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Replacing a toilet? Any gotchyas before I tear into this today?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by wahoowad, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Had that same problem in my old place. Wondered why the toilet rocked after changing the toilet.
    A few years later I remodeled that bathroom, and installed laminate flooring over the entire floor. Small bathroom, maybe 4' x 5'. Had to get longer flange bolts, but his time it gave the toilet a flat surface o rest on.
    Problem solved LOL, after a few years and a remodel. I would suggest either shimming it or looking for a toilet that has a taller base flange, enough to accommodate the height of you drain flange. Plumbing sucks, toilets suck even more!

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  2. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    Jay's right, here. That's what I did, bought a double-thick one and pitched the one that came with the toilet. Reading this thread reminded me of how much of that day I've mercifully blocked out.
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Had lots of those days! ;-)
  4. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    No doubt plumbing is the worst. I've done everything from digging a ditch to mounting a weathervane and plumbing is hard, hard, hard. My first house was brass/lead.

    How high are we talking about? Enough to slip a tile underneath (probably the plumber's intention)? If that's the case I'd take a sawzall with a 10" blade and cut the pipe flush to the floor. Then get a new flange that mounts to inside of the 3" pipe and glue it in/attach it to the concrete floor. You'll lose a bit of diameter but the trap of your toilet is less than that regardless. For the love of GOD, make sure you line up the tank bolts before you glue it! After this you don't get a 2nd chance.
  5. pastera

    pastera Feeling the Heat

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    +1

    So much easier....
  6. bjkjoseph

    bjkjoseph Member

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    cant rely on the johnny bolts to hold down the toilet..set the bowl down on some plaster of paris...level....tighten bolts...wipe up with wet sponge...that bowl wont rock..and it will be level.
  7. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Yes, it sure looks like tiling the floor would solve my problem. That is the long term plan but want to remodel the entire bathroom (shower, vanity, floor) and just not ready for that. Toilet really needed it (was embarrassing) so was OK paying twice down the road for a second reset of the toilet. Sort of unsure what to do because fixing it for laminate may make it unusable if floor gets tiled.

    I saw this done on youtube. Would the grout adhere to both the tank and the vinyl floor such that it would stabilize the tank and prevent it from moving?
  8. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    If you have a flexible supply "hose" to the toilet it's a good idea to replace it. They tend to get a groove in the rubber fittings and leak when you install it on the new toilet. I use a sponge to get the water out of the toilet.
  9. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    Nope. Grout is not very flexible, nor is it likely to adhere to vinyl.

    If the previous installer left space for tiling, then cutting the flange is a recipe for trouble. How about just get $2 worth of tiles at the hardware store, shim up the bowl with those, then when you do the big project just throw them away.
  10. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Plumbing . . . perhaps the one thing I hate doing since it always seems as though I mess something up each and every time. In fact, when things go right the first time with no leaks, drips or other problems I've always worried that I simply am not seeing some major problem.
  11. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Often the joints are bad and you can't tell. A perfect-looking joint you cover up will turn green and fuzzy after 5 years, then slowly start dripping and inviting ants to borrow all along the floor joist and along the North sill of the house. Then, 10 years later you're ripping out the perfectly tiled floor in the sun room to get at major rot. When you finally get to the pipe you can't even recognize it, and your wife starts screaming as the ants try to escape the poison by fleeing into the house.

    Plumbing sucks.
  12. Bocefus78

    Bocefus78 Minister of Fire

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    change out the shut off valve and supply line. Use a braided metal line, not a pvc or vinyl one. The valves will get corroded and limed up and the one time you need to shut it off, it may break in your hand.
  13. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I really like those flexible braided SS hoses. I use them on everything.

    The bolts. Good chance the bolts will spin in the flange and you will need to cut them off to remove the old toilet. New ones are cheap.
  14. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    I got one of those "multi-tools" from Harbor Freight. Does a great job cutting those "johny" bolts off.
  15. cottonwoodsteve

    cottonwoodsteve Member

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    Using two wax rings will cause problems. They may squeeze down and in too much and restrick the outlet area.
    Use correct spacers from H.D. They are about 3/8 inch thick and you just stack them to correct for thick tile etc.
    New toilets don't flush for S*&^. So pick one that you can modify the float and stand pipe. Just another inch or two of water in tank can make all the difference in the world.

    Get new shut off valve and feed hose.

    Seal with RTV all around base to keep crud from collecting. RTV doesn't stick that well so you can remove toilet it later without damaging flooring.
    Leave a a few inch gap in sealent in back where you can't see it. Then if there is a wax ring or other problem you will see a leak with water coming out.
    If you seal it totally any leak is not visible and your floor rots.

    To move the old one. HF furniture dolly. The flat wood type. Cover dolly with plastic trash bag pressed down a little in center of dolly.
    This makes a cart with a water catch basin to wheel the old one through the house and out the door.

    A lot of things you can open the box and try out in the store, I don't think toilets are one of them:>)
  16. RKS130

    RKS130 Minister of Fire

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    Good luck. I hate plumbing almost as much as plastering. I think the high points have been covered but defintely replace the cutoff valve and suppply line while you are at it.
  17. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Today I totally ****ed it up. I was removing the old flange that is glued to the top of the 3" pipe that goes down into my concrete slab floor. I was cutting notches in it, then using a screwdriver to pop off sections. Saw several youtube videos on how to do it. It was working fine. Then I broke the 3" pipe. I split it. Godamn I hate the easy plumbing jobs.
  18. RKS130

    RKS130 Minister of Fire

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    My sympathies. How far back do you have to go to replace the 3" line?
  19. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    The crack ran about 10" down the side of the pipe, at a slight angle. I do not know how far down the pipe goes. My house is built on a slab and I don't know how thick it is or what is underneath. I have a feeling I'm going to find out.
  20. RKS130

    RKS130 Minister of Fire

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    If you can access it, try cutting just below the crack and using a union. At least you won't have to get involved with the slab.

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