Toilet Repair – Doing It Yourself
You hear the sound of running water in the bathroom, so you go and investigate. Little Johnny is playing boats, there is water everywhere and he looks at you with huge eyes and says “I was playing whirl pool.” Plumbers can be very expensive but so is the water bill. What are you going to do? Don’t call the plumber yet. In just a few steps you can repair that toilet yourself. All you need are a few tools, a little knowledge and a good sense of humor. After all it is already broken so you can’t hurt it any more right?
First step is a no brainer – you need to get that water turned off. Down close to the floor behind the bowl you should see a valve that looks like the one for the hose outside simply turn it and the water should shut off. Now it is time to remove some of the water. A wet vacuum will do the trick, but if you do not have one a small cup will do for bail out. Get as much out as you can.
Put your hand inside the toilet and feel around if you are lucky you will be able to touch the little toy or hair brush or whatever is holding things up in there. If you can reach it – great – just pull it out. Turn the water back on and go on with your day knowing you saved some money.
If you cannot feel the clog, this is where things get tricky. You are going to have to unbolt the toilet and move it out of the way. These next steps will walk you through removal and replacement of the bowl.
Go to the local hardware store and pick up a wax ring. You will need it and they are usually under $5.00. While there you may also want to pick up a pipe wrench or a pair of large channel locks as most toilet bolts are 2 inch and those cute little ones in your household tool kit with the pink handles will not do the job.
Armed and ready for battle. On either side of the bowl on the floor you will see 2 large bolt one on either side. Turn them counterclockwise to remove. If you are lucky they will come right off. Lift the bowl off the floor you may need to rock it a little as the wax ring will be sticky. Reach in and remove the toy that has caused all this trouble. You did it! It wasn’t so hard was it? The next steps will walk you through reinstalling the toilet. After all, the goal is to have a fully functioning unit without the mess.
You will need to remove the old wax ring. This is important as without a good seal you will have leaks. Use a scraper for this. Or even a cake knife will do – anything flat. Carefully remove the new wax ring from the package and place it where the old one was. This should be easy as there is still some residue left behind. Lift toilet up and very carefully (no sliding) set it down over the bolts sticking up through the floor and onto the new ring. Be careful here – the seal must be good. Tighten the bolts back up. Alternate bolts as you turn to ensure a tight even seal. Turn the water back on. Look carefully around the bottom of the bowl along the floor for leaks. If there are no leaks, you can celebrate! You have now completed a toilet repair job!