How to install a toilet

Sun Oct 23, 2005 8:42 pm

Way Way off topic :? :? I am installing a toilet and tank I thought this was a no brainer ,but after I put the new wax ring in place how do I know how tight to make the nuts? I also have the same question for the tank it seems they don't tighten up and I am afraid of breaking the porcelyn :? ........ Years back while at a plumbing supply house I noticed a large pile of toilets all appearing new, so I asked whats up with that and the parts man told that the plumbers break alot of toilets by over tightening the mounts and then breaking the porcelyn..... So any helpful tips out here......

Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:22 pm


God knows I am no plumber, but I have plumbed many kitchens and bathrooms over the years on renovation jobs I would get contracted to do in my business. I also designed the plumbing system for my own home and plumbed it all myself. Passed the Plumbing inspection first shot. After doing the whole house only had one joint that needed to be resweated....

Anyways, I digress.

Secrect is -- check for level across the floor in at least 4 directions. Know where any problems may exist.

Install the wax ring as per instructions or your local code.

Then, gently set the bowl on top of the ring. Rock gently until you feel the bowl no longer moving.

Here is the real important part.

Go get a cup of coffee, an adult beverage or a diet pop --- whatever. Bring a book and your beverage back to the room with the bowl.

Place suitable sized hunk of plywood or other similar material on bowl. Lower rear end to plywood and park on bowl for say 15-20 minutes.

Tighten the nuts on the bolts hand tight. Then 1 turn with a crescent wrench. Should be perfect.

This is how I have done it for 30 years or so.... never broke a bowl this way.

Anyother way, poof gone instantly

Same with the tank, install according to directions. Hand tighten the bolts. Let is sit a bit so that the gaskets form. Then tighten carefully. Seated firmly snug will be plenty tight.

Hope this helps.

George, how did I do :?:

Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:38 pm

George, how did I do :?:

Pretty good, but you left out the part about the floors rarely being level and the kiln fired pottery rarely being straight. The bowl should be leveled both ways using tapered shims, and when the seat area is perfectly level the bowl/floor joint should be grouted to make a permanent shim.

The tank should then have the bolts drawn up carefully with a level laying on the top and a spacer hanging behind the tank to brace it against the wall. (For protection against thase who want to lean back while doing their daily reading)

I've installed a few hundred and never had one break... but I hope I never have to install another. :(

Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:11 pm


yup you are right... I forgots me a few steps... all that anesthetic I tell ya :!: :lol:

I was thinking about mentioning shimming if needed, and of course caulking well if on lino or grout if on tile etc... and one knows that nothing is ever level for longer than what... a moment.. :?: One forgets to include things that are a matter of routine. Sometimes when I am answering a question on a how to - I have to make it a point to KISS, and not miss any explanations, especially the taken for granted stuff...

However, I never thought about a spacer block at the back of the tank. Good idea for the install at least. Would that not in time produce a pressure crack? if left in place permanently?

Mon Oct 24, 2005 1:10 pm

We always set them with plaster of paris around the outside as well as the wax ring. The plaster made up for the uneven floor and bowl. That was when I worked for my uncle a plumber. 55 60 years ago. Plaster of paris makes you do it quickly too.


Mon Oct 24, 2005 9:52 pm

Whenever I installed a new toilet I would measure 12" from the drywall or 12 1/2" from the studs to center the drain flange. This would ensure that the toilet tank would just touch the wall after installation. In order to get a plumbing piping approved, we are required to have the county inspect it. The final test is put blanks in all the drain lines at the fixtures and to make certain there wasn't any leaks, I would have to go on the roof with a water hose and fill the entire drainage system with water. This put a certain amount of water head on the system. The inspector would then walk around and see if any of the joints, etc., were leaking. Right or wrong, I never used grout but instead I placed a silicone bead around the bottom of the bowl to keep the water out and to steady it. I just installed a bath for my brother a couple of weeks ago. I never thought that I would be working for my younger brother. :oops: He's tough to work for. Methinks I'm getting paid back for all those years of harassing him when we were younger. You know, it doesn't bother me, but somehow I think that it should? :cry: Larry

Double wide

Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:28 pm

What about a 25 year old double wide trailer with everyting uneven,and round?? Nothing is straight or level.
Maybe build a step up like some of the pubs have??

Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:12 pm

Actually Christian, that is a good idea. Many have them. In fact that is what I did upstairs to allow a second bathroom. Because of a boo boo I made when I first built the house, I had to increase the height by 5 inches..

Does work, and then it becomes level by shimming the sleepers.

Mon Oct 31, 2005 2:46 am

Here in Fr we don't seem to have drain testing at all. When I came over from UK I carefully kept all my drain plugs thinking we'd need them, but No, thank the Lord!
IN UK we had pressure test with air, everything was sealed off from the manhole outside the house, the air vent etc, everything was sealed up.
On one plug we had an adaptor that accepted a small air pump and on another a U shaped water guage, pump up the sealed system till you had about 10" of water pressure on the guage and wait. if after 1/2 hour the pressure is still at 10" you have passed. If it drops, you need to look for the leak!!!!! :oops:
It's amazing how careful this makes one when installing the underground pipework. In my very early days it was salt glazed pipes at about 1 yard each, laid in the trench on a level base of sand, jointing up with 1:1 cement and fine sand, benching in all the manholes and Cast iron up to the WC etc. Watch out if the bottom of your trench had soft spots, any movement after the caulk sets and the pipe cracks!
Nowadays it is plastic in 4m lengths laid down as rough as you like; either push joints or solvent weld. Eazy Peazy
Good luck with your WC with no broken off ears.