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Installing a new water-efficient toilet.

Installing a new water-efficient toilet It weighs 60 pounds, is a little fragile, and can be unwiedly to handle. But it's relatively clean and easy to replace your old toilet with a water-conserving one.

Why change? Older toilets use 5 to 7 gallons or more per flush. In 1983, codes were changed for require 3 1/2-gallon-perflush toilets for new construction. But ultra-low-flush (ULF) toilets--using only 1.6 gallons or less per flush--are already replacing these in many Western homes. Some water districts even offer a rebate if you install one.

How much do ULFs really save over conventional toilets? Conservative estimates are 20 percent of total indoor water consumption for a family of four.

Cost ranges from under $100 to over $300, depending on manufacturer, design, and dealer. Gallons per flush should be printed in the tank or on the box.

Out with the old

First, turn off the water at the angle stop supply valve on the wall. Then flush the toilet and sponge any excess water from the bowl. Using an adjustable wrench, disconnect the supply line at the toilet. With a knife, pop off the decorative nut caps (sometimes puttied in place) and remove the two nuts that hold the fixture to the floor flange. If the nuts are corroded, use some penetrating oil or try grasping the top of the flange bolts with locking pliers while you twist the nuts.

With nuts and washers off, rock the toilet gently to break seals of putty and wax, then lift it straight up (liftin with your legs, not your back). Water should remain in the trap, but keep a towel nearby.

In with the new

Clear any remnants of the old wax ring seal away from the floor flange. (If you don't find a wax ring--likely in pre-1940 houses--put the old toilet back on and call a plumber to replace the lead stub some older installations involve.)

If your new toilet is a one-piece or comes assembled, carefully rock it back and apply a bead of plumber's putty around the outer rim of the base. (Be very careful how you support bowl and tank> they can crack.) You can either push the wax ring onto the toilet's outlet (horn) or set a new wax ring over the flange on the floor.

Either way, carefully align and lower the toilet so the horn slips inside the wax ring or the ring slips into the flange and the flange bolts slide up through the holes in the porcelain base. (This is easier with help from an assistant.) Some wax rings come with a neoprene alignment sleeve.

Carefully tighten the flange bolt nuts (replace them if they're too corroded), applying weight to seat the base on the wax and putty rings. don't overtighten> you may crack the porcelain.

Finally, reconnect the supply line (replace it, if necessary) and apply a bead of caulk around the base.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sunset Water Watch 1991
Date:Mar 1, 1991
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