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How to Install a Toilet

Putting in the porcelain fixture itself is not a difficult task. Of course, this takes for granted that you have, picked out a toilet, gathered your tools, removed the old toilet, and made sure your plumbing is correct.Most toilets come in two pieces. With a one-piece toilet you can skip some of the steps described here with regard to putting the pieces together.

The first step in installing a toilet is to be sure that the water to the fixture is turned off. Next, turn over the bowl and rest it on a cloth or rug to avoid scratching the glazing on the porcelain. Apply the wax ring to the opening on the bottom of the bowl (called a horn, though I don't know who would want to blow on it). The rounded edge of the wax ring should face the bowl. Some wax rings come with a built in funnel. Many plumbers recommend this as a measure to prevent water from getting under the toilet should the wax seal fail. Press the ring against the bowl to make sure it sticks, which will be important when you turn the bowl over and place it over the flange.

The flange, at this point should be in place and two so-called Johnny-bolts should extend up from it. If a line were to be drawn between the bolts, it should be parallel with where the back of the toilet will finally rest. Now, put a bead of kitchen & bathroom caulk around the bottom of the bowl where it will come in contact with the floor. Turn over the bowl, without letting it touch the floor, and gently lower it so that the bolts come up through the holes provided and that the horn rests on top of the flange. This is a bit tricky for one person, but can be done with a bit of maneuvering.

Put washers and nuts on the bolts and tighten them down. Be careful not to over-tighten as this can crack the porcelain. If the screws extend so far that the caps cannot be put on, cut back the bolts with a hacksaw. Protect the porcelain with a rag during this operation. Okay, go ahead and put on the caps. You can fill them with plumber's putty first, in hopes that this may prevent future corrosion.

There should be plastic bolts pushed through rubber washers and through holes in the bottom of the tank. Line these up with the holes made ready to receive them on the bowl. Carefully lower the tank onto the bowl. The hole in the bottom of the tank should line up with the flush hole on the bowl. Tighten the screws alternately to be certain that the pressure on the gasket between the holes is even and there is no leakage when the water is turned on.

Now, make sure all of the hardware in the tank is appropriately configured. There are several kinds of flush control mechanisms, but most are fairly intuitive. Connect the supply valve to the tank, via the hose line. Now turn on the water and test the flush mechanism/valve. Look carefully for leaks, especially around the area where the supply enters the toilet and where the tank and bowl meet. Nuts may need further tightening. But like the nuts on the Johnny-bolts, be careful not to over-tighten.

Put on the lid. Try a couple test flushes. Put on the seat. And you are ready for a test drive!

Next Page: The Hardware of a Toilet



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