Bathrooms can be unpleasant to deal with. Especially when you’re getting new flooring put in and need to take the toilet up. Definitely a load of crap.
I haven’t had to pull a toilet up in years (thankfully). When I did, it was in our old house which sat on a concrete slab–all one level. I had a horrible time getting that toilet to sit correctly on the new wax ring–another load of crap. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, toilets sit on a big wax ring which creates a seal between the toilet and the sewer pipe.) Here’s a picture of what I mean:
The typical problem that occurs with this potentially nasty and disgusting task is having the bolts that the toilet sits on move around on you as you try to set the toilet down on top of the new wax ring. They look like this:
These bolts slide down into the top of the flange (the top of the sewer pipe) and sit loosely so that you can place the wax ring on top of the flange and in-between the bolts. This sounds simple enough but quickly becomes a rather large load of crap when the bolts start moving around as you place the toilet on the wax ring.
Now in some circles, the wax ring is supposed to be pushed onto the bottom of the toilet before attempting to set it down on top of the flange. This effort can be met with equal frustration and a few choice words since the wax ring can have a tendency to pop off the bottom of the toilet. This results in a circle of wax on your floor as the wax ring plops down in a heap of smashed-in edges and flattened sides. To add to the predicament, attempting to install the toilet this way also means that you can’t see how the new wax ring sets itself into the flange. This provides for an even bigger load of crap as it means that you are sure to have water leaking out of the bottom of the toilet from a poorly set wax ring.
So what to do?? Well, a good friend of mine helped me with a couple of rotted sub-floor issues I encountered when getting new flooring in the house recently. One of them was around the upstairs toilet that I needed to pull. His Dad was a plumber and I found out something that you may find very helpful the next time you need to pull and reinstall a toilet.
Here is all you need to do in order to get a toilet seated correctly on a new wax ring: Instead of setting the floor bolts loosely into the top of the flange, find an extra washer and nut that will fit the floor bolts. Set the floor bolts in place and put a washer and a nut on top of each bolt. TIghten them down so that the bolts don’t move. Then set the new wax ring in its correct position, centered on the top of the flange between the bolts. Bring the toilet down onto the wax ring, keeping the bolts centered in the bolt holes on the base of the toilet. Gently rock the toilet slightly from side to side as you press down on the toilet bowl. Then sit down on top of the toilet, slightly moving your weight from side to side. Secure the toilet to the floor with the original washers and nuts and you’re all set.
Hopefully this little bit of news will help make removing and reinstalling a toilet the lightest load of crap it can be for you!