Replacing a Toilet Seat

Replacing a Toilet Seat

The easiest toilet repair task is replacing the lid and seat. There are so many styles of replacement seats available that you should have no trouble finding one to match any bathroom color scheme or motif. Most modern toilets are manufactured in two standard sizes, and replacement seats are made to fit them.

Once you have the right size seat, remove the old one. Remove the two nuts on the hinge and lift your old toilet seat up and out. A common problem is that the nuts securing the toilet seat may be rusted or corroded. The nuts on some toilet seats are recessed and practically inaccessible, making the job even more difficult.

A new toilet seat can be installed by inserting the two bolts, slipping on the washers, and tightening the nuts. Be careful not to over-tighten the nuts or the seat might be hard to remove later.

What’s the solution? If you can get to the fasteners relatively easily, apply some penetrating oil to help loosen them. Give the oil plenty of time to soak in. Use a wrench, or, if you can’t reach the nuts with a regular wrench, a deep socket wrench. Be sure you don’t use too much force; if the wrench slips off a stubborn nut, it could strike and crack the tank of the bowl or anything else it happens to hit.

If all else fails, you’ll have to cut off the bolts with a hacksaw. To protect the bowl’s finish, apply tape to the bowl at the spots the hacksaw blade is likely to rub against. Then insert the blade under the hinge, and saw through the bolts. Be extremely cautious in using the saw—a careless slip with a hacksaw can crack the fixture just as easily as a blow with a wrench.

With the nuts removed or the bolts cut, you can remove the old seat without further difficulty. Clean the area before installing the new seat. The new on can be installed by inserting the bolts and tightening the nuts. Be careful not to over-tighten the nuts, as you may want to replace this seat someday as well. If you live in a rented apartment and install a new seat that you paid for yourself, be sure to keep the old one. When you’re ready to leave, you can replace the new on with the original and take the new seat with you.

If the toilet lid and seat are still in good condition, but the small rubber bumpers on the bottom are in bad shape, you can buy replacement bumpers at the hardware store. Some bumpers screw in; others must be nailed or glued into place. Whichever type you have, try to install the new ones in holes that are close enough to conceal the original holes.

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