How To Remove A Toilet

Toilet Use instructions

Removing a toilet may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be accomplished efficiently and effectively. Whether you are replacing an old toilet or making renovations to your bathroom, knowing how to remove a toilet is an essential skill for any homeowner.

As a plumbing expert, I have encountered numerous situations where removing a toilet was necessary. In this article, I will guide you through the step-by-step process of removing a toilet with ease and provide tips on how to avoid common mistakes that may cause damage to your bathroom. By following these instructions, you will be able to successfully remove your toilet and ensure that your bathroom renovation project is a success.

Gathering The Necessary Tools And Supplies

As a plumbing expert, removing a toilet can be a simple task if you have the right tools and supplies. Before starting the process, it is important to make sure that you have everything you need to avoid any complications. Some of the essential items that should be on your shopping list include gloves, a bucket, a putty knife or scraper, an adjustable wrench, and a plunger.

Gloves are necessary to protect your hands from bacteria and other microorganisms that may be present in the pipes. A bucket will come in handy for holding water that may spill out of the toilet during removal. The putty knife or scraper is needed to remove any caulk or sealant that might be holding the toilet in place. An adjustable wrench is essential for loosening bolts and nuts while a plunger can help clear any clogs in the pipes.

If you don’t have all these items at hand or they are too expensive to buy, there are some DIY alternatives that one can use. For example, if you don’t have gloves, you can use plastic bags or old socks as makeshift gloves. Instead of using a putty knife or scraper, you can use a flathead screwdriver to remove any caulk around the base of the toilet. Additionally, instead of buying an adjustable wrench, channel-lock pliers can also do the job just fine.

With all these tools and supplies ready and within reach, it’s time to turn off the water supply before proceeding with removing the toilet.

Turning Off The Water Supply

To begin the process of removing a toilet, it’s important to turn off the water supply. This is a crucial step in ensuring that you don’t have water spilling all over your bathroom floor. Shutting off the water properly will also prevent any damage to your plumbing system.

The importance of shutting off water properly cannot be overstated. If you fail to do this, then you risk causing significant damage to your home’s plumbing system. This can lead to expensive repairs that could have been avoided if you had just taken the time to properly shut off the water supply before removing your toilet.

Common shut-off valve issues include difficulty turning the valve due to age or corrosion and leaks caused by worn out washers or improperly tightened connections. It’s important to inspect your shut-off valve before attempting to turn it off. If you notice any issues, then it may be best to call a professional plumber who can help you fix the problem before proceeding with toilet removal.

As you can see, turning off the water supply is an essential step when removing a toilet from your bathroom. By following these guidelines and ensuring that your shut-off valve is functioning properly, you can avoid costly plumbing repairs and make sure that everything goes smoothly during this process. In the next section, we will discuss how to drain the toilet tank and bowl before proceeding with toilet removal.

Draining The Toilet Tank And Bowl

Before removing the toilet, it’s important to drain both the tank and bowl. Start by turning off the water supply valve located behind or near the base of the toilet. Flush the toilet to remove as much water as possible from the tank and bowl. Use a plunger or a sponge to remove any remaining water in the bowl.

Next, remove the tank lid and use a sponge or towel to soak up any remaining water in the tank. If there is still some water left, use a plastic cup or container to scoop it out. Proper disposal of this water is crucial, so pour it into a bucket and dispose of it safely.

When draining any part of a toilet, safety precautions should always be taken. To prevent injury or damage, wear gloves, eye protection, and clothing that covers your arms and legs. Additionally, be careful when handling porcelain components as they can easily break or crack.

Transitioning into the subsequent section about removing the tank: With both the tank and bowl drained of all water, you can now move on to removing the tank itself.

Removing The Tank

To remove a toilet, one must first take out the tank. This step is necessary if you want to replace the entire unit or repair its components. However, before removing the tank, one should turn off the water supply and flush the toilet to empty all water from the tank.

If you prefer not to remove the whole tank, there are alternatives to consider. For instance, broken or malfunctioning parts can be replaced without taking out the entire unit. You can also opt for a partial disassembly by unscrewing bolts and screws that hold components such as handles and flappers in place.

When removing a toilet’s tank, it is essential to inspect its components for any damage or wear. Repairing some of these parts may save you money on buying new ones. For example, if your fill valve is faulty, you can adjust it or replace its washer instead of purchasing an entirely new valve. Similarly, if your flush lever has come loose from its mountings, tightening it with pliers may fix the problem.

Moving on to loosening and removing bolts:

Loosening And Removing The Bolts

As the saying goes, “loose lips sink ships,” but in this case, loosening bolts removes toilets. Before attempting to remove a toilet, it’s essential to loosen and remove the bolts that hold it in place. However, if the bolts are rusted, it can be challenging to remove them without damaging the floor or the bowl. Using lubricant is an excellent way to make the process easier.

