Replace Downstairs Toilet

I’m considering tackling the project of replacing the downstairs toilet one of these weekends. I’ve done some basic plumbing before (including toilets), so I more-or-less know what I’m doing, and I have a car I can use to go buy it.

Is there anyone who would be interested in helping/collaborating on this?

Heya – I’m down to help if you’d like to still tackle this.

I have a bit of past experience with toilet repair and toilet swaps.
While I don’t hold any special desire to get into gross sewage plumbing, I also have a vested interest in a quality pooping experience at Noisebridge. :slight_smile:

With a bit of collaboration and coordination, I’m down to setup a plan to tackle this with 'ya.

How about we shoot for next Saturday? I’ll dm you on Slack.

We’ll work on this on April 2nd.

My rough TODO list for this project:

  • Pre-planning

    • Scope out the existing toilet installation for standard bolt locations and sewer connection. Is it a weird or old toilet?
      • North American standard rough-in from the wall to bolt/drain center is 12 inches.
    • Scope out the bathroom for the feasibility of placing or using a GFCI outlet for a bidet washlet
    • Downstairs bathroom needs to be the most accessible. Scope feasibility of grab bars and enabling maximum turning space in the room for wheelchairs.
  • Pre-swap shopping/tool gathering

    • A freestanding toilet tank/bowl set. Ideal floor to seat-top height is 17"-19" for accessibility; like a chair.
    • A new wax ring for the sewer connection
    • Toilet bolts/nuts
    • Bolt hacksaw / angle grinder
    • Plastic sheeting or big garbage bags to contain the old toilet parts.
    • Towels/Rags/Bucket
    • Silicone caulk and caulk gun
    • Scraping/cutting tool
    • Backup replacement toilet flange?
    • Optional: Jumpsuit? Gauntlet-length gloves?
    • Optional: A bidet washlet
  • Swap day

    • Clean out the old bowl, seat, and lid really well. No gross residues should remain while it’s not hooked up to sewage.
    • Drain and dry the existing tank and bowl, unbolt parts and remove the old toilet. Wrap and contain it.
    • Remove and swap the wax ring seal.
    • Install the new toilet set and plumbing.
    • Caulk the toilet to the floor, but leave some gaps in the back in case of future leaks
    • Optional: install the washlet
  • Post-swap

    • Do something with the old toilet:
      • Post to sfbay craigslist free stuff?
      • Turn it into a planter in the parket?
      • Arrange for Recology to pickup the old toilet?

I had a look through the downstairs bathroom today and it seems it is in pretty good shape. There are already some grab bars and room to turn around.
The rough-in from wall looks like 16 inches, which gives us plenty of space.

The current floor-seat height looks to be 19 inches.

There is an existing GFCI outlet in the bathroom. In a pinch, we could potentially just run an extension to a future washlet without having to bust holes in the wall for more outlets.





More shelving would be good (and a replacement sink maybe!) And some signage to remind people not to store things in the bathroom or put extra things on the floor (I need all the room for the turning radius of my powerchair)

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For hauling we can use Trash Warrior (usually sub-100 bucks for a small load of junk) And add more stuff to the pile. We could save recology Big Item Removal for a really big load of stuff.

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@lizzard these are great suggestions for improvements.
I can’t speak for @jonah, but since we’re already planning some hardware store trips, it would make sense to me that we get some other gear at the same time.

I’m a bit new to Noisebridge again after a multi-year hiatus… what’s the right way to go about buying some hardware for improvements with Noisebridge monies?
Should we bring a project proposal to the Tuesday meeting?

The toilet replacement is complete! Thanks to Jof for the assist. The new ADA compliant toilet is new and nice, enjoy!



Thanks for proposing this project and being a good teammate @jonah!

It was really nice to have a specific project and plan, and a friend to stay accountable to showing up for. It feels great to finish a concrete thing.

Next step ideas that came up:

  • Needs more graffiti and stickers
  • Enclosed, wall-mounted shelving/cabinet for supplies; keep the floor extra clear.
  • Replace the sink?
  • Overhead RGB LED web like Metalab has