View Full Version : Toilet replacement – possible problems?

09-23-2005, 11:26 AM
Hi Everybody,

Next weekend I will be replacing old toilet (I have no idea how old it is,
drain made of cast pipes) with new one.
What kind of unexpected problems I may step in and how to be
prepeared for them?
What parts (other then new flex supply tube, wax ring(s) and
mounting screws) and special tools I may need?
Should I consider “fluidmaster” instead of that wax ring?

Thank you,

- Vitaliy

09-23-2005, 04:35 PM
First I would also consider replaceing the shut off valve if possible while you're at it.

Until you remove the old toilet, you won't know for sure what's up. Common problems could be cracked, broken, or rusted flange. And the height of the flange with respect to the finish floor will determine if you need a regular wax ring, extra thick, Fluidmaste waxless, or flange extensions.

Post back with more questions after you get the toilet off.

09-23-2005, 06:22 PM
Hi Jimbo,

Why I should replace the shutoff valve if it works fine (well, it looks ugly)?
I did not think about replacing it and it might be a very good idea but it
will not be easy in my case – connection to the supply pipe is buried inside
the wall/tiles (I have no idea how it was installed this way?). It is a tiny
possibility this one is threaded (all others are soldered). Is it any easy way
to figure out type of connection if you cannot see it?
I don’t want to create a condition which will require removing tiles around.

What I am trying to avoid – is a trip to HD in a middle of toilet replacement.
Is it any universal approach which may cover most of expected scenarios?

Thank you,

- Vitaliy

09-23-2005, 07:37 PM
Golden Rule of DIY:

An easy project will require 2 trips to Home Depot. More difficlut projects will need more trips.

09-23-2005, 07:56 PM
Oh well, at least HD is not to far from my house.

How about that shutoff valve?

- Vitaliy

09-24-2005, 05:26 AM
The reason I mention the valve is because they are usually a very cheap product and often leak the first time they are needed, or develop stem leaks. These problems are worse if you are in a hard water area.

Some areas solder all the stops; around here all you would ever find is compression since about 1955; threaded before that. With the tile that has been installed around your valve, you have a problem. If it doesn't leak, just leave it alone for now.

09-24-2005, 06:20 AM
If you can't see a solder joint, is there an escutcheon behind the valve?
Years ago for a while it was common to use a 1/2" or 3/8" nipple stubbed out for the supply stops. They also did the galv. nipple even with copper plumbing. Gotta be your call. But your going to clean up that whole area and if it were my call I'd change it out. If it's copper in the wall, that nipple could be in sorry condition..........

09-24-2005, 11:20 AM
We replace plenty of shutoff valves on toilets.


Most are compression, which take a sleeve puller to remove the old compression nut.

If it's compression, you will see that the back nut can unthread.

If the shutoff looks one-piece, that it's either solder on or thread on.
On the East coast, it could be a 1/2" IPS pipe size or a 3/8" IPS

Brass is the material of choice for these, either plain brass or chrome plated brass.

For compression threads, at the most a little oil, WD40 works fine for this.
(No tape or thread sealant on these)

For pipe threads, us can use thread sealant on the tapered threads, I like the past for this.
Teflon tape works, but it can cause it's own problems too. One of them being the stranding that can happen, sometimes little threads float through the valve and prevent a good seal on the shutoff.

On some toilets the Fluidmaster works fine.
If not, there is always wax seals.
Unless the flange is setting on the finished floor, you will likely need to seals.