Toilet seats are usually available in the traditional form, the ones where the fixings are visible and in the form of those with hidden fixings, where the fixings are not visible under a toilet pan. It may seem that removing and replacing the toilet seat with hidden fixings is troublesome. Though it’s a lengthy process, still with proper care and by following the instructions, you can get the work done in simple steps. In this article, we will see as to how we can replace a toilet seat with hidden fixings.
Steps Involved In Replacing A Toilet Seat With Hidden Fixings
The overview of the procedure involved is given in simple steps.
- Look for the orientation of the hidden fixings. Hold the nut in place while unscrewing. When working with tight spaces, you may need a basin wrench. In some cases, you may also have to unscrew wingnuts. All this depends on the style of the toilet.
- Now you can remove the old toilet seat.
- Place the new toilet seat with the bolt holes in the proper position and secure it in place trying one side at a time.
Get the Right Tools
The first step in the procedure is to get the right tools. The right tools will ease up your work. Have them in accessible locations so that you can save time. Let us see what all tools can ease up your work of replacing a toilet seat with hidden fixings. You may need:
- Adjustable Wrench
- Tongue and Groove Pliers
- Basin Wrench
- Crescent Wrench
Take necessary precautions
By taking the necessary precautions beforehand, you can make sure that you do not end up with a mess later on.
- Wear protective gloves to protect your hands as this will keep you safe of germs and bacteria.
- Taping the toilet seat and the lid together can help you by making it easier to handle without getting in the way of your work. This will also prevent the toilet seat from falling over or accidentally slamming on your fingers.
Removing the Toilet Seat with Hidden Fixings
- Look for the fastening mechanism you are dealing with by looking behind the plastic caps. You need to check the orientation of the cap covering the fixings. For the simple orientation models, you can use a flathead screwdriver and pop them out.
- You need to proceed further by examining the caps that cover the bolt and hinges so as to determine their orientation. Some designs are relatively straightforward and require you only to use a flathead screwdriver for popping them open. In other cases, a socket wrench may be needed to ease your work. You can open up the hinge cover using the most suitable tool. Make sure that you do not apply overpressure, which can damage the parts.
- Now with plastic caps, some of them pop right off, while others may be attached to the toilet seat. Remove them using a flathead screwdriver. Once the caps are removed, the hinge mechanism gets exposed. In most cases, this will be a nut and bolt mechanism connecting the toilet bowl and so you may need to remove the toilet seat to have better access to the hinge system.
- If the toilet seat uses a quick release mechanism, then your work gets easy. This will let the toilet seat be removed from their hinges quickly and with ease. This may require you to pop off the cap and remove the toilet seat.
- Now as the hinge system is revealed, to unfasten the hinges, you need to examine the shape of the screw and use the tools based on this shape. If it is a slot head, then you can make use of a flathead screwdriver. If it’s a Philip’s head, then you will need Philip’s screwdriver. Unscrew the screws in the counter clockwise direction, not applying much pressure or else there is chance that the screw head might get stripped.
Note: Some toilet seat attachments can have a wingnut securing the bolt head. So you need to reach under the seat, hold the wingnut and unscrew the bolt. In case of tight spaces, you may have to use a basin wrench.
What to do if the toilet is old or rusted?
Now let us see some tips in removing the toilet seat if it is old or rusted. In the case of old toilets, using metallic bits, there can be the issue of rust. The urine and water speed up the rusting. Rusting can lead to the toilet seat shifting positions when being used and can cause injuries to you. Rust can also deter the lifespan of the toilet seat. The rust can also leave stains on the toilet bowl, which is hard to clean. In such cases, where the seat is attached to the toilet bowl using metal bolts, you may need to apply penetrating oils around them and leave it for some time before proceeding. These will act on the nut and bolt rust and loosen it making way for easy removal of the screw. WD40 is a handy option to have. Or else you can also use acetone and cooking oil in the ratio of 1:9 and apply to the metal bolts. In case if the screw heads are extremely rusted, try placing some materials on the screw which will provide added traction. You can also try holding the screw with the help of a pair of pliers while turning it. The extreme step should be to cut off. Now for this, you need to protect the bowl. For this, you can put a putty knife by the bolt and under the location that you are cutting. Now you can use a small hacksaw and cut through the rusted bolts on the top of the toilet, ensuring that the putty knife is still located between the toilet and the hacksaw ensuring that the toilet bowl is safe. In such cases, you may have to look for the exact replacement screws. This will make sure that the seat fits safely and securely on to the bowl.
Cleaning the Toilet
After removing the toilet seat with hidden fixings, you can proceed on to cleaning the toilet and the parts. With the fixings being removed, you can possibly clean the toilet off grime and dirt in the most thorough manner. You need to have special care if the toilet seat is rusted as in such cases; there is also the chance of the toilet bowl getting stained.
Attaching the New Toilet Seat
Now you can attach the new toilet seat. For this, make sure that the new toilet seat hinges are in proper position. You can place a screw inside the hole with the new bolt and washer underneath for one side. Fasten the bolt and screw using screwdriver. You can repeat the same with the other side.
As we have seen, the procedure involved in replacing a toilet seat with hidden fixings is quite a straightforward approach. It is never a complicated process. You need to have the right tools and take necessary precautions before starting off with your work. Also the procedure involves the use of minimal tools with minimal effort. With simple steps and good care you can carry out the task in no time. Follow the instructions carefully or else you will end up with complications or else damaging the fixtures. This may require you to look for proper replacement options or else the seat may not fit snugly and lead to uncomfortability during use.