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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Do I Replace a Toilet?

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

New toilet Toilet replacement in an Arlington home.

How To Replace a Toilet

Replacing a toilet is a job you can do yourself, but it's important to take your time and follow the instructions carefully. The process will vary depending on the type of toilet you're replacing and where it's located, but here are some general steps that can help guide you:

1. Cut the old toilet off at the flange.

Remove the old toilet by cutting it off at the flange. Use a hacksaw to cut through any pipe that's in the way, and use a wrench to remove any bolts holding it in place. If you're not sure where these are located, feel free to ask for help from an experienced plumber or handyman.

Once you've removed all of your old fixtures and fittings, use a putty knife or similar tool (like an old credit card or butter knife) to scrape away old wax ring residue from under where your new flange will be installed. This step is important because it ensures that your new wax ring adheres properly when you install it later on in this process. If there was still some leftover residual wax around where you need something sturdy like a "toilet flange," then no amount of glue would keep up with those forces acting against them. Also, don't forget about clearing out any other debris clogging up your drains so nothing gets stuck there later.

Here are some steps to consider to make the job a little bit easier:

  • Turn off the water supply to your toilet. This will be either a faucet handle or a shutoff valve.
  • Remove the toilet seat and lid by unscrewing them from the bowl.
  • Unscrew or loosen any bolts holding the toilet to the floor, then lift it out of place so you can work on it easily. You can use a wrench for this task if necessary, but make sure not to force anything—the old stuff may crumble apart in your hands!
  • Be careful not to break any pipes underneath when scraping off the wax seal. Also, clean up any debris from behind where you removed everything else (you might have gotten some dust there).

2. Clean and prep the area.

The second step after removing the toilet is to clean the area. Once you have cleaned out all of that old gunk, it’s time to prep for the installation of your new toilet. This involves buying a new wax seal, as well as getting some bolts that will hold down your new fixture securely enough so it doesn’t fall over or leak after installation.

3. Install a new wax ring and wax seal.

Clean the wax ring. While you may be tempted to install your toilet with a dirty wax seal, this can damage the new toilet and cause leaks. Before installing, clean the seal with soapy water or rubbing alcohol and then allow it to dry completely before moving on to step two.

Make sure your wax ring is the right size for your toilet flange (the base of your old toilet). You can find out what size flange you need by looking at small numbers or letters stamped into the metal ring on top of your old toilet’s base—or simply by measuring it yourself using a ruler. If there aren’t any markings on yours, measure its width (from side-to-side) instead since all standard American toilets have an 8-inch flange in diameter (this includes both round and elongated bowls).

Once you know what size wax seal will work best for your home improvement project, make sure that it's properly seated inside its corresponding groove around each end of where that piece meets up against other parts underneath. This ensures airtightness which prevents any leakages from occurring.

4. Bolt down the new toilet.

There are many different types of bolts. Be sure to use the right ones for your toilet and your installation. If you're unsure about what type to use, consult with a professional or read the instruction booklet that came with your new toilet. Once you've done that, make sure the bolts are tight and level.

Once all of this is complete, check for leaks around any joints where water might be allowed in (such as between a wall and the floor). Leaks can occur during installation, so always double-check before sealing up anything!

If the toilet is too far gone, you may want to consider replacing the entire floor or wall. In cases like this, you will also want to make sure your Arlington home doesn’t show signs of mold damage. This is where SERVPRO of Arlington/Jacksonville East can help. Give us a call for water damage restoration and mold remediation!

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