You Are At: AllSands Home > Potluck2 > How to install a toilet and other plumbing tips
DO - Run very hot water into your kitchen sink drain either by boiling water on stove or from your faucet, then fill one side of your sink and plunge.

DO - When plunging your sink, plug up one side with a cloth and hold.

DO - When using your garbage disposal, run hot and cold water at full pressure.

DO - Fill up sink after using your disposal and drain.

DO - If you have a dishwasher, use after using your garbage

DO - Remove the aerator on your kitchen faucet when pressure is slow and clean, unscrew by hand or use channel pliers.

DO - Remove the screws from your kitchen wash bowl and bath tub faucet, and put a few drops of household oil in each screw hole or under handle if removable.

DO - At least twice a year clean out the inside of your toilet tank. When cleaning tank, turn off the water, flush toilet once,add small amount of cleaning detergent inside tank to water
remaining, use a cloth or brush to clean.

DO - Clean out holes under toilet seat and rim of the bowl - can use small end of a pocket knife.

DO - Clean out 3/4" hole in the bottom of toilet bowl.

DO - Replace rubber tank ball at this time if needed.

DO - Adjust water level in toilet tank, 1" below top of 3/4" overflow pipe. To adjust type with 1/4" rod and metal or plastic float ball, put both hands on rod and bend end of rod towards
float ball down, this lowers water level. To raise water level,bend rod up .

DO - When plunging your bathroom sink or bath tub use a cloth and plug up the overflow and hold tight. It's a good idea to plunge your drains before they stop up.

DO - Remove the stoppers and clean down pipe where stopper

DO - When finished plunging, fill wash bowl until it runs into overflow. If you have a small type spring brush, use to clean overflow.

DO - Spray disinfectant cleaner into overflow.

DO - If bath tub is slow draining and has the lever at overflow for stopper, remove bolts, and pull wire, lift lever out and clean hair from wire.

DO - Oil parts in toilet tank that are above the water level,handle and ballcock valve.

DO - If you have trouble with tree roots in your sanitary sewer,purchase some copper sulphate in blue chunk form, put a sizable amount on your basement floor drain strainer, let cold water run over it until it dissolves.

DON'T - Put coffee grounds in your sink drains.

DON'T - Use drain cleaners containing lye.

DON'T - Poke any wire or rod from your sink into drain.

DON'T - Have a shelf above your sink with heavy objects that could fall into sink. Will crack china sink or chip cast iron type.

DON'T - Use your toilet tank lid for a shelf.

DON'T - Have a knick-knack shelf above your toilet.

DON'T - Pour a bucket of dirty water into your toilet; may contain scrub rag.

DON'T - Pour hot water into toilet; temperature change will crack the bowl.

DON'T - Put any type cleaning device into your toilet tank.

DO - Just clean by hand.

DON'T - Hang wire type odor tablet in toilet bowl.

DON'T - Put a brick in your toilet tank to save water

DO - Adjust water level.

DON'T - Use the toilet bowl for a scrub tub.

DON'T - Leave diapers soaking in bowl.

DON'T - Throw disposable diapers in toilet, burn them.

DON'T - Keep your waste basket in kitchen and bathroom under the
sink. Keeps bumping pipes and causing leaks.

DON'T - Throw sanitary napkins into toilet; burn them.

DON'T - When painting around the house, paint any of your copper water lines.

DON'T - Forget at least twice a year to put a garden hose on the boiler drain at the bottom of your hot water tank and run until
the water clears up. Spray this valve with a little oil also. Use WD-40.

DON'T - Forget to check your flu pipe from your hot water tank to the chimney for leakage of fumes.

DON'T - Leave your water valves rust shut. Put some oil on the stem and open and close them a few times. If it leaks at the stem use a crescent wrench and tighten bonnet nut at the handle.
Spray a little oil on the whole valve. Keeps from rusting.

Here are some of the things I have removed years of home plumbing calls:

Small bottles yo-yo ' s
tooth brushes toys of all kinds
wire odor tablets cigarette lighters
golf balls lids and caps
car keys hair curlers
false teeth cream jars
wallets combs
knick-knacks pens and pencils

DO - Keep these items away from the toilet.

DON'T - Let the children play in the bathroom with toys small enough to go down your toilet trap.

DO - Get in the habit of putting the back of the toilet seat down before flushing.

