Tips When Installing a New Toilet

Tips When Installing a New Toilet

Installing a new toilet can be time-consuming and a little complex. The key to a successful toilet installation is being prepared ahead of time, having the right tools, and keeping some basic tips in mind.

What will I need to buy?

Measure the old toilet before purchasing the new one

To make certain your new toilet will fit the area where the old one fit, you will need to measure the old toilet. Most have a waste pipe that is centered about 12 inches from the wall; however, you will want to check to make sure. To take this measurement, measure from the wall to the bolts that hold the toilet down. If this measurement isn’t 12 inches, it may be more difficult than taking a trip to the nearest home improvement store for equipment. You will likely need to special order a toilet if the measurement is either 10 inches or 14 inches. Also, if there is a door near where the toilet is positioned, measure how far out the toilet bowl extends to make certain that the model you are choosing doesn’t block the door from closing. Some new toilets come with the tank internals already installed and adjusted. If not, follow the instructions to build the fill valve, float and overflow.

Make sure the new toilet has brass bolts and stainless-steel screws

These are the most durable and they will not rust; they are also the easiest to cut. Plan on cutting the bolts to size as one of the last steps to install the toilet.

Buy a second set of nuts and washers to lock the bolts in place

This will make positioning and setting the toilet much easier.

Buy a flexible water line that is covered with a stainless-steel mesh

These are easier to install than the plastic or metal lines.

Assemble the Right Tools

toiletWhen you are ready to install the new toilet you have purchased, assemble all of the tools necessary for the task:

  • Caulk gun
  • Cordless drill
  • Hacksaw
  • Locking pliers
  • Pliers
  • Rags
  • Shop vacuum
  • Slip joint pliers
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Level

Steps for installing the new toilet

Cut the bolts holding the old toilet in place and remove them

This is where a hacksaw is handy to cut the old hold-down bolts out of place. Use the locking pliers stop them from spinning as you are cutting. When you have removed them, insert the new bolts in their place and use your second set of nuts and washers to secure them.

Setting the toilet

Once you have removed the old toilet, prepare to put the new one in place onto the new bolts. The extra set of nuts and washers will help keep them from slipping as you try to align the bolts with the holes they fit into in the new toilet. To keep from damaging the toilet’s wax ring or moving it out of place, first remove the wax ring, then set the toilet in place to check its height and position and lift it off. Put the wax ring in place and set the toilet in position over the wax ring. Check that the toilet flange is sitting at the proper level.  If it isn’t, this is a good time to replace or repair it.

Securing the wax ring

Sit on the toilet backward, centering your weight on the wax ring, then move around on it as it begins to settle into the floor. When you feel the toilet reach the floor, tighten the bolts.

Attaching the water line

To make sure it is sealed properly, aim the hose into the center of the shutoff/fill valve and tighten carefully with pliers. Test the system for leaks.

Pro-tip:  If the tank is not already installed on the bowl, make sure to properly seat the tank to bowl gasket and alternate tightening the tank bolts for a snug, leak free fit. Porcelain is fragile, so don’t overtighten hardware!

Don’t want to install your new toilet yourself? FloHawks can help

FloHawks has trusted and certified plumbing professionals who know the right way to remove your old toilet and install your new toilet quickly and professionally. We are available to install your new toilets and to handle any other residential plumbing needs you may have.

To have your new toilet installed by the experienced plumbers at FloHawks, give us a call anytime at 1-800-356-4295 or use our online Schedule Your Service tool, which allows you to set an appointment that fits your schedule.

Why is My Double Kitchen Sink Backing Up to the Other Side?

When your double kitchen sink clogs on one or both sides, you likely either have a clog in your garbage disposal and/or a blockage within your main drainage water line.

Wondering what to do next? Here are some home remedies you may want to try on your own.

Try a Plunger

In a double sink configuration, one side houses the garbage disposal. Plunge this side first by applying the plunger to the clogged sink hole – making sure to completely cover it. Be sure to close off the drain on the other side to keep from creating a mess!  Keep the plunger in an upright position and pump it hard 10 to 15 times. This should clear any of the food remains in the sink. Next, repeat this process on the opposite side. Cover the other sink hole and plunge the drain. Then, run hot water down both drains for a minimum of five minutes each to make certain they are clear. If they don’t clear, plunge both again. If this doesn’t work, the clog is likely too far down in your main water drainage line for plunging to work.

