Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to Install a Toilet

We have a little Water War waging in our otherwise happy family. I bring up switching to a more water efficient toilet and Husband shoots me down on principal. In his mind water efficient toilets don’t work. If we had a toilet that flushed like one of those giant barrels at the water park that tip over and drench everyone with a bazillion gallons of water that might just satisfy him.




Before we go any further let’s do a little toilet water usage history lesson:

  • Before 1992, federal law mandated toilets to use 3.5 gallons of water per flush.

  • In 1994, the federal law lowered the mandate to 1.6 gallon per flush. This is a low flow toilet. This is the type of toilet we current have in our condo.

  • Duel flush toilets use 1.6 gallons to flush solid waste and .8 gallons to flush liquid waste. I considered replacing my toilet with a duel flush toilet until we rented a cabin with a not so efficient with either duel flush toilet. Husband wins Round One.

  • High efficiency toilets use less water per flush (1.3 gallons) than the current federal mandate.
  
So what did I do?

I installed a 1.28 gallon per flush Watersense rated toilet in our half bathroom.
  
 


Delta Faucet Company asked me if I would like to review their new Delta Corrente Toilet (yep, they make toilets now!) Three things made me agree to this review because I have three toilets that work OK and a Water War. I do not need to give extra ammo to my opponent in this game of toilet Stratego.

1. Their SmartFit system promises an easy install while making it possible to not overtighten the bolts and crack the toilet. This happened to a friend of mine. See the video review below for the rest of the story.

2. The Corrente uses less water than a high efficiency toilet.

3. Every time I get a little cynical and think a Delta Faucet product can’t be as high performance with less water as they say, the Delta Faucet product makes me eat crow - including this time.

I made a video review of the Delta Corrente Toilet guest starring Husband and his opinion of the new toilet.



Everything you need to install the Corrente toilet comes with it. I did this project while Husband ran errands (possibly shopping salvage for a water wasting toilet.) I’m 4’ll” and have muscles made out of macaroni. If I can do it, you can too!





How to Remove a Toilet



1. Turn the water off to the toilet. This is very important unless you want a bath during the project.

Please pardon the yellow cast due to the light bulbs in this room.

2. Empty the water from the toilet. Flush the toilet a few times to drain the water in the toilet tank. Delta includes gloves (Nice touch. Thank you Delta Faucet) and a sponge you can use to remove the rest of the water from the toilet.

 You use the kit bag to dispose of the old wax ring.

3. Use a wrench to remove the water supply line from the toilet and wall valve.

You might want to have a bucket and old towels on hand to 
deal with any extra water left in the pipe.

4. Remove the round bolt covers from the base of the toilet if applicable. Mine popped off. Some might screw on and off.

5. Remove the nuts on the floor bolts with the wrench and remove the toilet by lifting it up and off the floor bolts. Tip: If the nut rusts to the bolt, try using a few squirts of WD-40 to lubricate it enough to loosen and remove the floor bolts.

Caution: Step 5 is usually the time on a DIY TV show where they pull out a sledgehammer and smash the toilet to make dramatic TV. Please don’t. First, it is easy to get hurt from flying shards. Second, it will make my little green heart feel better if you donated the old toilet to a reuse center (mine went to the Habitat Restore), or put it on Freecycle, or Craigslist (end of PSA.)


6.To keep sewer gas from stinking up your bathroom while you work, dampen the rag that comes in the kit and stuff it into the sewer pipe. Your nose will thank you.

Did you know the U bend you see under your toilet is that way 
to keep sewer gas from coming into your house?

7. Use a scraper (one comes in the removal kit) to remove any remnants of the wax seal from the bottom of the old toilet and the sewer pipe. You may want to put the gloves back on because scraping the wax is messy. Place the old wax seal in the zippered bag that comes in the removal kit and dispose of it in the trash.

Scrape! Scrape!

Warning: You should not reuse a wax seal. Buy a new one if you reinstalling the same toilet. The Delta Corrente toilet comes with a wax seal and all the tools necessary to install their toilet.

How to Install a Delta Corrente Toilet


1. Place the new wax seal on the bottom of the toilet. The wax seal that comes with Corrente has a flange (the first time I’ve seen this) that goes toward the sewer pipe.


Just stick it.


2. Run a thin bead of silicone caulk around the outside of the toilet to help prevent leaks. If you use thick globs of caulk on the bottom of the toilet, you may have problems removing the toilet in the future because it is stuck to the floor. Guess how I know? Yes, I made the removal of the old toilet harder because of the way I reinstalled it. Don’t be me.




3. Remove the rag from the sewer pipe.

4. Place the toilet over the floor bolts making sure you line up the flange with the sewer pipe.

Porcelain is heavy. You might want a helper to help you 
flip the toilet over from Step 2 and place it.

5. Thread the washer and nut over the bolt and tighten them into place with the SmartFit tool Delta includes for you. Snap the plastic caps into place over the floor bolts.

It's a snap!

6. Place the toilet tank on the toilet base and bolt it into place with the SmartFit tool. This part made me wince a bit because this is where my friend Josh over tightened his toilet bolts and took an expected trip to the Emergency Room to remove shards of exploding toilet from his arm.

When it comes to plumbing I have the opposite problem – I don’t tightened the connectors tight enough (macaroni muscles remember?) I usually get water in the face from a leak when I turn the water back on. My goal was to try to get the bolts tight enough so it doesn’t leak but not too tight so I crack the toilet.

Thankfully and I really do mean that, I avoided both issues because of they preinstalled the  SmartFit connector on the toilet tank…

A side by side comparison of the bottom of the old and new toilet tanks.

…and because of the SmartFit tool that comes with Corrente toilet. The Smart Fit tool did was it was supposed to do. I don’t have a leaking toilet bowl. I don’t have over tightened bolts and I don't have any toilet installation scars like my friend. Whew!

7. Use the screwdriver attachment on the Smart Fit tool to attach the toilet seat bracket to the toilet.

 I never thought I'd flip for a toilet seat and yet this gizmo makes me flip for a toilet seat.
Watch my video review to see how easy this bracket makes removing the seat for cleaning.

8. Slide the toilet seat onto the bracket.

9. Use the SmartFit tool to attach the water supply line to the toilet and toilet water valve.

Delta has rigid supply lines if it is required in your area.

10. Attach the flapper chain to the toilet handle inside of the toilet tank.

Comparing the flushing mechanisms from my old and new toilets.

11. Flush your troubles away!

The new toilet. Have a seat!

Thank you Delta Corrente Toilet for helping me win the Toilet Bowl Battle in our Water War.


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Disclosure: Delta Faucet Company provided me with a Corrente toilet for this review. This did not affect my opinion or my husband’s other than to change our minds about their super high efficiency toilet so much that we want to replace the other toilets with it on our own dime.