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Installing a Dual Flush Toilet

I got a new toilet! Not just any toilet. A Kohler. Dual Flush. Water Saving, Beautiful Toilet! Toilets are an under appreciate porcelain feature.

New plumbing technology means faucets, showers, and toilets can use significantly less water than older models and still deliver the rinse and flush you are used to. The EPA has a label (below) that you can look for to find the products that will deliver to your expectations but still conserve water and electricity. Check out this break down I found on the EPA’s Water Sense website:


All from changing out only three things in your bathrooms: Water faucets, toilets & shower heads!

Here are photos of my new, fantastic and shiny toilet:

This particular toilet’s features:

  • Dual Force technology allows the choice of .8 gallon flush for liquid or light waste. The 1.6 gallon flush is for bulk or solid waste
  • Dual Force technology can save the average family of 4 up to 24,000 gallons of water per year with the .8 gallon option
  • Two-button actuator provides easy-to-use flushing options
  • A sanitary guard helps prevent liquid from getting under the tank
  • Elongated bowl has an extended rim length for comfortable use by adults (niiiiiiiice)
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) compliant
  • Meets strict flushing performance guildlines established by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Water Sense Program

ok. Enough gushing. Get your own.

Installing a toilet turned out to be a lot easier than I expected. This is a step step process:

#1. The first step is to turn off the toilet’s water supply. Then flush the toilet to empty its tank, . Sop out any remaining water in the tank and bowl with a sponge–make sure they’re both empty

Drain the existing toilet of all the water. We turned off the toilet’s water supply (it was a lever on the wall right next to the toilet). Then we flushed the toilet a couple times and held the trip-lever down to let all the water run out. Then we used the plunger (As seen above) to push any water that was willing – down the pipes. Lastly, we used a sponge and a bucket to get all the water out from the tank and the bowl.

#2. Remove the bolts from the sides of the toilet base. Any wrench should do the trick.

#3. Remove the caulking around the base of the toilet. We used a metal scraper – the same one we used on the wallpaper fiasco. Once all the caulking is scraped off, you should be able to give a good ‘ole heave ho and pull the toilet away from the floor. You can also rock the toilet to help break the seal of the toilet flange. I don’t have a photo of removing my toilet because the space is too small…. but here is a photo of what the space looked like “sans” old toilet.

#4. Scrape off the old wax ring and clean the space. I used this opportunity to replace the molding in the entire bathroom and paint the wall where the toilet tank was. But all I needed for the toilet replacement was to remove the wax ring:

So it looks like this:

The rest of this installation is just far too easy.

#5. Place the new wax ring in place:

When you buy your new toilet – it should come with bolts and accessories. I pushed the bolt heads into the plastic flange and then pushed the bolt into the side of this wax ring just a little in order to help them stand straight up when the toilet gets put into place.
#6. Pause. The toilet will go straight down over the wax ring and bolts through the appropriate holes all in one placement. If you rock the bowl back and forth to make it fit correctly, you could get air bubbles in your wax ring that will lead to septic gasses and worst case, water, leaking into your house. I wish I had a picture, but my place is too small and I was overly worried about sewer gasses infiltrating my house.
#7. Ok. Go ahead and place your new porcelain, water saving wonder. This could be a two person job – one for stabilizing and the other for heavy lifting.
#8. Now all you have to do is tighten the nuts onto the bolts and cover both with the plastic cover that came with your new toilet and viola! A new toilet!

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