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Reinstalling a Toilet

by Jim Neidner

Jim Neidner is a national award-winning
builder/remodeler and radio home host.


Q)  I have a question regarding the toilet. There are two screws that hold the toilet down on the floor and they are usually capped with decorative porcelain caps. I noticed the left bolt was not tight and is frozen in this position. Is it safe to put some WD40 on the bolt to break it free and tighten it down? I don't know what's beneath the base of the toilet and how the bolt is anchored. Thank you for your time and expertise!!

A)  This is a question I often get on my radio show. Yes, try the WD-40. However, the nut might not move. If it does move, then just tighten the nut up and your toilet should be fine again. If you can not get it to tighten up or the nut breaks the stud T-Post it's attached to, don't worry, this can also be replaced D-I-Y and not a big deal. This sometimes requires removing the toilet and replacing the T-post (which is what's wiggling around) and maybe the flange the post sets in. Most plumbing supply or large hardware stores have everything you need to fix this which saves you money from having to call a plumber.

Now if you can slip the old T-Post out without removing your toilet, then just buy a new T-Post, nut and tighten it up, and you're done.

Before you start this project, go the your local hardware store and purchase a new T-Post with nut and a wax ring just in case the old T-Post breaks off or won't allow you to tighten it up. When at the plumbing supply department have the sales person show you the parts you need and how it all fits together. When working on this project, if you should find that you can not slip the old T-Post and nut out of the flange it's in, just use a hack-saw and cut the old T-Post in half and replace it with the new one. The wax toilet ring seal is easy to install. Again, ask your Plumbing Supply person to show you how to install the wax ring. Get your husband or a friend to help you remove the toilet and reinstall it when you're ready. Turn off the water supply at the toilet before you start this project. Again you can do all of this yourself and save money. It's a known fact, women are moving to the top of the list as home fixer-uppers and remodelers.

Good luck!

See also: How to Install a New Toilet

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