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Commode fix!Tools needed:
2" putty knife- 2'x2'piece of card board- new wax ring- new T bolts (flange bolts)- crescent wrench- straight screw driver- trash bag- old rags/towels for water clean up and rubber gloves. Tip: An extra pair of hands to help hold things will also make the job easier!
One of the water problems we have in a bathroom is a leaking wax seal located where the commode mates up to the sewer pipe in the floor. This is a straight forward repair and we will walk you through it!
The first step is to remove the tank lid and place it in a safe place so it wont get broken. Then shut off the water supply on the left side underneath the tank and then flush. This will help minimize the water in the bowl itself thus keeping the mess to a minimum.
Disconnect the water supply line from the tank and the two anchor bolt nuts on the base. ( These may be covered with plastic cones for decoration and are simply popped loose by inserting a flat screwdriver in the groove and twisting it a half turn ). The fixture should now be free to move once the nuts have been removed. Simply lean the fixture forward until you can balance it on the front edge. You can now rotate it around so that you can scrape away the old wax seal with your other hand using the 2 inch putty knife. Make sure all the wax is removed as well as any that may be left on the flange on the floor.
Once this is done you can set the fixture on the card board and inspect the T bolts on the flange to see if they need to be replaced. If the commode flange is damaged or corroded and will not hold the T bolts any longer you have a few options. You can purchase a flange repair kit at your local supply house or if this is outside your skill level you will have to call a professional to complete this repair for you.
Install the T bolts into the floor flange and align them with each other side to side. Tip: Apply some of the old wax around the base of the new bolts to temporarily glue them in an upright position so they will line up with the holes in the commode base more easily. Make sure the T is turned so that it locks in the flange. You should not be able to lift the bolt straight up if it is turned and locked correctly. This is very important as you will not be able to tighten up the nuts once the commode is re-set and you will have to pull the commode again and start over. A new ring may also be needed! :(
Next, tip the commode forward as before and balance it once again. Now install the wax ring with the rubber cone facing away from the bottom. Press it tightly into the base. This will make it stick as you finish the install. Now rotate the commode back to its original position. Stand facing the commode and you can now begin to lower it back into position being careful not to let the wax ring touch the floor before you set it down on the ring. Tip: By straddling the bowl with one leg on each side you can grip the fixture between the seat and the tank, rotate it level and now you will be able to see each of the two bolts as you lower the commode over the bolts so they once again protrude thru the holes.
Once the bolts are thru you must now seat the commode down on the new ring. By standing in the same position grip the commode in the same place and apply your weight and gently rock it back and forth until it is solid. You are now ready to re-install the T bolt nuts and the dome caps. The base for the plastic dome caps are first, (groove up) the flat washer on top and then the nuts. The nuts should spin on easily and you need to run each one down equally until they become snug. Again press the commode down once more before the finish tightening. Then gently tighten each a little at a time being careful not to over tighten and crack the mounting base of the commode. It should not move back and forth or side to side.
Finish up by re-connecting the water supply line, the plastic cones (press down until they snap into place), the lid and then re-fill the tank with water. Check for leaks and then flush the commode two or three times in a row to make sure it is sealed properly. If the problem persists you may have to double the wax rings on the bottom of the commode. This may be due to an uneven/bad floor or a flange problem.
Also water may be coming from another source such as the tank bolt gaskets leaking where the tank is mounted to the bowl in the back, the connection where the water supply comes into the tank itself, or the fixture itself may have a hairline crack and be weeping water. If it is cracked you will need to replace the complete fixture.
To fix the tank gaskets you will need a tank bowl kit.
First you shut off the water and flush the commode to remove the water from the tank. Then using a sponge, soak up any remaining water in the tank. At the bottom you will see two bolts with a slotted head on them and there will be a nut on each one underneath. Remove each one being careful to hold the tank as it will fall once the bolts are removed. Remove the tank and on the bottom you will see a large neoprene ring that seals the tank to the bowl. Note the position of it and install the new one the same way.
Next remove the old bolt washer gaskets and replace them with the new ones. Tip: This is a good time to check and or replace the tank valve. Check to see if the large nut is tight where it meets the bottom of the tank as this is one of the places it can leak.
Set the tank back on the commode bowl and put the bolts back in the bottom of the tank. The new washers go on the inside of the tank. Start the nuts back on the bolts and tighten them until snug. Check the alignment of the tank with the fixture (level across the top and square with the bowl) and then finish tightening. Be careful not to over tighten as you will crack the tank!