It's not too difficult to replace your old toilet, as long as you can connect it to an existing branch of the soil pipe. But if you want to add a new toilet in another part of your home, you should get a professional plumber to connect into the main soil pipe. You can cut your water usage significantly by fitting a dual flush toilet mechanism.
How to fit a close-coupled toilet
There are loads of different toilet designs to choose from that suit every style of interior. Close-coupled cisterns sit directly on top of the pan and are a very popular modern design. Always unpack and carefully inspect your new toilet or suite before you rip out your old fittings. After all, you don't want to discover a fault, crack or missing part when your bathroom is out of action.
You can replace a cracked seat without changing the whole toilet. Choose an exact match or go for a contrasting effect; for example, wood-effect seats look good on plain white pans.
An electronic detector will highlight any hidden pipes and cables under the floor and in the wall. This is an important thing to do prior to drilling to prevent an accident.
Following the manufacturer's instructions, assemble and insert the flush mechanism. Make sure you include the rubber sealing rings where necessary.
Place the large rubber gasket into the flush entrance of the pan.
Insert the long fixing bolts through the holes in the cistern, using the rubber and large metal washers supplied.
Lift the cistern onto the pan so the connecting bolts fit through the holes. The threaded section of the flush mechanism should go through the rubber gasket on the flush entrance of the pan.
Fit washers to the connecting bolts, and tighten the wing nuts. Make sure you fit these securely - but don't over-tighten them.
Next, check there are no pipes or cables beneath the fixing points. Put the toilet in place, and slide the pan outlet into the flexible connector that's attached to the soil pipe (a little silicone grease will ease it on). Then drill some pilot holes into the floor at the fixing points. If it's a solid floor, you'll need to make the holes with a hammer-action drill and plug them.
Push plastic protective inserts through the holes in the base of the pan, and insert the retaining screws through and into the floor. If the cistern has fixing holes in the back, attach it to the wall by drilling and plugging. Remember to add rubber washers before you tighten the nuts.
Connect the supply pipe for the cold water feed, using a push-fit tap connector.
Fit the hinge assembly to the seat, following the manufacturer's instructions.
Connect the seat to the pan by securing through the holes at the back, using the screws supplied. Then adjust it to sit in the correct position.
How to fit a dual-flush toilet mechanism
A valve-operated flush mechanism is quite easy to install and also can replace your existing flush . As flush mechanisms do vary between designs and can be controlled by either a handle or button, always read the manufacturer's assembly instructions. Shut off the water supply and flush the toilet to empty the cistern before you start.
One Planet Home - Saving water
A dual-flush mechanism gives you the option of a half or full flush - which can save as much as 40,000 litres of water a year for a family of four.
Lift off the cistern lid and take out the ball valve, handle and existing flush mechanism. Clear any loose dirt from the tank, then unscrew the wingnuts from under the pan and remove the existing filling valve. Lay a dust sheet for protection over the toilet lid and rest the cistern on top.
Clip the flush cable control to the ball float mechanism, and connect this to the base of the cistern using the backnut and grommet supplied. Next, adjust the filter restrictor according to whether the water supply is at mains pressure or supplied from a tank. Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions when you do this. Then insert the filter restrictor into the threaded tail of the filling valve, and attach the filling valve to the inlet pipe using the backnut and washer supplied.
Clip the flush cable control to the push button, and use the backnut supplied to secure the push button.
Put the cistern back in place and re-attach it to the toilet pan. Then re-attach the tap connector that links the water inlet pipe with the filling valve.