Plumbing Supplies You’ll Need Before You Replace Your Old, Leaking Toilet

Your old, leaking toilet has finally gotten on your last nerve. After sopping up countless gallons of leaking water from your toilet's leaking tank, water line, or bowl, you've finally chosen to set aside the upcoming weekend to replace your toilet. To make this do-it-yourself job as easy as possible, make sure you have these plumbing supplies on hand before you begin getting your hands dirty.

Plumber's Tape

Your plumbing system and toilet has multiple connection points that will leak water if they're not completely airtight. For this reason, plumber's tape is essential for virtually any plumbing repair job.

By applying several wraps of plumber's tape to the various connection points and threaded components of your replacement toilet, you can significantly reduce your chances of experiencing a leak at some point in the future.

However, several inexperienced handymen apply plumber's tape incorrectly. To keep the tape from unraveling upon tightening a connection point, you must apply the tape in a clockwise direction. As threads and gaskets tighten firmly into place, the edge of the your plumber's tape will remain pressed against the threading rather than pulled upwards by the threading on the female end of the connection.

Braided Water Line

The flexible, braided line between your toilet's water supply pipe and tank can become corroded and leak after holding water for several years. Even though your water line may not be leaking right now, it's likely to spring a leak throughout the lifetime of your new toilet.

Since you must drain your toilet's tank and shut off your toilet's valve before you replace your toilet or remove your existing water line, it's best to kill two birds with one stone: replace your water line while you're replacing your toilet. By doing so, you'll save yourself from having to break out all your tools and supplies when your line finally does begin to leak.

To select a replacement braided line that's ideal for your toilet, measure the distance from your wall's water pipe to your toilet's tank. Your replacement line should be at least a couple inches longer than this distance to keep the line from being under stress once it's installed. Additionally, make sure to place a few wraps of plumber's tape around the threads of your water pipe and braided line to prevent leakage from the pipe or tank.

Wax Seal

When you remove your existing toilet from it's drain pipe, you'll break the wax seal that provided stability and leak protection. Even if you manage to remove your toilet's bowl without misshaping the wax seal, the seal won't properly attach to your new bowl if it's left in place.

If your new toilet doesn't include a wax seal, then you'll need to make sure the seal you purchase is compatible with the size of your bowl's drainage pipe. Otherwise, the seal will destabilize your new toilet and cause leakage.

If you haven't replaced a toilet in the past, then consider purchasing an extra wax seal. If you make a mistake while installing your bowl and must lift the bowl back off its floor mount, then you'll likely misshape your seal. By having an extra seal on hand, you can avoid a time-consuming trip back to your local home improvement or plumbing supply store.

Caulking Gun & Sealant

After you've managed to set your new toilet bowl onto your floor bolts, you'll need to seal the gap between your bowl and bathroom floor to prevent spilled water from seeping beneath your bowl and compromising the integrity of your wax seal.

However, you shouldn't apply just any sealant to your bowl. To ensure your sealant will remain intact throughout the lifespan of your new toilet, use a specialized kitchen and bath sealant. These sealants contain mold inhibiting chemicals that will prevent the sealant from being compromised by bacteria.

Don't attempt to replace your toilet without these plumbing supplies on hand. If you begin the replacement process without first purchasing these supplies, you'll significantly increase the difficulty and time required to complete the job—which will in turn reduce the amount of time you have to relax and unwind on your days off from work.

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