Toto install: Rank-beginner q's

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aliris19

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Thank you, Terry-and-son, for this thread: https://terrylove.com/forums/index....e-toilet-written-by-jamie-love.743/#post-3449

I've decided to try to install a toilet on my own, knowing zero about any of this. Your advice is inspirational. I gather: don't crack the porcelain, don't crank down too hard, line everything up, move slowly.

At least, that's my take-home message.

But I have some probably-idiotic questions all the same I'm hoping someone will indulge please??

¿Is there much difference between toilet install kits? Will whatever-they-have-on-the-shelf-at-Home Depot do? Because looking at the picture on Terry's thread linked above, and looking at the random stuff they sell at supply.com, which is where I found the 1gpf Drake II the cheapest, these seem different products. Terry's photo, for example, shows brass bolts; the supply.com set is plastic? Are these for a different application?

Terry shows "Johni Ring Plus" for the gasket; is that brand particularly good? They don't show it online. Does the brand matter?

I gather an issue is wax vs non-wax gasket. Which is easiest/safest for a newbie? I'm replacing a 12"rough-in Kohler with this Toto on a slab with tile flooring. I'm guessing wax is with care, safer?

In Seattle you caulk half-way, in Phoenix all-the-way-around…is that a humid/arid difference? What to do in a watered desert like coastal Southern California please?

Is it always recommended to change the water line even if there's nothing obviously wrong with the old?

Anything else to suggest to a beginner please?

Thanks!

--> Terry, Thank you for this forum. I learned a lot about a lot of things at GardenWeb, but getting DIY advice from a commercial decorating website feels, well, I'm grateful for your site ….
 

Terry

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Boxes and part labels change over time. There are several brands you can buy, and they should mainly be good.
I prefer wax over most waxless seals, as I have the option to "work" the sizing a bit better. The bees make the wax, I'm not so concerned with brand name.

Modern wax rings are made of vegetable and petroleum waxes, with polyurethane additives.

You can use plastic or brass bolts. I've used both.
Whenever I install or reset a bowl, I change out the supply line. These things can age, and it's always good to go new on them. Same with wax. Wax is always replaced.
Caulking helps to prevent water from going under the bowl near the front, and also sticks it to the floor better. We leave out the caulk at the back on wood floors. If you are on concrete and tile, you may as well caulk the whole thing. I don't use Silicone. It's way to hard to pull a bowl if needed.
I like the water based clear caulking.
 
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wjcandee

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As a former newbie...

(1) The "bolts" you are talking about are the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor, not the bolts attaching the tank to the bowl. All Totos will include the tank to bowl bolts, and most will have the bolts already inserted into the tank and the first nut attached. We (and most plumbers) recommend a "double-nut" installation where you insert the bolt and rubber washer in the tank and secure it nice-and-tight with a metal washer and nut; you then put that assembly on the bowl, and tighten the tank to the bowl with a second nut and washer on the same bolt. Toto usually has done the first step, and gives you the nuts and washers to do the rest. What they may not (or may) do is give you the bolts to secure the toilet to the flange. We prefer double-nut there -- attach the special T-head bolt to the flange with a washer and nut, then secure the bowl with a second washer and nut. Often, the sets you are provided just have a single nut and a plastic thingy to hold the bolt up straight instead of a second nut. That works fine for most people. Or you can buy two more nuts at the hardware store.

(2) Cut the toilet-to-flange bolt to a height that allows you to put on the little white cap that hides it, and don't forget to put the BASE for the little white cap on before tightening the toilet to the flange. When you cut that bolt, with a hacksaw or Dremel tool, do it BEFORE you caulk the thing, otherwise you get shavings from cutting the bolt in the nice bead of caulk you just laid.

(3) I used wax on my first several toilet installs, but recently I have used the Sani-Seal and the Korky waxless seal, simply because I wasn't sure that I might not have to pull the bowl back up, or move it around a little, on those installs. You can do that with them. With wax, you smush it into place ONCE, and then you leave it in place and don't move it at all, because you can get gaps in the wax that will let sewer gasses through. The wax is there to hold back smelly sewer gas as its primary mission; it's a myth that it's there to prevent "leaks". Splashes maybe, leaks not really. But either one works fine if you follow the directions.