But if you haven't put into affect my DO's and DON'Ts, and you flush the toilet and the water in the bowl starts coming up and not down, quickly remove the tank lid, reach into the middle bottom of tank and push the rubber ball or flapper back down over the outlet. Then shut off the water supply.

Now if you are sure you haven't let something like the above listed objects fall into the toilet, you can usually use a plunger to open the toilet. But if you are missing something from the toilet area that could be in the bowl, you will have to use a toilet auger to try and retrieve the object. If you can't remove it with the auger, the toilet will have to be lifted.

DO - If you have a water leak from below your bathroom directly below Your bath tub shower, and it only leaks when YOU take a shower, here's what to look for:

DO - Check the entire tile wall on the inside area of the bath tub for cracks, etc. To repair, use a tube of tub & tile caulking seal.

DO - Check the wall, especially around the handles and the spout of the faucet, seal all openings with caulking.

DO - Check the inside edge of the shower door track.

DO - If the water leak is below the toilet, first check the water pipe where tank and bowl are connected together. If there is no sign of water on the floor around the pipe, chances are
your toilet needs to be lifted and a new wax ring installed
(refer to toilet installation).

DO - If you go on vacation or are away from home for a few days,always shut off your water supply to your home.

DO - Keep heat on where water pipes and drain pipes are located in your home, when temperature is 32 degrees or colder.

DO - If you can't put heat in an area where water pipes are, use an electric heat tape.

DO - If your kitchen sink is located on an outside wall, leave cupboard doors open in severe cold weather.

DO - Shut off all outside faucets in cold weather if they are not of the frost proof type.

DO - If you are closing up a home in the wintertime and there will be no heat in the home, shut off the water supply at the street or in the basement.

DO - Open all faucets in the home and leave them open.

DO - Open drain at bottom of hot water tank and drain.

DO - Remove all water from toilet tank and bowl.

DO - Put permanent Anti-freeze in toilet bowl and a small amount in the bottom of the toilet tank.

DO - Put anti-freeze in all sink drains and bath and shower drains, enough to fill the traps.

DO - If you wish, remove traps on sinks, but be sure and plug up open line, to keep out sewer gas fumes.

*When using a substance such as anti-freeze, be sure to keep it out of reach of children and away from pets as it is very hazardous to their health.


If your toilet is old and in need of repairs, it is really cheaper to install a new one. This is the easiest of all the plumbing jobs in the home to do and if you follow my simple
instructions you can put yours in yourself.

1. Shut off the water to the toilet, use a bucket and a cloth or a sponge to remove the water left in tank and bowl after you
flush the toilet.

2. Using a pair of channel pliers, or a small pipe wrench (8"),remove the nut where the water line fastens to the ballcock valve under the left side of the bottom of the tank. Next use a
small crescent wrench, remove the two 1/4" nuts holding the bowl to the floor flange. Remove old toilet. Remove the water line from the valve or fitting at floor or wall.

3. Now you are ready to install your new toilet. Put the two 1/4" bolts in the side holes of the flange with the bolt head in the flange. Put some of the old wax at this spot to hold the
bolts straight up and across from each other. Put new wax ring on flange, flat side up if tapered.

4. Set new bowl only straight down so it centers on wax ring and both bolts come through holds on each side of bowl. Sit on bowl facing wall until your weight puts bowl flush with the floor. Put metal washers and nuts on bolts and tighten until
snug. Do not over-tighten as you can crack the bowl. Tighten these again after toilet is completely installed and filled with

5. Next put 2" rubber gasket on tank where it sets on the bowl,put rubber washers on bolts provided under the bolt head so they
will be on the inside of the tank. Pick up tank and set on bowl over holes in bowl where bolts go through. Sit on bowl facing wall. Put bolts on from the inside of the tank into holes in
bowl, put on metal washers and nuts and tighten. Hold tank level and tighten so it brings tank down level. Use a large screw driver inside tank and a crescent wrench or end wrench to
back up nut under bowl. Tighten with screw driver. Hook water supply to tank, turn on water, check for leaks, snug up the
bolts holding bowl to floor. If there is a space between the back of the tank and the wall, put a spacer of sort there to
brace tank. A piece of wood or hard rubber works fine.


Toilet bowl
Toilet tank
Toilet seat
Two 1/4" bolts for bowl to flange
Wax ring
20" water supply with fitting at valve or floor connection

Now DO put my DOs and DON'Ts into use, and you new toilet will never need a plumber!