No Plunger? Try This

You can also try unclogging your kitchen sink with a solution of vinegar and baking soda. First, bail out any standing water in your sink. Then, pour one cup of baking soda down each drain, followed by one cup of vinegar down each drain. Wait five minutes and run hot water down each drain to clear it of the solution.  Avoid using chemical drain cleaners, especially if you are on septic as they damage the biology inside the septic tank.

No Baking Soda or Vinegar? Try Salt

Another way to clear a clogged double kitchen sink is to use a salt and boiling water solution. First, remove the standing water from the sink. Then pour a half cup of salt down both drains, followed by boiling water. Wait five minutes and run hot water down the drain to clear it of the solution.

Preventing Clogged Drains

Because clogged drains are such a common problem, it’s generally not a surprise when they happen – usually at the most inconvenient moments. What may be surprising is that there are a number of things you can do to avoid having clogged drains in your home that can lead to more serious plumbing problems. Learn more about preventing drain clogs here

Is your kitchen sink still backing up? FloHawks can help!

If you have tried some of these home remedies without any luck, don’t wait a moment longer, call your local plumbing professionals at FloHawks today. FloHawks has trusted and certified plumbing professionals who understand that clogged drains and other plumbing problems can often present a challenge that should be handled quickly and professionally.

Give us a call anytime at 1-800-356-4295 or use our convenient Schedule Your Service tool, which allows you to set an appointment that fits your schedule.

5 Easy Ways to Conserve More Water

Cutting back on water use in your home will help save you money and put less strain on your plumbing system. Water conservation is also taking center stage at many discussions of how to combat drought and preserve our environment. While there are many ways to accomplish the goal of water conservation every day, here are five of the most effective ways to reduce your water use.

  1. Turn Off Your Faucet While Washing and Brushing

    Although many of us leave the water running in our sinks while we are soaping our hands and brushing our teeth, the truth is that we would be saving a lot of water if we turn the taps off while doing these activities – and turn them back on when we need to rinse. With water flowing out of our taps at the rate of nearly 3 gallons per minute, it is easy to see how changing this one practice can make a huge difference over time in our water consumption.

  2. Take Shorter Showers

    Do you really need to keep the shower running while you are soaping up or shaving? You will save countless gallons of water each time you turn the shower off while you do. In addition, setting a timer to see how long your average shower takes could be incredibly enlightening. Try cutting back your shower time by just a minute and see how your water bills changes for the better.

  3. Run Only Full Dishwashers and Washing Machines

    Your water consumption is impacted significantly every time you run the dishwasher and washing machine. Conserve both water and electricity by waiting to run these appliances with full loads.

  4. Replace Old Plumbing Fixtures with WaterSense-Certified Products

    Did you know that old shower heads and faucets add gallons of unnecessary water consumption every time you use them? Replace them with WaterSense-certified products that meet standards created by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Manufactured by numerous trusted brands in plumbing products, these fixtures make saving water easy without making a major lifestyle change. Learn more at

  5. Fix All of Your Leaks

    You would be surprised to know how many gallons of water you are wasting and paying for by letting both little and big leaks in your plumbing system go without repair. Fix them and watch both your water consumption and water bill drop significantly. In the video below, we meet up with our Superintendent, Thomas as he tracks a leak from the septic system back to the toilet and makes an adjustment to flapper valve in the toilet tank.

  6. Need professionals to fix your leaks or install new fixtures? FloHawks can help!

    Water conservation is important to the team at FloHawks and we are happy to help you and your family find ways to conserve water around your home. FloHawks has trusted and certified plumbing professionals who understand that leaks and other plumbing problems can often result in wasted water. If you are interested in installing new fixtures that are WaterSense-certified, repairing links once and for all, or help with handling any other plumbing issues, we are here to help.

    Call 1-800-356-4295 or use our Schedule Your Service tool, which will allow you to set up an appointment that works with your schedule.

What to Do When You Clog Someone Else’s Toilet

What to Do When You Clog Someone Else’s Toilet

Horror hits hard the moment you realize you have clogged your host’s toilet, and awkward doesn’t even begin to describe how you’ll feel telling them about it. But there may be a way out of this embarrassing situation if you follow a few simple steps.