(4) When you do the supply line, use a tape measure to figure out the straight-line distance, and get the next larger size. The manufacturers make them in like 2-4" increments, but most places only stock the most popular sizes. You can make a lot of too-long sizes work by looping the line somewhat; it doesn't have to be completely-straight, and likely will require a bit of a bend at some point in its run because your new toilet is unlikely to line up the fill valve attachment directly above the valve on the wall.

(5) If you have any challenges while you are installing, just come back here and ask. We are happy to try to help.

(6) Feel free to post a photo of your final install, and tell us how you like your 1G. This kind of feedback is fun for us (or at least for me).
 

aliris19

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Thank you Terry and wjcandee!

I will certainly be back for help or fishing for compliments.

Actually, I keep bees and have a ton of beeswax ...wonder if I could use that? Just kidding (about using their wax, not having bees).

¿If sewer gas is the real bugaboo, that suggests removing the old toilet before its replacement is handy is a mistake. But I need to confirm the seal is on top of the tile and I won't be needing two seals. However, it sounds like shopping for accessories first isn't wise, particularly given the high risk of cracked porcelain arriving via mail. Thus the order of operations would have to be 1. receive new toilet 2. remove old toilet 3. zoom to hardware store for missing nuts/line/seal 4. install and hope for the best.

¿Totos do not have a different wax seal requirement? They are all essentially the same? (I was told once they are different - hard to see how; size? diameter?)

¿The threads on a plastic bolt are strong enough? I would worry they would wear down and strip with time compared with brass...
 
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wjcandee

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¿If sewer gas is the real bugaboo, that suggests removing the old toilet before its replacement is handy is a mistake.

Most people shove a rag in the hole while they go to the hardware store. That will do the trick in almost all cases.

¿Totos do not have a different wax seal requirement? They are all essentially the same? (I was told once they are different - hard to see how; size? diameter?)

Certain Toto skirted toilets (of which the 1G is not one) use something called the Unifit adapter. You use a wax ring to attach the adapter to the flange (and drill some holes in the floor to anchor the adapter), then "plug" the toilet into the adapter. My Drakes (and your Drake II 1G) don't use this method. It is most helpful if you have a 10" or 14" rough-in, as it lets you use the same porcelain toilet on those rough-ins and fits it perfectly to the space. It also allows for a skirted appearance with vertical sides all the way to the floor. We have a Carlyle II that uses this method.

I forgot to mention that Terry has long recommended Polyseamseal to "caulk" the toilet to the floor, as it cleans up easily and pulls up cleanly years later. The brand was bought by Locktite, which has slowly eliminated the name; it's now called "Locktite 2-in-1 Tub and Tile Bathroom Caulk". The 2-in-1 is the Polyseamseal -- because it seals and adheres. The Bathroom part is the formulation that has an antifungal ingredient in it. So a little tube of that is what you want if you want the Polyseamseal that you see recommended on here.
 
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flapper

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I gather an issue is wax vs non-wax gasket. Which is easiest/safest for a newbie? I'm replacing a 12"rough-in Kohler with this Toto on a slab with tile flooring. I'm guessing wax is with care, safer?
I think Waxless is much better for a newbie because you can move the toilet around and replace the toilet (lift and put back) on them; wax rings are one-time-use so once you put the toilet on, it has to squish right on it and if you lift the toilet off, you have to replace the ring.
 

jadnashua

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Most of the wax rings are beeswax I think, not a paraffin extract.
 

aliris19

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I hope some of you helpful sorts are out there now...

