Excuse the pun, but before you become too flushed about a successful purchase, remember you still have to fit it! Try to replace the toilet pan in the original position. Keeping it against an outside wall near the soil stack will save you having to reroute the supply pipework and waste run.
Putting it all together
Nearly all modern toilets are close coupled toilets, that is with a low-level cistern sitting on the pan. They are operated by a siphonic action, which is created by a built-in single or double trap. This makes the toilet flush a lot more quietly than the wash down type with a separate toilet cistern.
First the cistern
All new toilets are supplied with the internal flushing mechanism already fitted together as one piece, so all you have to do is pop it in the cistern and attach the flush handle. Push the threaded end of the water supply pipe through the hole in the base or at the top of the cistern and secure it on the outside with a washer and collar. Tighten by hand, taking care not to cross-thread the collar. Fit the flush handle with a threaded collar and link it to the flushing mechanism 1. Secure the internal flushing mechanism to the base of the cistern with a connecting plate and tighten 2. Insert bolts either side of the plate.
Then the pan
Fit the plastic push-fit connector onto the pan outlet 3. Attach the cistern temporarily to the pan 4 and position the pan with the cistern against the wall 5 ready to mark the fixing positions on the floor. If the floor is a concrete screed or tiled, you will have to remove the pan and drill and plug the holes for the screws. Use non-corrosive screws, such as brass ones.
Remove the toilet cistern and check with a spirit level that the pan is level; use strips of wood or plastic as packers if it isn’t 6. Bed the pan on silicone mastic and screw the fixing screws home 7. Trim any packers flush using a craft knife 8 and clean off excess mastic with a damp cloth.
Bathroom Tips: Wrap lots of PTFE tape around fixing screws to act as a packer. I use long brass mirror screws, which can be finished off with chrome dome caps for effect.
Victoria Plumb advice – It’s very important that you allow for connecting an overflow pipe in case of valve failure. This is done by connecting a 22mm (7/8in) overflow pipe to the cistern connector provided, through an external wall so that it can discharge outside in the event of a problem. Ensure a slight downwards fall to the overflow pipe. If you’re unable to run the overflow pipe through an outside wall, connect it to a bathroom waste pipe. A special purpose-made fitting called a Tundish (above) can be fitted to detect when water overflows from the cistern.
If the toilet has a flush pipe, connect it to the pan. Hold the cistern against the wall to mark the fixing holes. Fix the cistern to the wall with non-corrosive screws and washers 9, drilling and plugging the holes if the wall is solid. Tighten the flush pipe connecting nut to the cistern and connect the 15mm (5/8in) water supply pipe to the cistern float valve with a tap connector 10.
The last thing to do is to fix the toilet seat,via the premachined holes in the pan and the seat assembly kit 11. I always smear a bit of Vaseline or silicone grease on the fixing kit components before completing this task.
Installing a pump shredder unit / macerator
If you wish to install an additional toilet in your home away from the house soil stack, a small-bore waste system may be the answer. Traditionally known in the trade as a ‘chewer and spitter’, this is a pump-and-shredder unit that macerates toilet waste and pushes it through a small diameter pipe, over a considerable distance if necessary.
This system allows you to install a toilet up to 100m (350ft) away from the soil stack, even pumping waste vertically to a maximum of 6m ( nearly 20ft). Its flexibility means you can site a secondary toilet almost anywhere in the house – in a loft or basement conversion for instance or even under the stairs.
The macerator is supplied as a free-standing unit that fits directly behind the pan and below the cistern. It must be wired into an unswitched fused spur outlet. The site needs adequate ventilation, but this can be provided for mechanically if necessary
The unit’s waste pipe is connected to the 100mm (4in) soil stack via a standard 32mm (1 1/4in) strap-on pipe boss, but the manufacturer normally supplies a 22-32mm (7/8 – 1 1/4in) adaptor in case smaller gauge pipework is used. The connection to the soil stack must be made at least 200mm (8in) above or below any other connections.
