Thursday, July 10, 2008

** Romancing The Throne **

I replaced the toilet... I know a lot of you were worried. So here is what I learned and here are my tips of what to do, and more of what NOT to do...

1) Be prepared for anything. Shop at Home Depot like everything was on clearance, and return anything un-used later on. REMEMBER, this is plumbing stuff, so you can probably return COMPLETELY UN-USED MATERIALS... don't plan on returning something you tried to use and then decided it wasn't necessary. But here's what I recommend having on hand, that you might not think you'll use:

Plaster of Paris
Sand Grout (the color you need to match the bathroom tiles OR the toilet itself)
Filler tubes
Wax seals (Normal sized AND the larger sized) with hardware sets
Johnny Bolt sets
Disposable paint buckets
Wooden Stirrers
Caulk and appropriate caulking gun
Plumbers Putty
Paper towels
Toilet Flange levelers or spacers

*** Now, I bought triple the amount of stuff that I figured I would need, and it was a good thing too... I used a lot if when I encountered my problems... But hopefully, if you ever have to do this, it'll be easier.

2) Pulling out the old toilet... WHERE DID ALL THIS WATER COME FROM, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY... WHY IS IT ALL OVER MY FLOOR????? Obviously, some thing you learn by trial and error. I learned that you really want to try and rid the tank and bowl of as much water as possible BEFORE loosening or un-doing any sort of bolts or nuts connected to the damned thing. Common sense right? Well, be forewarned that a lot of toilet systems these days have water hidden in these fill valves and once you open it up.... WHEW... it just keep on comin'!

Have buckets ready, have towels nearby, but hopefully, if you play with things inside the tank, and try to shop-vac out, or siphon/sponge up as much water out as possible, you wont need to do much clean up. After this is done, and you unscrew the flange nuts, the bowl pretty much just comes up and out.

3) CLEAN UP!!!!!! I learned the hard way that trying to place a new bowl back onto what lay there before it is just a bad idea. Had I taken the time and energy when I first saw what was there to clean, it would have saved me HOURS WASTED AND OODLES OF SUPPLIES & MONEY!!! Get the job site back down to "scratch" as you can. Rid yourself of the previous wax, caulk, misaligned/bent flanges, etc, etc... If I could explain to you what the plumber before me did to get the previous bowl down, I would... all I know is that it's a wonder that bowl stayed where it was. This is where I learned the had way that I needed flange levelers/spacers.

4) OVER-DO EVERY STEP!!!! No joke. You need to use a new flange bolt (Johnny Bolt) - USE THE BIGGEST ONE THEY HAVE... not the longest... the biggest head. It matters so you avoid it popping out later. If you have to use a spacer/leveler, caulk it in place... AND CAULK IT WELL!!! Put nylon washers on the bolt sticking up to try and keep it from spinning.... THINK OF EVERYTHING AHEAD OF TIME - (think - how will this affect me later in, 1, 2, or possibly 7 steps later on). Put your wax ring on, and seat the toilet. Don't rock it, just sit on it and try and settle it in easily.

5) Put everything on those flange bolts that's going to make your life easiest. A little plastic tab thing to cover the entire hole.... then a washer, then the nut. Snug on one side, then the other. Little tighter on the first side, then the other. Keep going back and forth until its tight, but not too tight (DON'T BREAK THE DAMN BOWL!!!). If the bowl isn't rocking when you give it a good shake... it's tight enough.

6) DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN ANYTHING!!!! And I mean it. I over tightened the filler tube.. it leaked. I replaced it, got it finger tight, it leaked. I tightened it up just a tad more... problem solved. SIMPLE.

and that's all I got for ya... Its really simple as long as you over-think the steps... really. Patience is more the key to these steps than anything else. Now, I have one more toilet to replace. That's tomorrow. Now I know what to do, it should really take 1/10th of the time and 1/100th of the effort... I'm actually excited about doing it.


1 comment:

John said...

I got plaster of Berlin instead. It's slightly better in that every now and then it just takes over the plaster of Paris.