Firstly, spray some penetrating oil like WD-40 on the nuts and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This will help loosen any rust around the bolts. Then, use a pair of pliers or wrench (whichever works best) to turn the nuts counterclockwise gently. If you force them too hard, you could break them or cause damage to your bathroom floor.

If using lubricant isn’t enough, there are other tips for removing rusted toilet bolts. For example, try tapping them gently with a hammer or pry bar after applying penetrating oil. The gentle tapping motion may help work loose any rust build-up around the bolt head and threads. Another option is to use heat from a hairdryer or propane torch on low heat setting; this can also help loosen up stubborn bolts.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to remove rusty toilet bolts with ease. Remember always to take your time and use caution when handling these delicate parts of your bathroom fixture. In the next section, we will discuss how to lift the toilet bowl safely and efficiently without causing any damage during this process.

Lifting The Toilet Bowl

Before lifting the toilet bowl, it is important to ensure that you have the proper technique and safety precautions in place. Firstly, wear gloves and protective eyewear to avoid any accidents or injuries. Secondly, remove any water left in the bowl and tank before proceeding with lifting.

To lift the toilet bowl, use a partner to assist you in raising it off the floor. Place your hands on either side of the bowl’s base, making sure your fingers are underneath it. Lift evenly with your partner until it is completely off the ground. If you cannot find a partner, alternative lifting methods such as using a suction cup can be used to lift the bowl without assistance.

Remember to take care when lifting heavy objects and always follow proper safety procedures. Lifting a toilet bowl is no exception, so make sure you are taking all necessary precautions before proceeding. Once lifted, move onto removing the wax ring for proper removal of the toilet fixture.

Removing The Wax Ring

As the toilet bowl has been lifted, the next step is to remove the wax ring. This small but essential component seals the connection between the toilet and the flange, preventing leaks and unpleasant odors from seeping out. As such, it’s important to handle this piece with care.

To replace a wax ring, first remove any remaining wax from both the bottom of the toilet and the top of the flange. This can be done using a putty knife or scraper, being careful not to scratch either surface. Once all old wax has been removed, place a new wax ring onto the center of the flange with its wider end facing up.

While replacing a wax ring may seem straightforward, there are some common issues that can arise during this process. For example, if your toilet still leaks after replacing the wax ring, it’s possible that there is damage to either the flange or toilet itself. In order to troubleshoot this issue, inspect both components for any signs of wear or damage. Additionally, be sure to double-check that your new wax ring is properly seated onto the flange before re-attaching your toilet bowl.

In preparation for inspecting your flange in detail, it’s important to ensure that you have all necessary tools on hand. These may include a flashlight for illuminating hard-to-see areas as well as pliers or screwdrivers for removing bolts or screws securing your flange in place. With these tools at hand, you’ll be ready to identify any potential issues with your flange that could pose problems down the line when reinstalling your toilet bowl.

Inspecting The Flange

After removing the toilet, the next task is to inspect the flange for any damage or issues that may have developed over time. The flange is an essential component of the toilet installation, as it connects the toilet outlet to the drainpipe and ensures a tight seal. Common problems with flanges include cracks, rusting, and warping. These issues can cause leaks, foul odors, and even structural damage to your bathroom floor.

If you notice any signs of damage on your flange, it’s crucial to repair them before re-installing a new toilet. One effective method of repairing a damaged flange involves using a repair kit that includes a plastic ring with adhesive backing. This ring is placed over the damaged area and secured in place using screws or bolts. Another option is to replace the entire flange if the damage is severe.

In conclusion, inspecting the flange after removing a toilet is an essential step in ensuring proper functioning of your plumbing system. By identifying common issues such as cracks or rusting, homeowners can take action to repair potentially costly damage before it worsens. In the subsequent section about cleaning the area, we’ll discuss how to prepare for reinstalling a new toilet without compromising your bathroom hygiene.

Cleaning The Area

  1. Gathering supplies for removing a toilet typically involves a suitable wrench, a bucket, and several towels.
  2. Prepping the area for toilet removal involves turning off water supply and flushing the toilet to empty it of any water.
  3. Disconnecting the water supply line from the toilet tank is necessary to prevent any dripping or leaking of water.
  4. Once water supply is disconnected, the toilet tank should be unscrewed from the bowl and the bolts removed from the floor.
  5. All debris from the toilet should be disposed of appropriately, typically in a trash bag.
  6. Proper disposal of the old toilet is recommended, whether it is in the form of recycling or through a designated waste disposal service.

Gathering Supplies

To successfully remove a toilet, one must begin by gathering all the necessary supplies. Choosing appropriate supplies is crucial to avoid potential complications during the process. For instance, it is common for homeowners to mistakenly use pliers instead of a wrench. This can cause damage to the bolts or even break them off completely. To avoid such mishaps, it is essential to use the right tools, such as a wrench and adjustable pliers.

Another common mistake that people make when removing a toilet is not shutting off the water supply valve before beginning work. This can lead to water spilling onto the bathroom floor and causing unnecessary damage. Therefore, before starting any work on the toilet, it is important to turn off the valve and flush it once or twice to empty out any remaining water in the tank. Additionally, have some old towels or rags nearby to catch any excess water that may spill.

