DIY Network

How to Install a Pull Chain Toilet

Create an authentic period bath with this turn-of-the-century fixture.

More in Bathroom

updated turn of the century bathroom renovation
  • Time

    Day

  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty

    Moderate

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Determine the Wall Tank Location

Locate and mark the position of the tank on the wall, and mark the mounting holes. The tank should be aligned directly above and behind the toilet, centered on the toilet’s floor drain opening.

decide how high tank should be mounted on wall

Courtesy of Jeffrey Rowe

Mount the Tank

If the tank’s mounting holes do not line up on wall framing studs, install wall anchors that can support the weight of the tank filled with water (Image 1).

Lift the tank into place, use screws to fasten it to the wall (Image 2).

Add the Wax Seal Ring

Turn the toilet base upside down and place a new wax ring on the bottom, surrounding the bowl drain opening. The sticky wax will hold the ring in place.

new wax ring installed in bottom of bowl

Install the Toilet

Insert the bolts into the floor flange (Image 1) . Each bolt head fits into the wide end of its slot, then both bolts are positioned in the slots to match up with the holes in the toilet’s base.

Turn the toilet upright and carefully set it in place (Image 2). The wax ring must be positioned directly atop the floor drain opening, and the bolts should insert themselves through the base holes without binding as the unit is lowered.

Twist the toilet slightly to seat it against the floor. The base should sit flat on the floor without rocking.

Tighten the bolts, but do not overtighten them and risk cracking the porcelain base.

Connect the Water Pipes

Install an appropriately sized pipe elbow onto the “spud” receptacle at the back of the toilet, follow the manufacturer’s instructions (Image 1).

Measure, cut and install the pipe that extends from the tank to the toilet. Also measure, cut and install the water supply pipe. Use a tubing cutter and make neat, square cuts to ensure watertight joints. (Image 2)

Use compression nuts to attach both pipes at top and bottom. (Image 3) Tighten the nuts with a strap wrench to avoid scratching the metal’s chrome plating.

Determine the length of the pull chain, cut it to size and attach it to the tank lever. (Image 4)

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