Another "stuck" toilet seat!

7 Jan 2010
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United Kingdom
A friend explained they were unable to remove their toilet seat and sent me some poor quality photos of the underside fixings, which I assumed was a butterfly nut, so went along with some long nosed pliers thinking it would be easy to remove.

I was wrong and after 30 mins I gave up!

The seat connection to the pan looks like this:

There doesn't appear to be anything that can be unscrewed/removed from above.

Underneath the toilet, on close inspection, the "butterfly nut" is actually some plastic pushed into the hole and then what looks like a nut is screwed into this:

I have been unable to get anything to grip onto the nut and turn it as the nut is really embedded into the plastic fittings. I thought about trying a socket screwdriver but there's a large bolt immediately below it, which holds the toilet to the wall and that is in the way!

I did wonder if maybe the plastic fitting needs to be turned, rather than the nut itself, which actually looks round, rather than hexagonal, in the photo! However, I suspect the purpose of the plastic fitting is to give the nut a firm grip and protect the pan from being damaged.

As a last resort, I'm considering cutting through the toilet seat above, near the fixings, so that I can then use the metal fixing to unscrew the bolt from the nut i.e. unscrew from above, rather than below. Obviously, if this fails, I've just broken the toilet seat, and still not managed to remove it!!

Any thoughts on the best way to remove it?

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Are there flats to take a spanner where indicated, or is that shaded bit a photo artifact?
I think on the left side it definitely looks like a flat area, but I can't tell from the photo if it is also flat on the right side. I've asked my friend to have a look.

I guess, if a spanner can be used, the question is whether it can be turned while the seat is still attached and if the seat needs to be removed first I didn't see any easy way to do that.
My friend has confirmed there is a flat area on both sides of the fitting, but as he hasn't got a spanner he can't test if it will turn with the toilet lid in place. It's an hour's round trip for me, so until I next visit him I won't be able to try it.
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It looks like the flats have helped my friend unscrew the toilet seat using a spanner he managed to borrow. Well, he's done one side, he says the other is just spinning i.e. the nut underneath is turning. He's going to try spraying WD40 on the nut as he suspects it has rusted on. If you were to see the state of his bathroom and especially the toilet, that isn't surprising :p
That rod looks nice and clean so it's not rust. you need to grab the nylon and the spreader nut with a pair of pliers while turning from above and it should all loosen.
In the end, although one of the fittings could be unscrewed, it was necessary to use an angle grinder to cut the other fitting from above as the nut below the toilet couldn't be removed or loosened.

Old toilet seat removed and new seat fitted.
For future reference when a fitting wont undo its worth tightening the other fitting back up and then trying again. As a general rule its good practice to loosen all nuts etc a bit first before removing any of them completely. It helps to overcome the sticktion.
For future reference when a fitting wont undo its worth tightening the other fitting back up and then trying again. As a general rule its good practice to loosen all nuts etc a bit first before removing any of them completely. It helps to overcome the sticktion.

Hi and thanks for your advice. Out of interest how long do you think it is necessary to wait after loosening all nuts to overcome the "sticktion"?

If you notice I posted the question on the 28th August and today is 30th September?

During the last month both my friend and I have attempted to remove the seat on a number of occasions using various tools and it has also been "lubricated" using WD40. In between attempts, the fittings were tightened up to allow the seat to continue to be used.

Loosening the nuts on the right side of the seat had no impact on the nuts on the left side of the seat, so I'm at a loss to understand why this would help to undue the seized nut in this situation.

The fitting that wouldn't release, could be turned using a spanner from above, but all that happened was that the screw and the seized nut under the toilet would also turn. All attempts to stop the nut turning were useless, in part due to lack of access, as there was a very large bolt directly below it, which held the toilet to the wall and I didn't want to start removing the toilet, also due to some plastic lugs that surrounded the screw and nut and which were meant to hold it tight/protect the ceramic. You can see photos of these in my original post. Both these things made it impossible for any type of tool to get a good purchase on the nut and stop it turning. The only thing that got anywhere near it were some long nosed plyers, but the nut was so seized that they didn't help and couldn't stop the nut turning with the screw.

So, as I'm sure you can now appreciate, using the angle grinder, was in fact the last resort and fortunately I was able to cut off the fitting without damaging the toilet pan.
You are welcome to ignore the advice. When you posted I was busy taking a crap :)
Hence the reason I said for future reference.
I shall add you to my ignore list and you can sort out your own toilet seat on your own.

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