How to install a water saving toilet in your home
You might not realize it, but the biggest water user in the home is the toilet. The average household uses 185 to 290 gallons of water per day, with 60 percent of a familyís water bill going down the drain in the toilet and shower. 20 percent in laundry and the remaining 20 percent in the kitchen.
Older toilets are particularly big water guzzlers, using 3 or more gallon per flush, or more than 20 gallons per person per day. New toilets can reduce that consumption significantly. Depending on the number of users in a home; a dual-flush toilet can save thousands of gallons of water while reducing the load on sewers and septic systems.
Installing a new water-saving toilet isnít very difficult for do-it-your-selfers. Youíll need a putty knife, a small wrench, a socket set. A flathead screwdriver, and a level.
Remove exiting toilet
Turn off and discount the water supply. Dismount floor blots and remove the old toilet. Remove the old wax ring with a putty knife.
Place the new wax ring on the toilet
Invert the toilet on the floor cushion it to prevent any damage. Install the new wax ring over the horn on the bottom of the toilet, with the tapered end of the ring facing up. Apply a thin bead of tub and tile sealant around the toilet base.
Set the toilet on the flange
Set the floor bolts into the flange channel. Turn 90 degrees, and slide into place 6 inches apart and parallel to the wall. Place the toilet over the flange, with the bolts projecting through the mounting holes of the toilet. Press down firmly, while gently twisting and rocking the toilet.
Mount the nuts
Hand-tighten the washers and nuts onto the bolts. Alternately tighten the nuts with a wench until they are snug. Donít over tighten the nuts, or the base may become damaged.
Install bolt caps
Cut screws to size before installing caps if needed. Install caps on washer and nuts.
Connect the water supply
Install the braided hose onto the threads of the tank fill valve. Connect the braided hose and the water supply pipe with the angle supply valve. If needed, wrap plumberís tape around the threads of the connections to avoid leakage.
Set tank cover
Carefully position the tank cover on the tank. Be sure to position the push button and the flush valve so they are facing in the right direction. The large push button should be in line with the yellow button on the flush valve, and the small one in line with the blue button.
Install the toilet seat
Put the toilet seat on the toilet. Put bolts through the holes of the toilet seat and the bowl. Tighten the nuts on the bolts with a screwdriver until they are snug. Snap the caps covering the screws on the seat into place.
Turn on the water supply to the toilet. Flush the tank and check for leakage. Carefully tighten any connections that are leaking.
Repairing a running toilet
If the sound of running water continues after you have adjusted the float ball and the lift wire, check the overflow pipe. If water is flowing into the overflow pipe, adjust the ballcock to lower the water level in the tank. If the problem persists, repair or replace the ballcock. If water is not flowing into the overflow pipe, check the tank ball or flapper for wear, and replace it, if necessary. If the problem persists, replace the flush valve.
Adjusting and cleaning a flush valve
If adjusting the float ball and lift wires isnít enough to stop a running toilet, and the water level isnít so high that water flows into the overflow pipe, the next step is to clean and adjust the flush valve. First, remove the tank ball or flapper, and clean the flush valve opening, using emery cloth for a brass valve, or a non-scratch abrasive pad for plastic. Next, loosen the guide arm and reposition the tank ball, so itís directly over the flush valve. Inspect the tank ball or flapper, and replace it if itís worn. Install the tank ball or flapper, adjusting so itís directly over the flush valve opening.
Replacing a flush valve
First, shut off the water and disconnect the ball cock. Detach the tank from the bowl by loosening the tank mounting bolts, and turn the tank upside down. Remove the old flush valve by unscrewing the spud nut with a spud wrench or channel type pliers. Slide the cone washer onto the tailpiece of the new flush valve, with the beveled side of the cone washer facing the end of the tailpiece. Insert the flush valve into the tank opening so that the overflow pipe faces the ball cock. Screw the spud nut onto the tailpiece of the flush valve, and tighten with a spud wrench or channel type pliers. Place the spud washer over the tailpiece, and reinstall the tank.