How tight to make the nuts?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by macd, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. macd

    macd New Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Thanks for the great site. I installed my new Toto Drake today.

    The intstructions (and tips here and other places) warn of overtightening the bolts.

    For the bowl to closet flange connection, I cranked down on the bolts until the washers started to bend. Unfortunately, the stool is still sitting on top of the wax ring, instead of touching the floor. There is space between the bottom of the stool and the floor almost all the way around the toilet. Do I need somehow force the stool down more? Any tips?

    For the tank to bowl connection, the tank still wiggles back and forth. From an earlier thread, I gather I need to tighen those up some more until the tank does not have play.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Normally, if you tighten the tank bolts carefully a little and evenly from side to side, you can get the tank to nearly touch the bowl. Getting it tight might risk it breaking down the road, but if you just get it to kiss, should be okay. You don't want it to be under any porcelain to porcelain pressure, though.

    As to the bowl to the have a different problem. The bowl should be able to be pushed down flat on the floor without even tightening the nuts. Did you test fit the bowl to the floor? My guess is that either you used a wax ring with a horn, or the flange is too high, or both.
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  4. Mike Swearingen

    Mike Swearingen New Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Independent Real Estate Broker
    On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC
    Try sitting or standing with all of your weight on the rim of the toilet and carefully rock it from side to side and back to back to get it to seat solidly on the floor, and then snug the bolts down.
    If you can't do that, you've got another problem...flange too high, etc.
  5. macd

    macd New Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    I did use a wax gasket with a plastic horn.
    That's what the guy at the plumbing store gave me.
    When I stand on the bowl, I can make it rock back and forth, but no improvement.
    Do I need to pull up the toilet, scrape off the wax, and start again?
  6. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Sep 25, 2006
    Commercial Plumber
    Phoenix, AZ
    Remove the WC and wax ring...
    Re-set the WC without a ring and see if it sits flat on the floor...(shift it around a bit to make sure the discharge opening is right over the waste pipe...)
    If yes, get a regular wax ring without any foam or horn etc... (just wax) and re-set the WC...
    If no, check to see the flange is resting on the finished floor and that, if it is a cast iron lead and oakum flange, no riser pipe is protruding from the flange.
    If the flange seems OK and the WC still won't sit right, check the bottom of the WC for debris or flaws in the casting which are preventing it from seating right....
    If the flange is more than 1/4" above the finished floor, you iwll have to lower it somehow... (if this is the case, take a pic and come back and tell us...)
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 13, 2007
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    The flange bolts should not be used to pull the toilet down into place. They are just to hold it in place. Follow the advice already given about making sure the toilet sets solidly on the floor without the wax ring. It really should not take superhuman effort to set the toilet on the wax ring, so you have another problem to look into.
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    Agree with Gary, your flange is keeping the toilet from sitting flat on the floor.

    You need to remove the old flange and install a new flange so it sits right on the floor or you can get a marble slab install it on the floor around the flange and then install the toilet on it.

    Be sure to check the toilet, that the base that sits on the floor is flat and not distorted.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    The wax ring would never be stiff enough to keep the toilet off the floor unless it was frozen solid. Your flange is too high, or the plastic horn insert is interferring with the toilet's installation.
  10. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Sep 3, 2007
    Webster Ma.
    You should also plus you should install the plastic disks on the toilet before the metal ones. This will keep the metal ones from getting pulled into the hole. I believe most people like to install the bowl to the floor before the tank get installed. It is a little easer to do.
    You need to work the tighten the tank down a little each side or it will not tighten down right and will leak.
  11. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Apr 18, 2005
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    Mike's advice is what I always practice religiously.

    I never use horned rings unless it is a slab on grade application with questionable flange. All the rest is a huge risk with the horn accidentally squeezing out to the bottom of the toilet with no wax to make up a seal.

    Snug those nuts up whereby the one hand to turn them gives a somewhat good resistance. Try rocking that toilet after that point and if there is any movement to the toilet, wood shim the spots that allows movement and caulk/mortar the base to finalize the install.
  12. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    Set the bowl over the flange without wax first to determine if the flange is too high, or if the floor is out of level.

    If it sets on the floor, then pull the bowl back up and put down some wax.
    If the "wax with horn" holds the bowl up, then you can't use that type.

    If you are bending washers, you have them way too tight.
  13. macd

    macd New Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    As everyone guessed here, it was plastic horn that was causing the problem. I pulled the toilet up and started over with a plain wax ring.
    The stool is now steady on the floor.
    One more turn of the nuts holding the tank to the bowl made the tank steady.

    Thanks to all!
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