Installing New Toto Drake

Users who are viewing this thread

Dachd

Member
Messages
49
Reaction score
3
Points
8
Location
Arkansas
I've done enough home improvement projects in prior homes to know that much of the time a simple project can end up to be much more than I've expected...

Our current home is around 13 years old, and is a single story built on a concrete slab, located in Northwest Arkansas.

Based on the home's age and foundation type, can any of you please tell me what hidden issues there might be with removing our old toilets and replacing them with the Toto Drake toilets I have waiting in our garage? Both bathrooms have ceramic tile floors.

Thanks everyone!
 

Cacher_Chick

Test, Don't Guess!
Messages
5,458
Reaction score
213
Points
63
Location
Land of Cheese
What problems could arise? LOL!
I pulled a toilet once that someone set with silicone caulking. When I lifted the bowl, all the mosaic floor tiles came up with it. That was fun.
Most problems you may run into are those caused by something that was not installed right in the first place.
Make sure the flange is in good shape and the toilet will not rock when set in place before you get the wax ring out of the box. Be careful not to overtighten bolts to the porcelain as it will crack. If the shut off valve at the wall is not as good as new, replace it as part of the job. Install a new water supply line to the tank too.
 

Dachd

Member
Messages
49
Reaction score
3
Points
8
Location
Arkansas
Thanks, Guys, I'll let you know how it goes, I can't wait to get rid of the Eljer toilets we have now!
 

WJcandee

Wise One
Messages
3,181
Reaction score
170
Points
63
Location
New York, NY
Let me toss in a few thoughts...

Jamie's instructions are excellent. Go ahead and pull out your reading glasses and also go over the ones Toto sends with the toilet. They are nicely-illustrated and really they are just another way of saying the same thing but maybe something sinks in that's helpful. IGNORE the part where they tell you to stick the wax ring to the bottom of the toilet. The way plumbers do it is better, which is to put the wax on the flange. When you put the bowl down on the wax, its base will be above the floor (this shows you have wax touching the bottom of the bowl, which is good). Don't "rock" it into place. Just "smush" it straight down onto the wax. Wax doesn't spring back, so best to eliminate the possibility of rocking gaps with a continuous smush.

While you're at HD picking up the plastic toilet shims, get a tube of Polyseamseal, which you want to use instead of regular silicone caulk to seal it to the floor; in most jurisdications, you seal all the way around. You can smooth the nice bead of polyseamseal with the caulk-smoothing tool for a professional look.

If you're at Lowe's, you might think of picking up this wax-free gasket from Korky. http://www.lowes.com/pd_586597-868-6000PK_0__?productId=50150240&Ntt=korky&pl=1&currentURL=?Ntt=korky&facetInfo= The benefit for a first-time installer is that if you want to pull the toilet back up to change or adjust something (i.e. adjust bolts to make it more parallel to the wall or something), you don't need to scrape off the wax and start over with new rings. Using the wax-free seal means that you don't need to worry so much about creating a wax gap from rocking on install. At HD, the sani-seal wax-free seal is popular.

When you take out your old toilet, it may be easier to carry out if you take off the tank and carry it out in two pieces. Using your plunger on the bowl is one good way to get it nice and empty to you don't drip toilet water across the house while carrying it out.

You can get closet bolts that break off at different heights so you don't have to hacksaw them so the caps fit. Or, instead of a hacksaw, a dremel tool is another good way to cut them. TIP: Cut the closet bolts and make sure the caps fit BEFORE you seal around the base, and then wipe the whole area with a moist paper towel; that way, you don't get metal shavings or Dremel dust in the caulk, which will happen if you cut the bolts right after you have caulked.

Good luck and let us know how it goes. If you find something funky or weird looking when you pull up the old toilet, let us know and we'll help.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,982
Reaction score
4,472
Points
113
Location
IL
I would mark the midline on the floor to let you center the front of the toilet base better. Use a level to level the toilet for shim placement. If you use a conventional wax ring, you want to use a method where you don't smush the wax and then later lift the toilet with shims. A waxless seal would seem to be easier for the unpracticed person to use to allow centering and leveling.
 