  1. Don’t Panic
    Panic never unclogged anyone’s toilet, so don’t waste time doing it. Inhale, exhale, and calmly address the problem.
  2. Stop Flushing
    Flushing a clogged toilet will not unclog it so stop trying to solve the problem this way. In fact, it could make the problem worse by causing the toilet water to overflow – and you definitely don’t want that to happen.
  3. Turn Off the Toilet’s Water Valve
    This is located at the bottom of the toilet. Turn it to the right.
  4. Check the Bathroom for a Plunger
    If you’re lucky, you will find one behind the toilet or under the sink.
  5. Apply the Plunger
    Apply the plunger to the bottom of the toilet bowl and make certain that it is sealed tight on it. Then begin forcefully plunging in an up and down motion, making sure not to loosen its seal on the bottom of the toilet bowl. Do this quickly and repetitively for about 30 seconds and check to see if water is beginning to drain out.
  6. Turn the Water Valve Back On
    If the water is beginning to drain, the clog has dissipated. Turn the valve to the left to turn the water back on, wait for the tank to fill, then flush, rinse off the plunger with clean water and put it back in its place.
  7. What to Do if There Isn’t a Plunger
    Now you can panic (just kidding). Take a deep breath and remember that everyone uses the bathroom and has likely had this happen to them. If you have your phone with you, try texting your host and asking for a plunger – then follow the steps above. If not, close the toilet lid and the bathroom door, locate your host and discreetly ask for a plunger so that you can fix the problem.

FloHawks Can Help

We know that clogged toilets can often present a challenge that should be handled quickly so as not to interrupt the celebrations. If these DIY tips don’t do the trick, or if you’re having ongoing issues with clogged toilets, don’t hesitate to call FloHawks at (800) 356-4295. Our experienced plumbers have seen it all and unclogged countless messy situations.

What is Water Hammer?

What is Water Hammer?

When you turn off a faucet and hear a thumping or pounding sound, that’s water hammer. It happens when water quickly changes the direction of its flow and the resulting momentum causes the pipes to experience waves of pressure. If the problem isn’t fixed, it may cause serious damage to your plumbing system’s pipes.

Why does water hammer happen?

There are several reasons why water hammer occurs:

  • Pipe Attachment Issues

    It may be that a loose pipe-mounting strip is causing your water hammer problem. These straps attach pipes to a framing to reduce your pipes’ movement when water flows through them. To fix the problem, use plumber’s tape or clips to secure the pipe.

  • Water Pressure is Too High

    If this is the case, you can install water pressure regulators to solve your water hammer problem. It should be installed at the place where the main water supply enters your home so you may only need one rather than several air chambers. This valve will also help protect all of your water-supplied appliances from the effects of high water pressure. When you install the water regulators, make sure to calibrate your water pressure to somewhere between 30 and 50 psi. Anything higher may cause damage to your equipment and void warranties.

  • What can be done to resolve water hammer?

    There are several ways to fix water hammer depending on the issue:

    • Consider Installing an Air Chamber

      This device solves water hammer by preventing water from creating the waves that cause waves of pressure in your pipes. Air chambers should be placed within the walls next to water valves. You can tell if your air chamber is working correctly by first turning off your main water valve. After opening your building’s highest water faucet, drain all of the water from your pipes by opening the water faucet at the lowest point in the building. After the water has drained from the lowest faucet, shut it off and open the main water valve. The resulting air should push out of the waterlines and stop the water hammer.

    • Clogged Air Chamber

      If your air chamber isn’t working correctly, this could cause water hammer. Clean it by removing its pipe’s cap and remove any debris in the chamber.

    • Consider Installing a Mechanical Water Arrestor

      If you want to reduce water hammer but installing an air chamber doesn’t work in a particular place, try installing a mechanical water arrestor. These sealed units absorb water movement and work particularly well for buildings that need high water pressure.

    FloHawks Can Help Solve Your Water Hammer Issues

    We know that water hammer is not only annoying but can cause serious and permanent damage to your pipes over time. Issues like this must be repaired quickly and professionally.

    Call FloHawks today or schedule an appointment online at a time that works well for you.