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Upgrading Your Toilet Seat In 4 Simple Steps

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Toilets are one of the most used plumbing fixtures in the home. Thus, over time it is not uncommon for toilet seats to become chipped, cracked, or otherwise broken. Luckily, you don't necessarily have to call a plumber when the time comes for a new toilet seat. If you've got a broken toilet seat--or if you're just looking to trade in your current seat for a nicer model--read on. This article will teach you the four simple steps to replacing a toilet seat.

Step #1 - Cleaning and disinfecting.

Although this step doesn't have anything to do with the mechanics of replacing a toilet seat, it should be considered an indispensable part of the process. Because like or not, you're about to get real cozy with your toilet. Therefore, it pays to help yourself out by giving your toilet a good thorough cleaning before you begin. Chances are, you'll thank yourself down the line.

Step #2 - Accessing the seat bolts.

A toilet seat is attached to its bowl by two seat bolts. Don't worry if you don't see these right away, because in most cases they are hidden by the plastic bolt caps at the hinge end of the seat. These bolt caps perform two important duties: reducing the build up of unsanitary grime around the bolts, and protecting them from corrosion and rust.

To access the bolt heads, you'll need a flat-head screwdriver. Gently work it under the edge of the bolt cap, so that it pops upright. Do this as gently as possible, lest you accidentally scratch the porcelain bowl. Also keep in mind that the bolt cap isn't meant to come all the way off. Rather, one side should remain attached to the seat by means of a plastic hinge.

Step #3 - Taking out the seat bolts.

Popping up the plastic caps will reveal the heads of the two seat bolts. The opposite end of each bolt is secured by a nut, which can be found on the bottom side of the toilet. Loosen and remove the bolts by gripping the bolt head with one wrench, while using a second wrench to rotate the nut in a counter-clockwise direction.

Depending on how old your toilet seat is, you will find that the bolts are made of either metal or plastic--plastic being the preferred material for most newer seats. If the bolts are metal, you may encounter corrosion, which makes them difficult to remove. Squirting them with a penetrating lubricant, however, should be enough to get them loose.

Step #4 - Attach the new seat.

Having removed the bolts, you should find that the seat lifts easily away from the toilet. Next, be sure to clean the area exposed by the removal. Stubborn rust stains can be removed through the use of oxalic acid. Now, all that remains is to line up the new seat and reattach the anchor bolts. For assistance with your plumbing needs, visit a site like