Inadequate cleaning of toilets and bathrooms can result in the proliferation of harmful bacteria and germs, primarily due to spillovers from fast flushes. Surface cleansing of the toilet seat may not be sufficient in such cases, necessitating the removal and cleaning of hidden parts.
Although this might seem like a complex process that requires the services of a professional plumber, which can be quite expensive, it is actually a task that can be accomplished by almost anyone with minimal assistance.
Armed with the right tools, you can easily remove your toilet seat, clean the concealed parts, and reinstall it by following a few simple DIY steps.
To begin, the bolts and nuts must be unscrewed, which are typically metal or plastic and easily accessible. In some cases, however, the bolts and screws may be concealed, making it slightly more difficult to remove the toilet seat.
The hidden fastening mechanism is designed to both protect them and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the toilet.
Step by Step to Replace a Toilet Seat with hiding fittings
With this quick set of steps, you can do it yourself without actually calling a plumber and experiencing high expenses.
Supplies and tools needed
- Protective gloves
- Flat head and star screw driver
- An adjustable wrench
- A pair of pliers
- Penetrating oil
- Drill with bits
- Duct tape
Here is a more professional and detailed version of the instructions for removing and replacing a toilet seat:
Begin by putting on gloves to protect your hands.
To make the toilet seat easier to handle, tape the lid and seat together using duct tape. If you need to drill or cut screws, you can protect the toilet by covering it with cardboard.
Check behind and below the toilet to ensure that the screws are visible.
Feel behind the toilet with your hands to locate the ends of the screws. Look at the top of the toilet to remove any caps that may be concealing the bolts. Some caps may be attached to the seat, while others pop off easily.
Depending on the model of your toilet seat, you may need to use a socket wrench to rotate the suction cups counter-clockwise to reach the bolt holding the seat. Apply some pressure until the nut loosens.
If the nuts do not loosen because the toilet is old or they are worn out, use penetrating oil such as WD-40 Penetrant Spray to lubricate the rusted nuts. This will allow them to be lubricated deeper, making them easier to remove.
Use a screwdriver to unlock the bolt and check under the toilet seat for any loose bolts. Use your hands to unscrew the nut, or use pliers to keep the bolt steady during nut removal.
If the screw heads are too rusty or bare, you may need to cut the bolts using a hacksaw. If space is tight, you can use a mini hacksaw. Use a knife to cover the porcelain around the bolt to protect it from damage.
Secure the rest of the toilet with duct tape to avoid damaging any other parts.
If necessary, use a drill about 1/16″ thick to drill through the rusted screws while applying constant pressure to crack the bolt and nut. Use a slightly larger drill bit than the previous one. Do not apply too much energy as this may damage the toilet.
Replace the screw heads and bolts when you refit your toilet. Ensure you purchase the correct sizes.
Carefully lift the toilet seat to prevent damage, and clean it thoroughly. Replace any rusty metal parts.
To refit your toilet seat:
Ensure you get the correct measurements so that your toilet seat can sit properly and fit in well.
If you are installing a new toilet seat, it will come with installation instructions from the manufacturer. In some cases, you may need to drill additional holes.
Realign the toilet seat to fit the toilet perfectly before tightening the bolts.
Tighten the hinge screws to prevent them from loosening over time. Slide the bolts into the holes of the toilet bowl and move them sideways to adjust the adjustment. Align the seat with the pan.
Insert each bolt into the adjuster bracket and slide the bracket and bolt into the hinge plate. Use washers to secure the bolts.
Hold the bolts using a screwdriver as you tighten the nuts. Ensure the seat is supported on all sides of contact, pipes and wires are in place, and air tight to avoid leakage.
By following these instructions, you can safely and effectively remove and replace your toilet seat.
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How do you tighten a toilet seat with concealed fittings?
A loose toilet will always move side to side or wobble around. It is important to always fix such toilets as soon as they start moving, this will prevent further damage and also breakage of the toilet meaning you will have to incur more costs to repair the toilet .
Toilet seats are always attached to the toilet bowl using bolts, nuts and washers. The bolts are either made up of steel, plastic or brass, the top is always covered with plastic to protect them.
- Flathead screwdriver
- Adjustable wrench
How you tighten your toilet seat will depend on the type of your toilet seat. They are classified depending on their fixing.
- Top fixing toilet seats
- Bottom fixing toilet seats
- Quick release toilet seats
A toilet is held in place and secured by two bolts at the back of the toilet bowl. In most cases, the toilet seats are concealed by plastic tabs. These tabs prevent the toilet from sliding and also protect the bolts from water thus avoiding corrosion.
To access the bolts, using a flathead screwdriver, pry off the tabs some tabs are designed in a way that you can easily lift them with your finger.
The toilet seat bolts are used to tight the toilet seat by the use of nuts and sometimes washers.
If the bolts and nuts are plastic, then you can always undo them by just using your hands, in the case that they are made of metallic substance then you might need to use a flathead screwdriver or an adjustable wrench.
In a top fixing type of toilet seat, where there are no nuts, the toilet is tightened from the top using a screwdriver or a drill by using the correct bit size.
