How to Fix Toilet Studs

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Toilet studs are essential a bolt that holds the toilet to the floor flange. Find out how to fix toilet studs with help from an experienced construction professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Plumbing Help
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Hi, this is Nicholas Iarocci, The Home Source guy, president and owner of Source Development, Inc., a residential and commercial construction company in Garnerville, New York and this is how to replace toilet studs. Toilet studs are essentially the bolt that holds the toilet down to the floor flange and keeps it steady. A situation where you might want to replace a toilet stud is one where you're getting rocking in the bowl. Quick fix, if it just started as an issue, is to maybe just apply a little bit of caulk to either side of the bowl to keep the bowl steady but chances are it's rocking for a reason, you know, the studs which are under this lid here which we're going to pop off with our screwdriver on our model, the stud is loose for whatever reason. You might want to try just tightening it at first. If that doesn't do, tighten it on either side because there's two. If that doesn't do the problem, more than likely the flange is either broken or not affixed to the floor of you have to just replace it. Now if it is an ongoing problem something that's gone on for quite a while, what you want to do is absolutely replace the wax gasket. You want to take the toilet off which I'm going to show you and replace the wax gasket. What happens is that there's a flange at the bottom of the toilet that fits within the wax gasket and connects to the flange and what happens is if it's a long going thing, the wax gasket becomes oblonged from the movement in the toilet so it's not really sealing very well and you might get you know, residual waste water running under the toilet and out onto the floor so there is a health issue associated with it. So, you may as well replace it. On older toilets, you'll notice that the bolt may be deteriorating to the point where you can't get it off. This is a newer bolt so we're going to try to loosen it off by hand, although it's been cut so I don't know if you're going to actually be able to get it off entirely without cutting it off but I'm going to give it a try. So what can we use to cut it off? So I can use a hacksaw on either form but in my case I'm going to use an oscillating saw and loosen the bolt here right at the bottom. Now as you're cutting you want to avoid, you know, hitting the ceramic and that's actually why I like using the oscillating saw. You don't have to worry about, you know, like in the case of using a reciprocating or Sawzall going back and forth or that motion getting anywhere near the china. So if you have something, you know, expensive that you are working with really this is a great option to use. So now that we've cut off the bolt on both sides we're going to remove the toilet. Okay we're going to remove the tank lid, set it aside. We're going to turn off the water supply. I'm going to empty out the tank. I'm going to wait until all the water comes completely out of the tank. I'm going to hold the overflow up so that the water is completely out. I'm going to disconnect the supply tube. You might get some residual water underneath so you want to have a cup handy. Okay so obviously I'm above my model here. It's counter top level so you wouldn't be dealing with that at home. Let's just replace the studs here. I'm going to remove the old studs and the old wax gasket and this is pretty sticky stuff folks so you might want to wear gloves while you're doing it, get a new gasket and on this particular gasket we have a flange. So that's essentially what the toilet looks like and the old wax gasket would fit right here. So that's why I said if you get that rocking motion what happens is in the toilet the wax gasket separates from the toilet. It doesn't make contact any more and you can get some leakage. Now if you have a flange on your new wax gasket, what happens is it actually lines it up into, you know, into the toilet. If you have a situation where you're required to have a thicker flange because the flange is below the floor level, this is perfect because it will guide the water in from the toilet and into the flange or the pipe while giving you that seal that you need. In our application we don't need a flange because we're within tolerances of one inch to the flange. It's a new application and we're within tolerance so we could use a gasket without a flange. So I'm going to reinstall the new wax gasket. If this was an old application you'd make sure that flange is debris-free and put your bolts in place. Now push down on this retaining nut. If you can envision like putting the toilet and you have a situation like this where the bolt is tilted in a different direction, you're going to have a hard time lining the bowl up. This little washer here is going to keep your nut perfectly straight, push that over and put it right there, push it right down on the gasket. So it's going to stop the bowl from tilting. We're going to put our gasket back on our flange, line it up. If there is rocking in the toilet it may be because your flange is either deteriorated from years being in an older house or it's not screwed or attached to the floor properly and you're getting actual rocking in the plumbing. So that's why it's really crucial that the flange is attached to the floor so you don't get that rocking motion. We're going to line up the bolt holes with the holes in our toilet flange here. We'll put our plastic retaining nut back, our metal washer. We're going to tighten up our bolt here. You want to be snug during the tightening process but you don't want to be overly aggressive. Again you're dealing with china or porcelains and they will crack just as easily so you just really want to be gentle with it, just you know, nice snugness. So once it's been snugged we're going to have to cut the remaining bolt so that the cap can fit over the base that we installed. So I'm going to take my oscillating saw or reciprocating saw or hacksaw and cut it off and it will hold this while I'm cutting at the same time. Okay once the bolt has been sawed off we're going to clean off and snap the cap on. So we want to repeat the process on the other side with the other bolt. I'm going to reconnect the supply line snug with the pliers. We're going to turn on our supply, fill up the tank, run it through the system and check for leakage. If there is no leakage, check for the flange being tight, the bowl, you don't want the bowl to rock or have any little excess play in it. And that was how to repair toilet studs. This is Nicholas Iarocci, The Home Source guy, president and owner of Source Development, Inc., a residential and commercial construction company in Garnerville, New York helping you build a better life. We'll see you next time.

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