember when doing this. One is to ensure the bolts enter the holes on the stool and press the toilet seat securely in the ring. Use a level to ensure it is laid down straight.
This followed by threading the washers and toilet nuts on the floor bolts. Tighten the nuts but don't overtighten. Cap the bolts and remove any exposed sections with a saw.
You can apply tile caulk around the base of the toilet and leave some space in the back area to allow water to escape and check for leaks.
Once your bowl is securely in place, it is time to attach your water tank. If your cistern does not come with a preinstalled fill and flush valves, you will need to install them yourself. This can be done through the cistern opening.
Tighten the spud on the side of the flush valve. You will have two parts to work with. The spud nut and the spud washer. Next, insert the washer over the nut.
You can then adjust the toilet fill valve if need be.
Use your hands for this next step. Position the toilet valve inside the toilet tank. Then you push the valve shank in a downwards motion from the bottom while tightening the locknut.
Once you lay the tank on its backside, you can then thread a rubber washer on each bolt. Come from within the water tank. You then thread a brass washer from below followed by threading a hex nut on the bolt.
Finish off by tightening at a 1/4 turn.
Carefully lift the cistern and position it over the toilet bowl. Place the spud washer over the opening and insert the bolts through the bolt holes.
This is then followed by putting rubber washers on every bolt first, then brass washers. The next step is placing a wing nut on the bolts and tighten to finish.
Once you have stabilised the tank and it is level and straight, it is time to tighten the toilet nuts only. Use a slotted screwdriver from the inside to keep the bolts secure. Over tightening the nuts could crack the porcelain so be careful when completing this step.
This is time to fix the main water supply to the tank. You need to connect the new tubing to the fill valve with the coupling nut.
Turn on the water supply line and check for any leaks and puddles.
To finish off your new bathroom project, it is time to install your new seat. Brass or plastic bolts should have come with the toilet seat already so you can thread those through the holes on the rim.
Attach the nuts to the bolts and tighten firmly to secure them in place.
And Viola! You can now successfully install a toilet into your bathroom. Flush your toilet to make sure it is all in working order. There a many DIY plumbing projects you can take on. Many people wonder Do you need a plumber to replace a toilet? And the answer depends on how confident you are in your abilities.
It is always ideal to have the experience of a licensed plumber undertaking any bathroom plumbing tasks. You can have peace of mind that the works will be completed correctly.
If you are thinking of installing a new toilet, call the expert team at Fixed Today.
Replacing Your Toilet
That completes our guide to replacing your toilet by yourself. Remember, you can always employ a professional to help you if need be as proper installation can save you thousands in the long run.