A couple newbie install quesions

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by ncage1974, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. ncage1974

    ncage1974 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Illinois
    Hi everyone, i had a previous thread where you all helped in my new toilet decision and i ended up ordering a TOTO CST454CEFG-01 Drake II 2-Piece Toilet. I read most of the reviews on the toilet. One bad review was from someone that received the toilet and apparently there was a crack in the p-trap. According to the review this is common and you can't see the crack from visual inspection. I would guess even if it was one you bought locally and installed by a plumber then the plumber wouldn't even know there was a crack if there was one. Course the only advantage of getting one locally would be returns.

    So my first question is if there is any way to test the toilet to ensure there isn't any cracks like this that wont' be visible other than possible a sewer gas leak that you would probably smell sometime later?

    2nd question is i bought Non-wax type toilet seal: http://www.fernco.com/plumbing/wax-free-toilet-seal There is a 3, 4, or 5 in seal. Apparently the 3 is the most common. Is there anyway to ensure i bought the correct seal other than pulling up the toilet? My house was built in the mid 90s. As far as i can tell its a pretty standard toilet (12 in from the wall).

    thanks...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2013
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,062
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    ?

    The answer to both questions is NO. If I, or a lot of other plumbers, had installed the toilet pipe, it would be 4", but there are also many who use 3".
  3. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,941
    Location:
    New York, NY
    No easy way to test the toilet other than visual inspection. I think you are better off assuming that everything is and will be fine, and if you're the exception, then deal with it then. I haven't had one with an interior crack yet.

    As to the Fernco waxless seal, I guess the odds are that your closet bend is 3" at the flange, as that's the most common, but you really won't know until you get the old toilet off. (Our old house, which has just marvelous plumbing, has 4", and the better plumbers/contractors on here would go with 4", but 3" is probably more typical today.) But I wouldn't sweat it. If you're near any kind of hardware store, just be sure to begin your installation when the hardware store is open. That way, when (and on a first-time job the word is probably "when" rather than "if") you find you need something that you don't have, you just pop down there for what you need. If you've got a 4" closet bend, you go get yourself a wax ring (without an internal flange or horn, preferably but not critically), drop it on top of your flange, and mount the toilet on the wax. The Fernco is fine, but the fact is I have seven toilets on wax rings, some for -- I kid you not -- 40+ years, with no problem. That said, after 20 years I needed to change the wax ring on my toilet in my apartment in the city. Wax works just fine.

    Some other things you might find that you need to get while installing your toilet: a new supply hose, Polyseamseal (to caulk around the base), plastic window shims (to keep it from rocking) (Terry uses the ones in the window department at HD -- you score it and snap it off), a set of decent closet bolts (Toto generally doesn't include them, but maybe your Fernco will), etc.

    Rule Number One: Thoroughly read the instructions from Toto. If you end up using wax, ignore the part about putting the wax ring on the bottom of the bowl. It goes on the floor and you put the toilet down on the wax. Otherwise, read the instructions. Read them again. Harmonize them with Jamie's instructions above. Then begin, step by step.

    When you saw (or Dremel) the extra length of the closet bolts off, do so before you caulk the base. That way, you won't get metal shavings in your nice new caulk.

    And if you get in a jam, throw up a post and we'll help.

    Good luck!!
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,387
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    As you have learned, on-line purchases are a bit chancy. Toto toilets rarely have a defect when they leave the factory. All that aside, on-line merchants will make the deal right, but it can take some time. You can save some bucks, but sometimes there is a trade off. Can't add much to the installation advice already given.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,316
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I quit shipping toilets ten years ago for that reason.
    20% of the shipments were broken in some way.
    Good luck.

    You could be in the 80% on non-broken.

    Just so you know, I've never seen that problem with the stuff I'm selling locally. I sold five of the Drake II's last week.
    Selling locally, it's less than 1% on returns.

    How about supporting your neighbors? Supporting local business helps you too.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
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