I did it, y’all! I replaced the busted toilet from my first DIY fail. If you recall, the simple goal of replacing a rough toilet seat turned into this:
This bathroom is in the kids’ room and Oliver’s not potty trained (yet!) so a busted toilet wasn’t a big deal, but I finally mustered up the courage and the YouTube viewing hours to finally install the new toilet. And… it pretty much took one episode of Sesame Street so that gives you a rough degree of difficulty.
There are PLENTY of resources online for this, but I’ll take you through the play-by-play just in case you want a different run through. I think the trickiest part is probably removing the old toilet just because you’re dealing with the ick factor of water, etc. still left behind in the old toilet. Because our broken toilet had been sitting there for months (literally) it was dry as a bone with the exception of a splattering of clean water still left in the tank itself.
STEP 1: Turn off the water and flush the toilet to drain the water from the bowl if it isn’t already dried out. Unhook the water line from beneath the tank and be ready for the excess water in the tank to drain out… I just used a towel to catch this water, but you could also hold a small bucket underneath.
STEP 2: Remove the tank. There should be two screws right underneath the tank that you can unscrew with a wrench. The tank will lift right off.
STEP 3: Remove the caps covering the anchor bolts on the base of the toilet. Mine pried right off with a screw driver.
STEP 4: Unscrew the toilet from the floor with a wrench. Again, I was lucky that my bolts weren’t stuck or rusty so they came right off.
STEP 5: Straddle the toilet, and rock it back and forth to loosen it from the wax seal holding it onto the floor. Tip it over and place it on the floor.
STEP 6: With a pallet knife, scrape off the wax ring from the flange on the floor.
STEP 7 (maybe): Here’s a little 411 about the flange. This is the ring on the floor that supports the toilet and ultimately connects it to your waste pipe. A toilet is typically secured to the flange which is secured to the floor. Occasionally a toilet is actually bolted to the floor and the flange is more for a good seal. As you can see, ours was a little rusty, but it hadn’t been leaking before and I wasn’t sure I could tackle the Pandora’s box that might open by trying to replace the flange itself. I googled it and sometimes it can be simple, but in other situations it involves sub floor and removing tile and that was longer than Sesame Street. So I kept the flange in tact… if yours is particularly rusty or damaged, you may have to replace it.
STEP 8: Your new toilet will come with a wax ring. Flip the new toilet bowl over and place the wax ring on the drainage hole. Carefully place the toilet onto the flange with the two anchor screws coming up through the holes on the base of the toilet base. Gently apply weight to the toilet to set it down onto the wax ring and seal itself around the flange. (I was lazy and just used the anchor bolts from the old toilet, but your new toilet will come with 2 new ones that you can insert onto your flange and screw in as well.) Screw in your anchor bolts a little bit at a time going back and forth between the two in order to create a tight uniform seal. Careful not to tighten too much as you don’t want to crack your shiny new toilet!
STEP 9: Attach the bolt caps… Sometimes these screw in at the same time as the anchor bolts, sometimes not… read the directions of your particular toilet.
STEP 10: Screw on the tank. Again, the new toilet will come with a rubber ring that will create the seal between the toilet tank and the toilet bowl. Place the ring and carefully rest the tank onto this ring. Tighten the screws that hold the tank onto the rim of the toilet bowl.
STEP 11: Replace the water supply line. My 12″ one feels a little long so I’ll see if the next smaller 9″ one is a better fit. Turn your water back on to fill the tank. Give ‘er a whirl and flush to see if there are any leaks or drips.
STEP 12: Screw on the toilet seat and wonder how in the hell you cracked an actual toilet trying to remove a toilet seat.
I got our toilet at Home Depot for maybe $150 and it’s been stellar for the first 12 hours. Eleanor is now sleeping in the room with Oliver so in theory she can use it when she wakes up in the morning, but she’s so used to coming into our room that this new addition might not get much use! Regardless, check that off my home DIY list!
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