toilet replacement labor cost

23 Replies

If I buy the toilet, what should the cost to replace it. Normal toilet. 2 piece, usually put 2 was rings on it.

I know a plumber is more expensive but this can be done by a handyman.

I have 7 to replace in a commercial building in LA. Since I had recently moved in the upstairs, and turned the water on 4 of the 7 toilets, the water bill from LADWP went from $90 to $819. We shut the water off on all the toilets and asked everyone to please turn water on when using only and the bill went to $26. So I'm changing all of them but wonder what I should be paying my handyman? Thanks for the help. Love this site!

Why not just replace the toilet innards? 

Porcelain really doesn't wear out.  Replacing the toilet seems like a waste of money. 

Sounds like a bad flapper seal.  A set of complete toilet innards costs $20 and take 30-60 min to install. 

Can't really comment on cost. Licensed pro guy might charge $100/toilet, but a $15/hr handyman could easily do 7 in a day. 

If they are older 3.5 usg or 5usg toilets, you would be far better off replacing them with low flush (0.8usg, 1.28usg or 1.6usg)  {U}HET {flapperless} models.   We have seen as much as a 60% reduction in water bills by replacing old toilets and installing 1.5gpm shower heads & aerators in faucets.

An experienced handyman or plumber should be able to replace 2 per 60 -90 minutes (depending whether any work need be done to the supply or flange).   When we do a full building replacement, we have the toilets delivered to each unit in advance and, if we are using a plumber, make arrangements to have the old ones carried away so we are not paying for the plumber to lug toilets around.

Medium greenapartmenthires 1024x1024Roy N., Louer Louer Ltd. | 1.506.471.4126

@Sheri Fierro  I totally agree with @Michael Herr  , you only need rebuild kits that should cost <$20 each to fix your problem.  When toilets sit dry, the rubber fixtures dry out and will leak when you turn them on again.  The porcelain is fine and doesn't need replacement.  Rebuild should take about 30 minutes each if your handyman is handy.

Originally posted by @Robert Leonard :

@Sheri Fierro  I totally agree with @Michael Herr  , you only need rebuild kits that should cost <$20 each to fix your problem.  When toilets sit dry, the rubber fixtures dry out and will leak when you turn them on again.  The porcelain is fine and doesn't need replacement.  Rebuild should take about 30 minutes each if your handyman is handy.

 Robert,

Unless they are older, large volume toilets, in which case $100-$150 will get you a 1.28usg toilet with a MAP score of 1000 (and it's flapperless).  The water savings will typically pay for the new toilet in 2-3 years  ... less in a higher volume (office or retail) environment.

Medium greenapartmenthires 1024x1024Roy N., Louer Louer Ltd. | 1.506.471.4126

Check the water company for low flow rebates.  I've done it in Hawaii and it almost covered all costs.  For a multi story commercial I'd only go with a handyman if I knew he could stand behind any problems for the next year or so. It ain't rocket surgery but could cost a lot if the handyman had a bad day.

Might just be better to have a certified plumber do all 7 for a reduced rate that is close to the cost of the handyman. Then if something happens you likely have recourse against them.

Plumbing is one of those things like electrical when something isn't done right the results can be disastrous.

Replacing the innards will not help if there is an unseen hairline crack in the porcelain.

Be careful with those low flow toilets. Tenants end up clogging those up way more because the toilets do not push enough water for everything to go down. So while they can save on water they can cause other issues. Some people love the older toilets.

I personally love a good shower with a lot of water pressure and can't stand those water saver things as the shower pressure is too low. That's just me.

   

Medium allworldrealtyJoel Owens, All World Realty | [email protected] | 678‑779‑2798 | http://www.AWcommercial.com | Podcast Guest on Show #47

Well @Sheri Fierro  disasters do happen.  If you walk out of your house, you might get struck by lightning.  While disasters are always possible, this is not a likely disastrous scenario.  This is an excellent opportunity to use a handyman to save some money for some simple rebuilds.  I would personally do these myself - its that simple.

Originally posted by @Joel Owens :

Be careful with those low flow toilets. Tenants end up clogging those up way more because the toilets do not push enough water for everything to go down. So while they can save on water they can cause other issues. Some people love the older toilets.

I personally love a good shower with a lot of water pressure and can't stand those water saver things as the shower pressure is too low. That's just me.

  

Joel,

A low-flow toilet with a MAP score of 1000 will likely move waste more effectively than your old 3.5 or 5 gallon toilet. {both of which are now illegal for new installation or replacement in many places}.

