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Thread: Toilet Installation Question

  1. #1

    Default Toilet Installation Question

    On a 2 piece toilet is it possible to install the bowl first then attach the water tank? Or is this not recommended?

    I'm replacing an old toilet and the space on each side is very limited by a wall and sink vanity. So standing along the sides during installation, as most instructions show, would be quite a feat.

    If I could install only the bowl first I think the weight and balance would be easier than having the tank on the back.

    Thanks for any advise.

    Jim

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    It can be done either way, My preference is assemble tank to bowl then mounting to the flange. If there is a clearance problem it shows up before mounting and getting it square is easier IMHO.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default toilet

    The next toilet I install by putting the tank on first will be my first one. The ONLY time I set a complete unit is when I have removed it that way, and then only so I do not have to put it back together again.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    There you have it!
    Either way works!

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    One thing to consider is that code requires a minimum of 15" either side of the centerline of a toilet...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default toilet

    By the time the toilet is being set, it is too late to worry about the distance from the center of the drain opening to the walls.

  7. #7
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    Typically it's easier to set the tank to the bowl before it's attached because you have more room around you than when it's installed (have to bend in wierd directions).

    If there is no clearance then how will you work on the tank?

    Is there enough room to hold the entire toilet between your legs and place your feet to sides of the flange and set it down? If not, then it might be too heavy to handle and place it by bending over from the front. If you drop it too fast it WILL break. Make sure the floor is completely dry when you install it. I slipped once and CRACK!! bye bye toilet. It doens't take much to crack it.
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for the information. Seems like I'm good either way I go and also 15" from center.

    I think I'll stick with installing to bowl first and tackle the tank later. I can straddle the flange and will probably do that. Originally I was picturing two people on either side which I don't have room for, but straddling will work.

    I appreciate all the input. It was very valuable.

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default toilet

    Is there enough room to hold the entire toilet between your legs and place your feet to sides of the flange and set it down? If not, then it might be too heavy to handle and place it by bending over from the front. If you drop it too fast it WILL break. Make sure the floor is completely dry when you install it. I slipped once and CRACK!! bye bye toilet. It doens't take much to crack it.

    All of the above are some of the reasons for installing the bowl first, in addition to it being easier to set the bowl over the bolts if it is by itself.

  10. #10
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    I guess it just depends on the individuals strength and dexterity. It's just tempting to do it in one shot because it's quicker and you don't have to deal with working under the tank.
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  11. #11
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Yea, I like to put it all together while there is room on all sides...
    The rear tank to bowl bolt on the 3 bolt tank to bowl connections are a pain otherwise.
    If you don't have room to straddle it, the installation is probably not code legal anyway...

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