I've got a 67 year old toilet that is cracked and also has started
leaking a bit down onto the pipes in the basement. I've never put in
a new toilet, but from everything i read, it doesn't sound like brain
surgery. One obstacle that makes me want to get a pro to do it is
that the water supply line to my toilet goes straight into the wall.
It doesn't have a shut off value that I can easily get to. Has anyone
seen one like this? Will I just need to shut off the water to the
entire house before starting work on it?
Yes.......and when the supply is shut off----first install a shut off valve
for the toilet supply line. This will allow you to restore water to the rest
of the house while you work on the toilet.
It's not brain surgery but first and only time I tried to install a
toilet, I over torqued bolt and cracked and ruined toilet. Lots of
people I talked to afterwards have done this. You could probably have a
plumber install for about $300 which would include needed shut off valve
The leak isn't coming from the crack. I think the wax ring or flange
might be bad. The crack is more of an aesthetic thing on the bowl and
near the base. The toilet has a mfg. date of 1940 on it...i think its
time has come...
If the house/installation the toilet is in is the same age as it is
itself, you may find some other "issues" when you take it up.
Things like cast drain and flange that have at least a chance of being
rusted out and who knows how corroded up stuff will be.
Not to say it can't be done by a reasonably able DIY'er, but as a first
project it just may come w/ challenges.
What is the feed line? If original and galvanized, it's good chance
it's on its last few years of life, as well, so need to be prepared
there, as well.
As for the cutoff valve, normally one has a straight supply line thru
the wall and then uses a 90-deg valve w/ a compression fitting to supply
the stool tank. It only takes a short section of pipe to install one of
these, but you do need either a threaded end if galvanized or enough of
a stub to sweat a fitting onto if copper.
If they did something like run a small diameter flex copper or worse of
a homebrew, then you'll need/want to work backwards to clean that up, too.
If it might include any of these complications and if the supply lines
to the bathroom were accessible, you might consider installing another
cutoff there to isolate the room before you delve into "who knows what?"
territory. That would especially attractive if have more than one bath
so it's only a little inconvenience if this one is out of service a
couple of days (as opposed to a major problem/disaster).
Pay attention to the reply this references. They are all real
possibilities. Or it could go easily. But think probability with a 67
year old install. That in combo with this being your first replacement
might be worth having it done. If you don't have a 2nd crapper you're a
gambling man. Plumber has everything in the truck. Don't forget to add to
cost of DIY gas $ for 4 trips to HD, time returning stuff, possible HD
wing nut that gives you bad info, blah blah.
One thing that can be very helpful for DIYer going to home center for
solutions is a digital camera. Take a pic of what you are trying to
solve, print it in gray scale and bring it with you. Pic worth 1k words
and if you get a good guy in the plumbing dept, they might foresee a
problem or alternative solution.
Just my .02 (actually worth less than that).
Ah, maybe a simple wax ring replacement. Problem is, if you're determined to
have a new toilet, be prepared for sticker shock and possibly
In days of old,
When knights were bold,
Before toilets were invented,
They dumped their load,
Beside the road,
And went their way contented.
I had plumber replace 3 of my 30+ year old toilets. First I mentioned
was one I broke - it was the old toilet that plumber removed to fix
leak. I have plumbers do now what I used to do when younger because neck
problems etc have slowed me down. I've replaced shutoff valves, flush
mechanisms, rusted bolts and seal between tank and basin, etc. Something
always going wrong so when next toilet malfunctioned, got a new one.
Price for toilet and plumber less than $300. I did pay $400 for a nicer
Toto. In spite of what others say about new toilets over old, my new
ones flush better than the old ones. In addition there is the bonus of
much less water going to septic drain field.
I feel like a wuss for not taking it on myself. But, after
researching it a bit and reading some of the posts on here, I think it
might be more prudent to let a plumber handle this one. Especially
since I'm trying to get this place on the market in the next month. I
don't need any more obstacles than I already have.
Thanks for all your opinions.
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