Toilet changing tips...
Just got done changing the old Thetford Aqua Thingamajobber for the new Sealand Traveler Lite. I thought I'd share a couple of tips from the experience.
1. The Sealand is porcelain, very nicely made, and actually a little less expensive than the Thetford Bravura. Why anyone would buy a Bravura in the face of this info is beyond me. You will have to look a little harder to find a Sealand.
2. Once you find the Hidden Secret Bolt, your Thetford will come right off. Once it's off, you will be glad that your holding tank deodorant is working. Mine was - and I was.
3. Undo the screws that hold the ring to the floor - there's like 8 of them or so. Notice that the outer part of the ring turns on the inner part when the screws are out. I didn't know this, and it was a relief, as the inner part seemed to be pretty securely fastened to the tank.
4. You'll want to upgrade the screws to stainless, and make sure you have at least 8 for the Sealand. Mine were just steel, and rusted to heck. They did all come out, but the ones in there now are stainless.
5. You'll need to modify the ring. Two of the existing screw holes will need to be extended to be bolt slots. Your Dremel moto-tool (you do have one, don't you?) will be very, very handy for this.
6. Now you have four bolt positions, at 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees.
7. Rotate the ring until the bolts holes are appropriately positioned for the Sealand. Triple check this part, and account for the Sealand's flush lever.
8. Drill a tiny starter hole in the deck to match up with the existing screw holes on either side of the original bolt slots. Go ahead and put in a screw so the ring doesn't turn on you while you're messing with it.
9. This would be a wonderful time to make sure the Sealand alignment is the way you want it.
10. Drill two holes in the ring on either side of your new bolt slots. (Just make 'em look about like the other ones) They should be large holes in the ring, but tiny in the base. You might want to countersink, since you're using flathead screws.
11. At this point, slide two Sealand bolts into the slots you made. Then insert and tighten the screws. Tightening the screws on either side of the new bolts clamps the bolt head plate between the ring and the deck, and keeps it from turning.
12. Tighten the screws, install the gasket (the raised ring matches a groove in the toilet base) and you're ready to put the toilet on.
13. But don't do it yet. You wanna hook up the toilet end of the water line first. I wandered around Homey D for a while trying to match up the 3/8" compression fitting end on the water pipe under the sink to the 1/2" MPT on the toilet. Turns out there is a pre-made dishwasher hose, in braided metal, no less, for around $10 that has the exact fitting I needed on each end.
14. Put the decorative cover on the foot flush pedal before you set the toilet, as there may not be room to do it after the toilet is set.
15. Attach the hose to the toilet, and sit the toilet on the bolts. Add washers and nuts, and tighten. You'll notice that all four bolts can be accessed by a normal human being.
16. Snap the Lovely Decorative Base Cover around the toilet, and hook up the other end of the water line. Flush and admire!!
P.S. If you're in the Phoenix area, and you'd like a FREE used (and not leaking anymore) Thetford Aqua Thingamajobber toilet in beige, PM me. It's like, all yours!
"Between what matters and what seems to matter, how should the world we know judge wisely?" - E.C. Bentley, Trent's Last Case