Also, the 1.5gpm shower heads we use give excellent performance - folks do not know they are using a low-flow fixture.

That said, a person could by absolute junk and get terrible performance with either, but it need not be the case if you do your homework first.   Most toilets sold in North America are MAP tested these days, so doing your research is very easy.

Medium greenapartmenthires 1024x1024Roy N., Louer Louer Ltd. | 1.506.471.4126

Originally posted by @Joel Owens :

I personally love a good shower with a lot of water pressure and can't stand those water saver things as the shower pressure is too low. That's just me.

   

 Same here. I remove all the flow restrictors from faucets and shower heads. If they aren't removable I drill them out. I've done it when I was a renter too.

I am going to disagree on the low flow toilets doing as good as the old ones even if well designed.  Unless they mulch the waste what happens is the water leaves the waste so fast it doesn't clear the pipe and next time more builds up etc.  The low flow I have tried have had problems with slow draining until after I change them out.  

    One other thing in my area is the shut off valves for the toilets often do not work from nonuse.  I usually plan on replacing them with any replacement of flow valves or flappers.  it's only 15 min to change out a toilet or the guts, it takes much longer to dispose of the toilet than to change one out.  Anyway good luck.

@Sheri Fierro  I second the check of the local water company. With the drought, many are offering toilet replacement programs, if the existing toilets are not already low flow. If the toilets are low flow then all you need to replace is the guts. Since the shut-off valves appear to be working, tenants are using them to conserve water, then replacing the guts is very easy. There is really very little that can go wrong although anything is possible. It falls somewhere between getting struck by lightening and winning the lottery. 

FYI - It is also extremely unlikely ( I have never heard of it) that a toilet can leak via a crack in the porcelain and not put water on the floor so you would know if the porcelain is physically cracked. I have never heard of a cracked toilet causing increased water usage without also making a huge mess.

Medium rre 1to1 small sizeBill S., Reliant Real Estate, Inc. | 720 207‑8190

Another trick I have used on old toilets is to put bricks or bottles full of water into the toilet tank.  This decreases the amount of water the toilet uses.  I would not recommend doing this on new, low flow toilets, but it is a good way to help improve the efficiency of older models.  And I have never had a problem with clogs.  Good luck with the toilet repair or replacement!

Originally posted by @Jerry W. :

I am going to disagree on the low flow toilets doing as good as the old ones even if well designed.  Unless they mulch the waste what happens is the water leaves the waste so fast it doesn't clear the pipe and next time more builds up etc.  The low flow I have tried have had problems with slow draining until after I change them out.  

    One other thing in my area is the shut off valves for the toilets often do not work from nonuse.  I usually plan on replacing them with any replacement of flow valves or flappers.  it's only 15 min to change out a toilet or the guts, it takes much longer to dispose of the toilet than to change one out.  Anyway good luck.

 Jerry,

Actually, regardless of the type of toilet, the flushed water travels in a relatively thin layer on the inside surface of the pipe.  If you have older, deteriorating waste lines (cast iron or galvanized) where the inner surface is no longer smooth you will have issues.  You may notice them first with the low flow toilets, but the problem will still be there with a larger volume of water.

If you want improved performance for a toilet, a larger trap size and waste pipe diameter will have the biggest effect.

I full agree with replacing the fill shutoff - or at least being prepared to replace it - whenever you service a toilet.

Medium greenapartmenthires 1024x1024Roy N., Louer Louer Ltd. | 1.506.471.4126

Unbelievable that with all these "expert" replies not one "expert" has attempted to answer the OP's question which was in the first sentence of her post. 

"If I buy the toilet, what should the cost to replace it. Normal toilet. 2 piece, usually put 2 was rings on it."

I will agree that this is a project easily handled by most any man or woman and doesn't require an expensive plumber. I suggest checking on youtube for help on the installation instructions. If you still don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, I suggest offering a handyman about $30 per toilet since you will be supplying all the materials.

Champion 4 is the best toilet your money can buy. 1.6 Gal cost about $200. They are literally uncloggable, I've not had a clog in the 3 years that i've owned the toilet in my personal residence.  However they don't necessarily save you money because if you have an older house like most people then most likely your main line out to sewer or septic is somewhat deteriorated or might have a slight belly due to settling, thus things will snag in there and eventually back up with the reduced water flow. We generally do 2 flushes to make help make sure the line is cleared. 

