Can I Install a New Toilet Myself?

14 August 2023


Are you tired of dealing with a leaky or outdated toilet? It may be time to consider installing a new one, and the good news is that you can do it yourself.  In this article, we guide you through the process of installing a new toilet step by step. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY-er or just starting out, with a little bit of knowledge and preparation, you’ll be able to tackle this project successfully.

What Do You Need To Do Before Installing A Toilet Yourself?

Before you take the plunge and install your own toilet, you need to do a couple of things. Firstly, you should assess your plumbing skills and knowledge before attempting to install a new toilet yourself. This is an important step to ensure that you have the necessary expertise for the job. Start by evaluating your comfort level with plumbing tasks. Have you tackled any similar projects in the past? Do you understand how toilets are installed and connected to the plumbing system? If not, it may be best to consult a professional plumber who can guide you through the process.

Secondly, you need to ensure you have the right tools on hand. Some key equipment you will need includes a utility knife, brass washers/rubber washers, wax seal, putty knives, adjustable wrenches, toilet bolts, a new toilet seat, a rubber gasket, tile caulk, joint pliers, etc. These are only some of the tools and equipment you will need, so before you jump into your plumbing project, make sure you have a fully stocked toolkit with all the necessary equipment.

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6 Steps To Install A Toilet

Remember that plumbing work can be challenging if you’re not familiar with it. If you encounter difficulties or are unsure about certain steps involved in installing your new toilet, it’s always advisable to seek professional assistance to avoid potential problems down the line.

1. Remove the Old Toilet

First, locate the water supply valve usually situated behind or near the toilet. Turn off the shutoff valve by turning it clockwise until it’s fully closed. This will stop water from flowing into the toilet. Next, remove any remaining water in the tank and bowl. You can do this by flushing the toilet and then using a sponge or towel to soak up any excess water.

Once that’s done, disconnect the supply line from the bottom of the tank by unscrewing it counterclockwise. Now it’s time to remove the toilet itself. Start by unscrewing and removing the bolts that secure it to the floor flange. These bolts are usually located on both sides of the toilet base. Once they’re removed, gently rock and lift up each side of the toilet until it comes loose from its position on top of the wax seal.

Carefully lift up and remove your old toilet from its position over the drain valve and sewer pipe. It might be heavy, so ask for assistance if needed. Be sure to cover or plug this opening with a rag or cap to prevent unpleasant odors or debris from escaping.

2. Prepare the Area for Installation

Start by removing any old caulk or residue from the toilet flanges on the bathroom floor. This will ensure a clean and secure fit for your new toilet. Once that’s done, place a plastic washer over each of the floor bolts that stick up from the flange. These washers will help create a watertight seal between the toilet and the floor. Apply a thin bead of silicone caulk around each flange to further prevent any potential leaks,

Now it’s time to position your new toilet over the flanges. Gently lower it onto the bolts and press down firmly to create a secure connection with the wax ring underneath. If needed, use toilet shims or metal washers to level out any unevenness in your bathroom floor before tightening down with nuts.

3. Install the New Toilet Bowl

To ensure a sturdy and secure connection, you’ll want to carefully align the tank bolts with the corresponding holes on the bowl. These bolts will help hold the tank in place once it’s attached. After aligning the bolts, gently lower the toilet bowl onto the wax ring. Make sure that the drain hole at the bottom of the bowl lines up perfectly with the closet flange on the floor. This ensures proper waste disposal and prevents any leaks from occurring.

Once you’ve lowered the toilet bowl onto the wax ring, apply gentle pressure to create a seal between them. Press down firmly but be careful not to apply too much force as this could damage the components. If you find that your toilet is wobbly or uneven, you can use plastic shims to stabilize it. Simply slide these shims under different areas of your toilet until it sits flush against your finished floor.

4. Attach the Tank and Connect the Water Supply

When attaching the tank and connecting the water supply, it’s essential to ensure a tight and secure connection for proper functionality. Place the tank on top of the toilet bowl, making sure it aligns with the bolts on the bowl’s base. Insert the bolts through the holes in the bottom of the tank and tighten them using a wrench.