So here's where I'm at. Punchline is: the metal part that goes to the bottom foundation, the slab, is totally rusted to dust on my floor… now what? I'll post more in a moment, just hoping I might find a helpful person online right now so I'll post in sections.
 

aliris19

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IMG_6231.JPG
So I ordered this toilet online. Tank arrived beautifully but bowl was in smithereens. Supply.com graciously arranged a replacement which arrived today. I'd already acquired the parts from Home Despot before reading responses here and may not have bought the good sealant described by wj above, …if I need to return to the store I may look for the superior product mentioned, but this is the least of my problems I fear.

The problem is what to do with the rusted flange?? It appears to have once been attached, somehow, to the slab. The tile is laid on top of the slab and it looks like there was a double ring put there to raise the level for the old toilet to sit on the tile (which is thick). The problem is there's nothing for the bolts to set into, the flange is all rusted away.

I hope I'm using correct terminology.

How does that flange get secured if you're installing from "scratch"? Is it just glued strongly to the slab??

Should I try to scrape away all this rusted flange and somehow secure a new one to the foundation?

Here's a picture:
 
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Terry

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I install a repair ring in that case, using a rotohammer into concrete. You do want bolts there to secure the bowl.
Whether you use wax or waxless, it doesn't change the install much. I don't worry too much about where you are buying the supplies. It's all pretty standard stuff. And yes, buying porcelain online has it's issues. Sort of like "Ice cream doesn't bounce." Neither does porcelain.
 

aliris19

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I install a repair ring in that case, using a rotohammer into concrete. You do want bolts there to secure the bowl.
Whether you use wax or waxless, it doesn't change the install much. I don't worry too much about where you are buying the supplies. It's all pretty standard stuff. And yes, buying porcelain online has it's issues. Sort of like "Ice cream doesn't bounce." Neither does porcelain.
Thanks, Terry.

So I guess I need to clear away all that rust-dust and old wax, see whether there's clearance for a repair-ring between the tile and cement, if not somehow chip away the tile and then secure a repair ring, what, to the concrete slab somehow? Yowch…. I don't have the foggiest idea how to do that?!

First though, clear all that away better…
 

aliris19

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Is this helpful? I pulled away what I realize is the old wax ring which was attached to a rubber gasket that set in the sewage pipe. It looks like one side of the flange *might* hold a bolt but not the other:
IMG_6232.JPG
 
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Reach4

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Is this helpful? I pulled away what I realize is the old wax ring which was attached to a rubber gasket that set in the sewage pipe. It looks like one side of the flange *might* hold a bolt but not the other:
View attachment 34702
  1. What is the inside diameter of that round white piece that looks like a pipe?
  2. How far does that white piece/pipe go straight down before sloping?
 

aliris19

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This is what I bought and the local hardware store guy says screwing into concrete is just like wood, bore a hole smaller than the threads and let them bite the concrete. I've got just 4 screws to your 6 but I'll trust him it's good-enough...?
IMG_6233.JPG
  1. What is the inside diameter of that round white piece that looks like a pipe?
  2. How far does that white piece/pipe go straight down before sloping?
Reach, the inside of that white pipe, which appears perhaps to be PVC? is 3 7/8" I believe. And I think the black plastic pipe inside starts sloping away at 7.5"
 
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aliris19

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This is what I bought and the local hardware store guy says screwing into concrete is just like wood, bore a hole smaller than the threads and let them bite the concrete. I've got just 4 screws to your 6 but I'll trust him it's good-enough...?View attachment 34703

Reach, the inside of that white pipe, which appears perhaps to be PVC? is 3 7/8" I believe. And I think the black plastic pipe inside starts sloping away at 7.5"
...actually, it *starts* sloping in less distance. When I stick a tape measure into the middle of the pipe and measure back up to the top that's the measurement, but I believe the inside slope at the pipe's edge would have to start its slope earlier. Is that precise measurement important? I can use a string to try to get it.
 

Reach4

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I was wondering if the 3 inch PushTite flange would fit. It is made to go into 3 inch PVC, which is just a hair over 3 inch ID.
 

aliris19

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Does that mean you wouldn't have to drill into concrete, the pushtite flange would be strong enough to hold the toilet? How, wouldn't the toilet still be able to rock back and forth?
 
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