This post has been removed.

You can also replaced just the fill valve, flush valve, might as well do the supply valve and line too.  But as @Roy N. stated, if those are not low flow then you might be flushing 3.5 gallons down with each flush instead of 1.6.  It does add up.

Finally check into a toilet review before you buy 7 new toilets.  Not all low flows are the same.  The two most annoying problems with badly designed low flow toilets are (1) Low water level in the bowl, which means when you drop heat you may create steak marks on the side walls unless you hit the right spot; (2) Very strong flush action with low water consumption sometimes create water splash backs. For a lower cost basic, efficient, 2 pc toilet personally I prefer the Toto Drake even though the newer ones don't have a glazed trapway anymore.

Updated over 3 years ago

*streak* mark

It is surprising that so many investors on here recommend just rebuilding the internals on an old toilet.  While this is the cheapest solution its really quite risky in terms of bullet proofing your rental property. 

I have been in some houses that have toilets that would clog with out much in them. And i've known people who are renters that literally do not know how to plunge a toilet when it is clogged will literally keep trying to flush them. I have even had customers come in where I work and overflow the toilets there causing $100's in damages with replacing carpets and what not because the didn't know how to plunge or just panicked.

With an older 2.5-3.0 Gal model you can pretty much be assured that if it clogs and your tenant decides to flush it again as a way to clear it, you will have an overflow and have a mess to deal with.  With a new low flow it will take a couple extra flushes to overflow the toilet. 

Like @Roy N.   said, get a toilet with a larger flush valve and trap size, which will eliminate clogs above the flange all to together.  

The toilet is probably the one item in a house than can cause the most damage in the shortest amount of time. Not sure why anyone would skimp on this item for a rental property. 

Originally posted by @Craig Barnthouse :

Unbelievable that with all these "expert" replies not one "expert" has attempted to answer the OP's question which was in the first sentence of her post. 

"If I buy the toilet, what should the cost to replace it. Normal toilet. 2 piece, usually put 2 was rings on it."

I will agree that this is a project easily handled by most any man or woman and doesn't require an expensive plumber. I suggest checking on youtube for help on the installation instructions. If you still don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, I suggest offering a handyman about $30 per toilet since you will be supplying all the materials.

 Thank you Craig, you really did answer my questions. 

I am amazed how much help is available on Bigger Pockets. As I said in my original post, this is a commercial building that my brother and I recently inherited (no mortgage). I think I will be changing the toilets. It is in LA and the property has been neglected. It is something that will not only save me money but also make tenants happy. Plus my office is up there.  Anyways, I really appreciate all the info I gained about low flow and flappers and everything else. Because we also have a 7 unit building that we just inherited.

I am definitely looking at the rebates that I hope LADWP has. Thank you

Hi @Sheri Fierro  

If you are concerned with excess water usage, I would suggest to replace the toilet fill valve. The Fluidmaster 403LGR has a built in leak detection and the cost of the part in our area at Lowes is $14.97. It includes the fill valve and flapper valve Installation of these parts are not difficult but if you are not comfortable installing the parts, I would look for least 3 estimates.

Originally posted by @Justin Owens :

Champion 4 is the best toilet your money can buy. 1.6 Gal cost about $200. They are literally uncloggable, I've not had a clog in the 3 years that i've owned the toilet in my personal residence.  However they don't necessarily save you money because if you have an older house like most people then most likely your main line out to sewer or septic is somewhat deteriorated or might have a slight belly due to settling, thus things will snag in there and eventually back up with the reduced water flow. We generally do 2 flushes to make help make sure the line is cleared. 

I favor the cheaper Cadet 3, but I agree the American Standard line has enormous performance for the buck. I have 2 in my home, and like 8 in mt rentals with no problems whatsoever, never need 2 flushes. And I have old cast iron pipes that aren't slick like new PVC. I think the early low flows gave them a bad rap. 

Also agree that changing them out is the better plan, the labor cost is the same as a rebuild, and a Cadet 3 is ~$140 at the Depot.

When it comes to plumbing fixtures; I always replace with new. Its just not worth the hassle of replacing parts as it never seems to work out right. Its much easier and quicker to replace the whole toliet then mess around with the parts. That's just me, I would get 3 quotes if you don't feel comfortable about doing it yourself. It takes an hour each so you could get them all done in 1 day if there are no complications.

Mark Langdon, Langdon Properties | [email protected] | (973) 602‑7125 | http://langdonproperties.net

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you