When dealing with a toilet with plastic bolts, you should always exercise caution not to strip the bolt while tightening. One of the best ways to do it is to ensure you have a big enough screwdriver to fit the bolt’s groove.
Insert the screwdriver in the groove of the bolt head but do not turn, use it to hold the bolt as you work on the nut below.
Reach for the bottom of the bowl and start turning the nut clockwise. Do the same for the other bolt. You have to be careful not to tighten too much as this will strip out the plastic bolt groove.
The screwdriver is only used to hold the bolt in place while tightening the nut but not to turn the bolt. Turning the bolt might deform its groove thus making it useless.
It is advisable to use metallic bolts over plastic bolts since they don’t loosen up as easily, they are durable and they maintain their groove for quit a long time.
When using metallic bolts in a top fixing toilet or bottom fixing toilet, you will have to hold the nuts at the bottom of the bowl as you turn the bolt using a screwdriver.
You can use an adjustable wrench to hold the nut as you tighten the bolt clockwise.
It is always advisable to tighten both bolts alternatingly. When you tighten one at a time, The other side will lift up thus making your toilet disproportional. Your toilet will wobble and the bolts will become loose with time.
It is important to be careful when you are using the adjustable wrench to avoid causing damage to the toilet bowl.
When you are tightening a quick release toilet seat, remove the plastic tabs covering the bolts to expose the bolt heads, hold the nuts underneath the bowl with your hands and tighten the toilet seats bolt carefully using the screwdriver with your other hand.
Why does my toilet seat keep coming loose?
Toilets tend to become loose or wobble around the seat hinges when the holes in the toilet bowl rim seem to be too large for the bolts to hold making your experience with it very uncomfortable. Regular tightening of the nuts should do the trick.
If that doesn’t work then you might consider purchasing rubber kits or washers and fit them around the bolts.
You can also improvise by cutting small pieces of old rubber from tubes and making holes on them big enough to fit the bolt, this should help them fit well in the holes and prevent the toilet from swaying around.
How do I stop any toilet seat from wobbling or moving sideways?
A sliding toilet is one of the most annoying recurrent domestic problems. It will definitely occur over and over even after working hard on the nuts and bolts.
This happens because the diameter of the holes are larger than the diameter of the bolts hence the toilet can’t hold its position even after constant tightening.
One of the recommended solutions is to fill this gap between the bolt and the porcelain. This can be done by fitting rubber or washers on the bolt to ensure a firm grip and the toilet will stay in place.
This can be done in just easy steps.
Things you might need
- Flat-head screw driver
- Adjustable pliers
- Washers or rubber
Lower the seat and try to find the two screw covers at the back of the seat. When you locate where the two screw covers are at the back of the seat, Use a screwdriver to clip-off the covers to expose the screw heads.
Put the flat-head screwdriver in the screw slot carefully to avoid damaging the screw grooves and hold it steady while you unscrew the nut from underneath the bowl.
If the nut is plastic, you should be able to do it by hand, if the nut is metallic, or it’s too tight to turn it then you might need to use adjustable wrench or pliers to turn it.
You have to note that in the cases that the bolts are corroded, you might have trouble loosening them, thus you might need to apply some lubricant on them.
Remove the nut and bolt carefully and take the seat off the bowl. Clean the ceramic with soap and water to clean any buildup, then replace the seat.
Insert the screws back in the holes, Remove the backing from a pair of washers and slide one along the ends of each bowl until it makes contact with the bowl,
If you are using rubber make sure it is tight around the bolt. Tighten the nut by bare hand carefully as far as it will go, if it’s metal, continue tightening it with adjustable pliers.
The nut will forcely push the washers into the washer hole, securing the bolt and stopping the seat from slipping.
Are toilet seat fittings universal?
Toilet seats are designed and crafted differently.Toilets come in varying styles, designs and sizes. Toilets also exist in different shapes: the square ones, the round ones, the angular ones and the D-shaped ones.
These toilets differ in terms of dimensions that are both in length and width. Due to these variances, it is difficult to come up with a universal toilet fitting for all toilets.
Some are fitted from beneath the fixing holes and some from the top, toilet fittings also come with varying sizes of hinges. However this does not mean you cannot get the correct fittings of your toilet.
However there are several factors of which you should consider when sourcing for the right models for your toilets.
- The Shape of your toilet pan. The shape of your toilet is a major determinant, you have to note that different shapes require different fitting hardware. Fittings for a D-shaped pan may not necessarily be suitable for a round-shaped or square pan.
- The measurement of your toilet. In order to get the right fittings for your toilet, then you will have to get the right measurements. You will have to measure the length of it. That is from the holes in your toilet to the very front edge of your toilet. You also have to measure the diameter from edge to edge to determine the width.
- Measure the distance between the holes in the cistern or wall to determine the height of your toilet.
- Measure the distance between the centers of each fixing holes.
- The material used in the toilet fitting and tighten toilet bowl. There are mainly three materials used, the plastic, wooden and thermoplastic materials.
- Plastic materials are relatively cheap and considered durable and easy to work with hence they are the most popular of the three.
- Thermoplastics are lightweight while wooden materials are used to give a stylish and elegant look to their toilet.
- You have to note that it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in order to avoid damages during fitting and also the seats from coming loose in future.
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