How to fix a soft close toilet seat and lid the right way
When your soft close toilet seat does not soft close anymore, it can be very frustrating.
There’s more to knowing how to fix a soft close toilet seat and lid than you think!
Maybe it's just the seat that crashes, maybe it's just the lid, or maybe it's both. Either way, whoever fixes the toilet seat needs to know exactly what they are doing and know if the toilet seat is still under warranty. Here’s a list of what’s involved with the most common soft close seats.
Most toilet seats have a warranty of 12 months. There can be extended warranties but it is always best to leave the work to the professionals.
To honour any warranties, the manufacturer will ask things such as:
- If the product was installed by a licensed plumber
- The product was installed to the relevant national standards and state regulations
- The product was installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions
Trying your own DIY repairs is often a big mistake. It not only voids any warranty but you risk doing damage to the item and even the plumbing system. That becomes not just a waste of time but an expensive exercise.
If you are sure your soft close toilet seat is out of warranty, then you call a professional to fix it anyway. There is more to a soft close toilet seat than people realise. The list of things needed to complete the repairs properly include:
- The tools you need
- Removing the seat and lid
- Removing the cylinders and greasing them
- Refitting it all
Just looking at all these steps, you can see what is involved in trying to restore your soft close seat to exactly that... soft close.
Tools needed in how to fix a soft close toilet seat and lid
A professional knows that dealing with a toilet requires some basic personal protective equipment (PPE). You can never take toilet water for granted. Even with the slightest splash going into the eyes or mouth, there's the chance of becoming very sick. That’s why having a mask and goggles on while at the toilet is important.
In a job like this, the seat needs to be carefully removed and taken away from the toilet to be worked on.
Then there are the different items needed to do the job correctly:
- eye goggles
- light mask
- screw driver
- toilet seat nut socket wrench
- waterproof grease
- clean rag
- disinfectant spray
Only after the repairer is fully equipped will they be ready to identify and tackle the issues.
First step is to remove the seat and lid from the toilet
With their PPE on, the first thing the repairer does is to locate and release the buttons in at the hinge where the seat and lid are fixed. There is usually a spring action that will release and the seat and lid can be carefully lifted as a unit to disengage them from the toilet.
The seat and lid should be taken away from the toilet to work on. Then the cylinders are worked on to unlock the lid from the seat. The seat should come off the lid fairly easily but if there is too much pressure applied when detaching the seat off, the parts can end up breaking.
Instead of the seat and lid being repaired, now there is a need for a complete replacement.
Removing the cylinders
Then comes the task of removing the cylinders.
This is the trickiest part where the toilet seat is turned upside down to work on. To make matters more confusing, one cylinder controls the soft close mechanism for the seat and the other relates to the lid. You can see where things can go wrong here.
One cylinder needs to be pushed through the hole towards the outside of the seat. It should just slide out but it’s not always that simple.
The cylinder then needs to be opened and turned counter clockwise by the use of the universal toilet seat socket wrench. The nut is supposed to stay in the cylinder while the top of the cylinder is removed.
A special waterproof grease needs to be applied.
Then the cylinder needs to be correctly reassembled and the parts wiped down.
Refitting the cylinder into the hinge from the outside of the seat is the next part of the journey to fixing the toilet seat and lid.
Refitting it all
This is only halfway through knowing how to fix a soft close toilet seat and lid, which means the entire procedure needs to be repeated for the lid which is manipulated by the other cylinder.
Once the lid cylinder is removed, checked and greased correctly, it needs to be refitted into the seat hinge. Checking the spring action buttons are working on each of the cylinders requires pushing them in to see that everything is operating as per normal.
The cylinders must then be locked back into the hinge.
The perfect time to clean in and around the toilet rim is whilst the seat and lid are off. Cleaning any grime away can make all the difference.
The final step is to correctly refit the seat and lid back onto the toilet. They both should have returned to their normal soft close action.
A professional will be able to do the job in something close to 10 or 15 minutes, whereas too many people try it themselves and it can take an hour or more all with the serious risk of voiding any warranty and doing damage to the seat, lid or the entire toilet.
Whenever things go wrong with a toilet, plumbers and tradies know there are an abundance of toilet spares on the market, such as the Caroma Pedigree 2 Toilet Seat White Soft Close Blind Fix Hinge, available online at Plumbing Sales.
Remember to always check if any parts need to be installed by a licensed plumber before you even think about trying to do it yourself. It’s just not worth it.
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