Exploring Emergency Plumbing Services

2 Ways To Prevent Leaks During A Toilet Installation

by April Rivera

If your toilet is loose, wobbly, cracked, or leaky, then it might be time to purchase yourself a new one.  When you buy a toilet, you have the option of installing it yourself or hiring an experienced plumber to secure it for you.  Installing the toilet yourself can save you some money, but you need to make sure you do everything correctly.  Correct installation means making sure leaks are not present.  Preventing leaks during installation is easy, but if you are unsure about what to do, read through the information below.

Secure the Closet Flange Properly

When you purchase a new toilet, you will need to set this toilet over a device called a closet flange.  This flange sits over the soil or waste pipe allowing toilet wastes to flow out of your home.  The flange snaps in place over the pipe and a collar then attaches to the floor.  Unfortunately, your toilet can leak wastes through the floor of your bathroom if the flange and waste pipe do not stay connected.  Adhesives can help with this and prevent a disastrous mess in your basement or crawlspace.

To make sure the flange and waste pipe are secured properly, purchase some PVC primer and a container of PVC cement. Place a small amount of PVC primer around the outside of the waste pipe and the inside of the flange.  This material helps to soften the PVC plastic so the solvent or cement can create a chemical reaction that fuses the PVC materials together.  Apply PVC cement a minute or two after spreading the primer.  Twist the flange over the waste pipe afterwards and make sure the collar sits flush against the floor.

Once the closet flange is secured, make sure to purchase a wax ring to sit just inside the collar that attaches to your floor.  To work properly, the inside edge of the ring should line up with the inside edge of the PVC flange.

Tighten the Rubber Tank Washer

Toilets commonly leak water in the area between the tank and the bowl where the two parts meet.  A large rubber washer sits around the tank outlet to keep water from leaking when water is forced into the bowl when you flush.  However, it is easy to secure the tank in a crooked manner, and leaks will then form.  This happens because there are two bolts inside the toilet tank needing to be tightened.  When you tighten the bolts, the rubber washer compresses slightly and creates a seal.  If one bolt is tightened more than the other though, then water can start to force its way out around the washer where the loose bolt sits.  Also, a loose bolt will mean the toilet tank will tilt at an awkward angle to one side.  This can cause water to shift to the left or right, and the toilet bowl may not fill properly.

To make sure both toilet tank bolts are secured correctly, ask a friend to assist you.  Set the rubber washer over the tank outlet and sit the two connection bolts inside the toilet tank.  Ask your friend to sit the tank over the bowl where it connects, and prompt them to keep the tank straight and still.  Use your finger to twist the two nuts in place where the bolts protrude from underneath the toilet bowl.  Then hand tighten both bolts.

After you hand tighten, use a socket wrench to further tighten the bolts.  Start on the right side of the tank and count as you make five revolutions of the bolt.  Do the same on the left side of the tank.  Move back and forth tightening until the nuts can no longer move and make sure they are tightened the same number of turns.

To learn more about how to properly install your plumbing fixtures so as to prevent future leaks, contact a plumber in your area.