If you live in a block of flats you may need approval from the management company to install a macerator, and even if you live in a house you should check with your local water authority that there are no restrictions. The unit can be a little noisy, especially on bare floorboards. It switches on automatically when the toilet is flushed and runs for about 10-20 seconds, so some carpeting or matting underneath it might be necessary.
Connecting a Macerator
Slip a large Jubilee clip over the pan outlet then fit the flexible socket of the unit over the pan outlet 1. Position the Jubilee clip over the socket and tighten it using a screwdriver to make a watertight seal 2.
Next, connect the discharge pipework. Insert the discharge elbow in the lid of the macerator until the lugs engage then turn it clockwise 3. Fit the flexible hose supplied with the unit over the elbow 4 and secure it with a Jubilee clip 5. Use another Jubilee clip to connect the other end of the hose to a copper or UPVC waste pipe run to the soil stack 6. You can use 22mm (7/8) diameter pipe, but any discharge pipework longer than 12 metres needs to be increased to 32mm (1 1/4in).
Horizontal waste pipes must have a minimum fall of 1:200 (5mm per metre/ 1/4in per yard) 7. If the discharge pipework runs to a level considerably lower than the macerator unit, the resulting siphoning effect can suck out the water seal in the unit. To prevent this, fit an airadmittance valve at the high point of the pipe run.
Finally, connect the discharge pipework to the existing soil stack using a strap-on boss 8 and 9. Some are selfcutting, but you may need to cut a hole yourself with a special drill attachment. Lag any external pipework.
Ask a qualified electrician to connect the unit to an unswitched fused wiring connector protected with a 5 amp fuse, or a circuit breaker set to 30mA.
Switching it on
When all your plumbing and electrical connections have been made, flush once. The motor should run for about 10-20 seconds before switching off. Now you can check that all the seals and connectors are watertight.
Bathroom Tips: Only human waste and toilet paper should be placed in a macerator unit. Bulky, hard or fabric objects will damage the motor and cause blockages, which will then need to be cleared manually. Don’t use any chemicals other than standard cleaners.
Choosing and Installing a Wall Hung Toilet
In a fitted bathroom, the toilet cistern and plumbing are concealed behind a false wall, while the pan is positioned against it – Wall Hung Toilet. As these cisterns do not need to look attractive they are relatively cheap to buy. The plumbing is basically the same as for any other system, except that the flushing handle or button is mounted on the wall.
Bathroom Tips: Ensure that any concealment wall or panelling is fitted with full access for servicing and maintenance.
Choosing and Installing a Bidet
There are two types of bidet: one is known as the overrim supply bidet, the other is called the through-rim supply bidet. The latter is quite a difficult piece of equipment to install, and local water authorities have strict regulations regarding the installation of this type of bidet.
So unless you’re extremely proficient at bathroom DIY, this particular job is probably best left to a professional plumber. When siting a bidet, remember to allow for enough leg room – a minimum of 760mm (2ft 6in) overall.
Fitting an over rim supply bidet
Unlike the rim supply bidet, this over-rim type is simplicity itself to install. If you are using separate hot and cold taps, follow the steps for installing a bath. The majority of modern bidets are supplied with a single hole for a mixer tap with a pop-up waste attached to the tap. The hot and cold supply pipes are simply branched off the existing bathroom plumbing, while the waste pipe discharges like other bathroom fittings into the 110mm (41/4in) soil pipe or external hopper.
Push the top of the pop-up waste down through the waste hole in the bidet, seating it on a layer of sealant. From underneath, screw the bottom of the waste onto the top 1. Position the washer at the base of the tap 2. Fit shutoff valves to the hot and cold supply to the tap. Secure tap to bidet 3. Screw the pop-up waste lever by hand into the waste outlet 4. To insert the pop-up rod, join it with the supplied clamp and screw it tight 5. Adjust the waste bung if necessary 6. Move the bidet into position and connect it to the supply pipes and waste pipe 7. Secure the bidet to the floor and wall in the same way as for a toilet.