Dachd

Member
Messages
49
Reaction score
3
Points
8
Location
Arkansas
I have 2 each of: the oatey reinforced flanged reinforced wax ring (regular), and jumbo. Is using a jumbo as good as using 2 regular rings? I understand you cant stack 2 flanged...just wondering if I should pick up 2 regular unflanged for stacking on the regular flanged or if 1 jumbo flanged is as good as 1 regular flanged with a regular unflanged stacked on it...sorry for the rambling :)

I considered the waxless seals but decided against them due to mixed reviews...figured I'd stick with tried & true wax. I'm not completely green, these 2 installs will be my 3rd and 4th :) In our old house I had quite a difficult time due to the closet flanges being totally rusted away, but at least in that house they were easily accessible from under via the basement. Not so in this house with a slab foundation. No home improvement was simple in our former homes which were both over 50 years old. I'm hoping for better here.

One thing I did goof up on with a previous install years ago was I broke the tank on a drake, over-tightening the bolts...any advice on how to know how snug is snug-enough?

I will have to pick up some polyseamseal and some composite shims.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,982
Reaction score
4,472
Points
113
Location
IL
One thing I did goof up on with a previous install years ago was I broke the tank on a drake, over-tightening the bolts...any advice on how to know how snug is snug-enough?
There are 3 points of contact-- front left, front right, back center. While there is room to go, you can rock the tank to give enough clearance to slip a sheet of paper under the two front contact points (one at a time). Once you cannot get that sheet of paper in, stop tightening. I attached my tank after getting the base in place to make it easier to lift and set.

I used silicone grease on my rubber seals. Not needed, but I had the grease, and I wanted that added advantage of getting the rubber to seat better.
 

Dachd

Member
Messages
49
Reaction score
3
Points
8
Location
Arkansas
Hi Guys! I finally got our two Toto Drakes installed over the weekend, thanks to your help, the installs went really smoothly, thank you!

The only issue we are having now, is since the drakes were installed, we are now experiencing water hammer from both units once the tank fills and the fill valve turns off. Is there any way to dampen the fill valve so it turns off more gradually? OR, is there a different fill valve I can install in these that will prevent the water hammer?

I know, from what I've read that often water hammer is due to pipes not being properly secured, but our house is built on a slab, so no basement access, and opening up all the walls to secure pipes isn't really an option right now.

Any advice would be appreciated :)
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,982
Reaction score
4,472
Points
113
Location
IL
Yes, a water hammer arrestor is best. You may be able to partially close the shutoff to get some relief.

If you replace your shutoffs, go with 1/4 turn ball valves.
 

Dachd

Member
Messages
49
Reaction score
3
Points
8
Location
Arkansas
Yeah, forgot to mention that, already replaced the shutoffs along with the toilets (used 1/4 turn ball valves), also tried throttling with said valves, but that made for really loud, slow fills. I'll try the hammer arrestors I linked to above, will let you all know how it goes. Thanks!
 

Themp

Active Member
Messages
323
Reaction score
32
Points
28
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
Have you checked the water pressure to make sure it is reasonable? Meaning do you have a Pressure Reducing Valve(PRV) for the whole house and is it working? You will need a pressure gauge to connect to a spigot. And make sure over time that the pressure does not creep up with no one using any water in the house(another symptom that the PRV is failing).
 

Dachd

Member
Messages
49
Reaction score
3
Points
8
Location
Arkansas
Not sure if there's a PRV or not, but I do have a spigot guage, what should the max pressure be?
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,982
Reaction score
4,472
Points
113
Location
IL
80 PSI.

Do you have an expansion tank? If you have a checkvalve or a PRV, you need a working expansion tank.
 

Dachd

Member
Messages
49
Reaction score
3
Points
8
Location
Arkansas
Okay, we DO have a PRV right at our main shut off in our garage. I placed the gauge on our outdoor hose, and it's at 150psi!!!

2 questions:
1. Is it possible the outdoor spigot bypasses the PRV somehow? Wouldn't we have a ton of other problems if all our plumbing was at 150psi?

2. The tag on the PRV shows it's a Wilkins Model 70, with a range of 25-75psi...does this mean it's completely shot and needs a repair kit?


Thanks!
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,982
Reaction score
4,472
Points
113
Location
IL
Either the expansion tank is bad (most probable), or the PRV is bad, or both. Set the precharge on the new expansion tank to be a litle higher than the PRV regulation pressure.

Until this is fixed, you can set a slow dribble from a cold water faucet. If the PRV is good but the pressure tank is bad, that should keep the pressure at the regulation pressure.

External hose bib tapped off before the PRV would be unusual. More likely some water had been used since the water heater had run when you checked the pressure there. Alternatively, maybe there was a slow leak at the gauge connection which let the pressure drop.

See http://www.amtrol.com/media/documents/thermxtrol_asme/9017112_01_14_MC10007_Sizing_TXT.pdf for sizing info, in case yours was undersized.
 
Last edited:
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks