"a practical hands-on
   guide to bathroom


Toilet Installation

Carefully open the toilet tank and bowl box and be certain they are not damaged - including any chips or blemishes.  Do not install them with blemishes and then expect the seller to compensate or replace the materials.

Due to the powerful performance of the newer toilets that have a 3" flush valve, they are not specified for back-to-back installations unless the drain lines incorporate a double combination wye/ 1/8 bend and not a double sanitary tee cross.  If you are in doubt about the drain line, consult a plumber or contractor for advice.

The most common toilets installed have a 12" rough-in dimension (the distance between the finished wall to the center of the floor flange).

First, be certain that the center of the floor flange is at least 12" from the rear of the finished wall.  Then install the new tee bolts - we recommend the 5/16" x 2 1/4"; however, sometimes the 3 1/2" length is better if there are floor issues.  Avoid the cheaper 1/4" bolts and never use steel bolts.  Set the new bowl upside down on a soft clean surface and set the wax ring firmly in place around the outlet of the bowl.  We suggest wax rings with a plastic horn which
help make for a good seal; however, depending on the elevation of the flange in relation to the floor, two seals may be needed.  Make certain the seals are room temperature.  Seals that are very cold or very hot (from sitting in a truck) will not seal properly.

Carefully lower the bowl and align the holes in the water closet floor flange.  Make certain that you lower the bowl carefully and level with a carpenter level.  If the bowl tilts or is rocking, insert shims under the base of the bowl until you have attained the proper level and position.  Do not use wood shims since they can deteriorate.  Plumbing shops or hardware stores normally have small plastic shims with ridges which work best. 

Cut off the excess bolt length with a hack saw or bolt cutter and snap in place the plastic bolt cap.  Do not overtighten the closet nuts as you may crack the base of the toilet bowl (you may retighten the toilet nuts after the toilet has been used for a week or so).

When installing the tank, place the large sponge washer over the threaded flush valve outlet on the bottom of the tank.  Lower the tank onto the bowl and apply the small rubber cone washers to the tank bolts and insert the tank bolts through the tank and bowl.  Apply the metal washer and hex huts and tighten to anchor the tank.  Tighten the nuts alternating
right to left until tank is mounted to bowl.  Overtightening the tank bolts will cause the tank to crack.

Finally, connect the water supply to the toilet fill valve (be certain the fill valve is properly tightened in the tank as they sometimes become loose in shipment).  Make certain the supply line is copper or braided stainless steel.  Other types of supply lines may burst under high water pressure. Tighten the supply lines enough to prevent water dripping, but do not overtighten and split the supply nuts.

Open the shut-off valve and slowly check for leaks.  Next adjust the fill valve to the water level line inside the water tank and test by flushing the toilet several times to ensure proper operation.  Note that when working in older buildings, water lines may have to be cleared to allow for any mineral deposits to come out before connecting to the fill valve. 

Finally, install the seat per manufacturers instructions.  Many different types of seats are available for special needs individuals.

Do not use in-tank bowl cleaners since a high concentration of chlorine or chlorine related products can seriously damage the fittings in the tank.  This damage can cause leakage and property damage.  For regular cleaning do the following:  use a mild dish detergent, use a soft cloth to clean your tank and outside of bowl and use a soft-bristled plastic brush to clean inside the toilet bowl.  Do NOT use the following:  cleansers/polishing powders/detergents that include gritty or coarse particles, chemical thinner, benzine, acid or alkaline detergent, metal scrub brushes or steel wool.