Removing and Replacing Your Old Toilet Part 3 of 3: Finishing Your Low-flow Toilet Installation

Jim Mallery

Editor's Note: This is article 2 of a how-to guide on replacing a toilet

Once you have mounted the toilet bowl to the floor, finishing the process is all downstream. Here are six steps to attaching the tank and getting your first flush.

  1. If your toilet is a one-piece unit, you are done. But most are not--the tank is separate from the bowl. To begin mounting the tank, place the large rubber washer (spud) to the tank outlet. Put the attaching bolts, with the supplied washers (rubber and brass) through the mounting holes so that the heads of the bolts are inside the tank. (The heads probably fit a large Phillips screwdriver.) Set the tank on the bowl with the bolts extending through the holes into the bowl. From the underside, screw on the nut, with the appropriate washer. Hand-tighten each side until the nuts begin to snug up. Put a level on the top of the tank and tighten each side equally, keeping the tank level. You may need a deep socket wrench or a faucet wrench to reach the nuts. To prevent cracking the tank, do not over-tighten.
  2. You may need to attach the handle to the tank. The nut that attaches the handle usually is reverse-threaded. Attach the chain from the flapper to the handle.
  3. Install the toilet seat. Usually, they are held with wing nuts on the underside and tightened by hand. You might need to tighten them pretty snug to keep the seat from shifting.
  4. The filler valve and float system may already be attached to the tank. If not, it is simply attached with a rubber washer and plastic nut.
  5. Attach the supply line--the hose from the wall to the tank--to the threaded end of the valve/float system at the bottom of the tank. Attach the other end to the turn-off valve at the wall. A flexible line, rather than a rigid one that has to be precisely bent, it easiest to use.
  6. Turn on the water and let the tank fill. Flush several times to make sure there are no leaks. Sit and relax.

Now, what to do with your old toilet now that you've got a meaner, greener model? Recycle, of course. It makes a great planter.


About the Author

Jim Mallery, a semi-retired journalist and onetime registered contractor, has extensive experience remodeling, repairing, and rebuilding homes.

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