Replacing a toilet seat is important. It gives it a clean look. In some cases, the screws can be rusted or broken though. This makes it harder to remove the toilet seat.
Luckily there are different ways in which you can remove a stripped screw from a toilet seat. It is important to be careful though as toilets are often made out of ceramic. This material can break or crack if you are using too much force.
Being patient is essential if you want to remove a stripped screw as it can break futher if you don’t work correctly.
The discussed methods have different levels of difficulty. You have to examine how deep the screw is and what material it is in. Then you can judge which method you should use.
It is important that you wear appropriate protection when you do this. This includes goggles, strong boots, and gloves. A small piece of metal can fly around and this can be dangerous.
Now that we are prepared, we can start to remove the screw.
Method #1: Elastic band
This is a method where you use only a rubber band. An elastic band is sometimes enough to give the grip needed to remove a stubborn stripped screw.
A wide rubber band would be the best for this work. This is because you get a bigger contact area between the driver bit and the stripped screw head. You have to ensure that the elastic band is not slacking and is tight.
First, you have to put the rubber band on the driver bit and pull it tightly. Next, you have to put the driver bit inside the stripped screw head. Then, you have to gently turn the screw to make it loose. If the screw’s head is not gone, the rubber band works as a filler for the areas where the screw is stripped. In addition to that, the elastic band also provides the required friction and helps the screw to be removed.
Method #2: Get a special tool
With the help of a center punch, make a deep hole in the middle of the screw shaft. This will replace the head of the screw. You can also tap a thin nail and see if that works.
Starting with a tiny drill bit, begin drilling a hole into the shaft. After you are done with that, pick up the next drill bit size and continue drilling with it. This time you will make a little bigger opening. The moment you think an easy-out tool will go inside it, stop drilling.
Now we can use the drill bit that fits with the new screw head. In this step, you need to be gentle with the tool. Otherwise, the easy tool might break. Go turn the tool until the screw shaft comes off. An easy tool is designed in a manner that it can grasp the screw shaft’s inside. As you turn the handle, the screw shaft will also rotate.
This is quite similar to removing a screw as you would otherwise do.
This tool is more expensive but if you have to deal with a lot of stripped screw heads, it is a perfect way to deal with it without losing too much time.
There is also a spring-loaded tool that you can use next to the head of the screw. This pushes the screw head around and makes it come out. This is demonstrated in the video above.
Method #3: Use a vice grip
A vice grip is a common tool. You can use it to hold the screw. Simply adjust the width of the head of the vice grip and apply it over the head of the screw. Once you have a hold of the screw, you can start to turn it around to remove it. Be careful that you don’t bend the shaft of the screw as this can make it harder to remove it.
This is the best method if the head of the screw sticks out. It takes some work to turn it around and get the screw out but it is an approach that often works. Most DIY’ers already have this tool and it is quite easy to do.
You can opt for a smaller vice grip as there is often not a lot of space between the toilet bowl and the toilet seat. A big vice grip might get stuck or can be harder to use in this situation.
Method #4: Use a lubricant
Toilets are a moist environment. This can result in rust on parts of the screw. You can use a lubrican such as WD-40 to try to get this turning again. Make sure that you don’t stain the toilet when you use this!
Lubricants are no magical solutions but they can often make it easier to get the screw removed. Start with a small amount and add some more later on.
Replacing a toilet seat can be challenging. Some have hidden fixings whereas others might have broken screws.
In this post we have discussed how to remove a broken screw in your toilet seat. Toilets also have bolts that can break over time. A vice grip can be used for this. There are also special tools for this. These cost more but can make it a lot easier to remove the broken bolts. These tools are often used by plumbers as they run into this problem often.
You can aways take a picture with your phone if the bolt or screw is not clearly visible from where you are standing. Don’t rock or move the toilet too much as this can break the toilet wax seal.