One problem you might encounter with your toilet is a cracked seat. A wooden seat can sometimes crack and split if you drop something heavy on it. When that happens, you'll want to replace the toilet seat, which might be an easy repair. First, determine if you have plastic or metal bolts holding on the seat. Although they both operate the same way, plastic bolts are usually easier to remove. You may need to call a plumber for help with metal bolts if they're stuck. Here's how to repair your broken toilet seat, depending on the type of bolts it uses.
Replacing a Toilet Seat with Plastic Bolts
To replace a cracked toilet seat, you have to undo the screws or bolts that hold it in place. You'll find the screws under two small flaps next to the back of the seat that attach the seat to the toilet rim. Flip open the flaps, and you'll see a screw in each one. Use a screwdriver to hold the screw steady while you reach under the toilet to unscrew the wing nut by hand. As long as the screw and nut aren't gummy and stuck, it should be an easy job to unscrew the nut and then pull the bolts out of the holes.
However, if the screws are stuck in place, you may need to spray them with lubricant to loosen them. If there is no wing nut you can turn by hand, you may need to hold the nut steady with a pair of pliers while you twist the screw out with a screwdriver. Be careful not to strip the threads on the screw, or it may increase the difficulty of removing it. The screw will be thrown away so you don't have to worry about protecting it, but if you damage it while trying to remove it, you may need to call a plumber to finish the job.
Removing a Toilet Seat with Metal Bolts
Your toilet seat may have metal bolts rather than plastic screws. The metal bolts are removed in the same basic way, except there probably won't be wing nuts on them you can grab with your fingers. Instead, you'll need to hold the nuts steady with pliers or a wrench. The problem with metal bolts is that they can easily become corroded. If you've had the same toilet seat for several years, there's a good chance the humidity in the bathroom and dripping water have caused the bolts to rust, corrode, and virtually freeze in place. This is a common problem encountered with all types of old fixtures. If the bolt won't budge when you try to remove it, then spray it with a lubricant and let it sit for several minutes before you try again.
One hazard of trying to force off the bolt or nut is that you'll bang a heavy tool against the toilet bowl and possibly damage it. Working with bolts and nuts that are frozen in place often requires special tools you may not have. When you need to repair a cracked toilet seat and you can't get the bolts out of the old one, then call a plumber who can help you with your toilet repair needs so he or she can do the job without causing damage to your toilet.
Remember to buy a new toilet seat and have it ready to go so the plumber can put it on for you. However, if you forget to buy a new one, you can probably install it easily yourself since a new seat includes fresh parts that are easy to install and twist together.