Next, connect the water supply to the toilet tank. Locate the water valve near your toilet and ensure it is off before proceeding. Attach one end of a flexible water supply line to the bottom of the tank’s fill valve; this is usually located on one side of the tank. Use adjustable pliers to ensure a secure connection.

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5. Test for Leaks and Adjusting the Toilet

Once everything is connected, you’ll want to carefully inspect the toilet for any signs of leaks and make necessary adjustments. Start by checking around the base of the toilet to see if there are any water leaks. If you notice any water pooling or dampness, it could indicate a problem with the wax ring seal. In this case, you’ll need to remove the toilet and replace the wax ring before reinstalling it.

Next, check the bolt holes on both sides of the toilet base. Ensure that they’re tightly secured with nuts and washers. If they feel loose, use a wrench to tighten them until they’re snug. Loose bolt holes can cause water leaks and damage to your bathroom floor over time.

Test the flow of water into the tank by turning on the water supply valve. Watch closely for any leaks around the connections between the tank and bowl. Also, check for any drips or leaks from other areas such as where the supply line connects to the fill valve.

If you notice any leaks during your inspection or testing, make sure to address them promptly. Water damage can be costly and lead to more serious issues down the line.

6. Finishing Touches

After ensuring a leak-free installation, it’s time to seal the toilet base and add those final touches for a polished look. To seal the toilet base, apply a bead of caulk or silicone caulk around the perimeter where the base meets the floor. This creates a watertight seal and prevents any moisture from seeping underneath. Start by applying a thin line of caulk along one side of the base, then smooth it out with your finger or a caulking tool. Repeat this process for all sides of the toilet base until you have created an even and continuous seal.

After sealing the toilet base, take care of those finishing touches that will enhance both functionality and appearance. Attach the tank lid securely using its designated screws or clips provided with your new toilet. Make sure it fits snugly without any wobbling. Finally, give your new toilet a thorough cleaning before using it for maximum cleanliness.

Incorporating these steps will help you successfully install your new toilet yourself while ensuring that everything is sealed correctly and looks professional. By taking care of these finishing touches, you can enjoy a fully functional and aesthetically pleasing bathroom fixture that adds value and convenience to your home.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

One common issue that you might face is a leaky toilet base. This can happen if the toilet wax ring isn’t properly sealed or if there are plumbing issues. To fix this problem, start by checking the position of the toilet. Make sure it’s centered over the floor flange and sitting level on the ground. If it’s not, use adjustable pliers to adjust the bolts until it sits correctly. Then, remove the toilet and replace the wax ring with a new one. This should solve any leaks and ensure a proper seal.

Another common issue is slow leaks from the tank into the bowl. This can be caused by a faulty flush valve or flapper. To troubleshoot this problem, first, check if there are any visible cracks or damage to these components. If so, they’ll need to be replaced with new ones that match your toilet model. If everything looks fine, try adjusting the chain length that connects the flush lever to the flapper. Sometimes a chain that’s too short can prevent a proper seal and cause leaks. Make sure there’s enough slack for smooth operation but not too much that it gets tangled.

Lastly, be aware of potential floor damage due to an improperly installed toilet or leaking water over time. If you notice any soft spots around your toilet or see signs of water damage on your flooring, it’s important to address them promptly to prevent further issues down the line. Check for loose bolts holding down your toilet and tighten them if necessary. Consider using plastic flanges instead of metal ones as they’re less likely to corrode and cause future problems.

Plumbing Services

Although it is possible to install a toilet yourself, if you don’t have previous plumbing experience, it is highly advised to seek out professional help. With 20 years of expert plumbing experience, Plomberie Pro Drain is dedicated to ensuring your home’s plumbing system is working smoothly.

We offer residential, commercial, and industrial plumbing services, so whatever your needs are, we can help. We also have a 24/7 emergency plumbing service in case you experience serious issues that need to be fixed right away. From pipe deterioration testing to water heater repairs, we do it all!

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