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Thread: Toilet bolt cap problem

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Dia's Avatar
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    Default Toilet bolt cap problem

    I've just had my plumber in to install our new Ultramax II toilets in two bathrooms that are just in the final stages of being renovated. I noticed that where the bolt comes up there is an oval brass washer then a plastic washer, then the cap snaps on. On both toilets the "hole" is exposed even when the caps are on (mostly on one side). I removed the cap and noticed that the oval brass thing was pointing the 'other' way ... I asked my plumber if he could at least turn the oval fitting to cover the hole. When he tried, the bolt came out completely. He was clearly annoyed ... and said he needed to come back tomorrow with some new wax seals and re-seat the toilet that he was working on. This is fine but I'm concerned that the bolt shouldn't have come off so easily ... I also don't understand why Toto would make an expensive toilet and have the bolt caps not cover the holes properly ... Maybe I'm being too picky ... but I'm not able to talk to the plumber about it without him getting defensive ... I assured him that I wasn't unhappy with his work but wanted the holes covered so nothing could get in there. He offered to fill the hole with caulk ... but I don't think that is the solution. Can some one give me some advice about this?

  2. #2
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    The bolt should not have pulled out. It sounds like you have a broken flange.

    John

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    DIY Junior Member Dia's Avatar
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    Given my 'distress' over the exposed holes on the sides of my new toilets (even with bolt caps on), I called another plumber to get a 2nd opinion. After coming to take a look he thought perhaps my flanges were old (my home was built in 1979) and the bolts might not line up properly to have the bolt caps cover the holes. His recommendation - either live with it (caulk the holes to hide), or replace the flanges ... we're thinking about it over night ... any thoughts?

  4. #4
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Given that one of the bolts pulled out, a repair flange may be called for.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Your plumber has "oval" closet bolt washers? Why?
    Also, most plumbers bolt the closet bolt to the flange before the toilet is set. That is how all of my customers set the toilets that they buy from me. Maybe one of the thousands of homeowners I sell to can clue your plumber in.

    If you don't secure the closet bolt, then yes, the bolt can pull out. That's why I don't buy my supplies at the big box stores. They are too friggin penny pinching. I don't have time for that.

    In this case, a better installer, like any of my customers could have done a better job.
    Terry

    Plastic first then the metal round washer, (the oval ones will not fit inside the plastic cap).
    hj
    Last edited by Terry; 10-16-2011 at 05:33 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member Dia's Avatar
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    First, regarding the oval/elliptical washer ... the first plumber told us when we saw the toilets installed that he used his own brass bolts/washers as the ones supplied with the toilets were junk ... I have not seen the ' junk' ... and as I am cleaning up ... he must have taken them with him as I can't find any stray bolts or washers anywhere. The 2nd plumber noted that the washers were installed wrong. He said that the brass washer should be installed after the plastic one or it could crack the porcelain ... but looking at the washers I can understand how the oval one wouldn't fit so perhaps that's why he put the brass one down on top of the porcelain ... I'll show our new plumber this forum thread! We were not home when the plumber installed the toilets so at this point I'm not sure what it looks like under the "double wax ring" ... that much I know ... the new floor is a bit higher than the old toilet flange. I was under the impression that the flanges were going to be replaced but the first plumber said after the fact that no, he just cleaned them up and that they were fine. We have a new plumber coming this week ... he will inspect the flanges, replace if needed, and re-install the toilets. Thank you for your advice! As I know nothing about all these installations whenever something just doesn't seem right I've asked about it (in a nice way) all through our renovations ... however I was at my wits end this weekend.

  7. #7
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Toilets don't normally come with hardware.

    You can use many different methods, wax, waxless, Sani-care, also many styles of bolts.

    After the toilet is set, you place the plastic washer down, and there is a side marked "up", then the "round" metal washer, and then the cap snaps down.

    You can install with the closet bolts slid through the slots or notches, but too many times, those can slip out.
    We buy the sets with four washers and four nuts.


    Install kit for toilets
    Notice that the bag of bolts includes four nuts and four washers.


    Clear caulk

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    DIY Junior Member Dia's Avatar
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    Thanks once again! I'll be sure to show our new plumber your pics ... and I'll keep you posted as to how our new toilets make out with their re-installation.

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    DIY Junior Member Dia's Avatar
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    Well, plumber #2 came and re-installed my toilets. He said the original flanges were ok but they were also a little low as a new sub floor was put in over our old one ... his solution was to put in a "repair flange" (I think that's what it's called) ... solid brass over our old black plastic one ... he was going to replace the flanges with new ones but it was going to be very difficult to get at the flanges from the floor below ... the toilets look wonderful ... just as I thought they should ... no weird holes ... thanks to all for your advice.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member Dia's Avatar
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    2nd plumber came back as one of the toilets was rocking a bit ... he put some plastic wedges underneath ... so far so good on that one. Our ensuite toilet was adjusted as well as after re-installing it, it was pushed right up against the wall and made an awful sound when trying to sit down ... he shifted it very slightly forward ... doesn't make that noise anymore ... we'll keep our fingers crossed ...

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