Finally, don’t forget about safety measures when gathering your supplies. Always wear gloves and eye protection when working with a toilet as it may contain harmful bacteria from human waste. By choosing appropriate supplies and avoiding common mistakes, you will ensure smooth removal of your toilet without any accidents or complications along the way.

Prepping The Area

Prepping the area before cleaning is an essential step to ensure that the process goes smoothly and effectively. Before you start cleaning, you must take all precautions to avoid any accidents or complications. First, ensure that you have all the necessary tools, such as rubber gloves, a scrub brush, and a bucket. The gloves will protect your hands from harmful bacteria present in toilets, while a scrub brush will help clean hard-to-reach areas.

Next, it is crucial to take some safety measures when cleaning the area around the toilet. It is recommended that you wear eye protection in case of splashing water or cleaning solution. Besides this, always make sure that any electrical outlets near the toilet are covered or switched off before starting work. If there is any moisture on your hands or feet during the cleaning process, it’s important to wipe them dry with a towel to prevent slipping.

Finally, use appropriate tools for removing any stubborn stains or buildup around the toilet’s base. A pumice stone can be useful for removing mineral deposits from porcelain toilets without scratching them. Additionally, consider using specialized cleaners for tough stains like rust and hard water buildup. By taking these precautions and using appropriate tools for cleaning your toilet’s surrounding area, you can achieve a sparkling clean bathroom without any accidents or mishaps along the way.

Disposing Of Debris

Cleaning the area around your toilet is an essential part of maintaining a hygienic and healthy bathroom. However, it’s not just about scrubbing and wiping down surfaces. You also need to know how to dispose of debris properly. After cleaning, you may have dirt, grime, or other waste products that need to be thrown away. Knowing how to dispose of these materials correctly can help reduce the risk of contamination and contribute to a cleaner environment.

When disposing of debris from your toilet cleaning process, there are several things you should keep in mind. First, never flush any debris down the toilet unless it is specifically designed for that purpose. Flushing non-degradable items like wipes or paper towels can cause blockages in your plumbing system and create costly repair bills. Instead, place all waste into a lined trash can or bag for disposal.

If you’re replacing an old toilet or upgrading to a newer model, you’ll need to dispose of the old one properly as well. There are environmentally friendly ways to dispose of old toilets without harming the planet. One option is to donate it to a local charity or organization that accepts used household items. Alternatively, you could contact your local sanitation department for information on recycling centers that accept ceramic materials like toilets. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your bathroom stays clean and safe while also helping protect the environment.

Preparing For Reinstallation

After cleaning the area, it’s time to prepare for the removal of the toilet. Before starting, make sure to turn off the water supply and flush the toilet to empty its contents. Then, disconnect the water supply line and remove any remaining water in the tank and bowl using a sponge or towel.

Next, loosen the bolts securing the toilet to the floor. You may need to use a wrench or pliers to do this. Once loosened, lift up on the toilet bowl and carefully remove it from its base. Be sure to have a friend or colleague help with this step as toilets can be heavy and awkward to maneuver alone.

Reinstallation tips include making sure that all old wax ring residue is removed from both the flange and base of your toilet before installing a new wax ring. Additionally, be sure not to overtighten bolts when reinstalling as this can cause damage to both your toilet and plumbing system. Common mistakes include forgetting to turn off water supply before removing or installing a toilet, improperly securing bolts during reinstallation leading to leaks or wobbling of your toilet, and failing to properly clean surfaces before reinstallation which can compromise seal performance.

Installing A New Wax Ring

Proper installation of a new wax ring is crucial to ensure that your toilet does not leak or wobble. Choosing the right ring is the first step in this process. Different types of wax rings are available, and it is essential to select one that fits your toilet flange and bowl. A flanged wax ring with an extended sleeve can help prevent leaks, while a beehive-shaped ring is ideal for older toilets with larger drain openings.

Replacing the old ring can be a messy task, but there are tips and tricks to make this process smoother. First, turn off the water supply and flush the toilet to remove any remaining water in the bowl. Next, use a putty knife to scrape off any excess wax from both the flange and bottom of the toilet bowl. You may also need to loosen any bolts securing the toilet to the floor before lifting it off.

Once you have removed the old wax ring and cleaned both surfaces thoroughly, it’s time to install the new one. Place it on top of the flange with its larger side facing down, making sure that it aligns correctly with your toilet bowl’s drainage hole. Gently press down on the bowl until it settles firmly into place. In our subsequent section, we will discuss how to place the toilet bowl back onto its original position after installing a new wax ring without causing any damage or leaks.

Placing The Toilet Bowl

  1. Prior to removing a toilet, it is necessary to gather the necessary tools, such as a wrench, a plunger, and a bucket.
  2. Once the tools have been gathered, the next step is to loosen the bolts that attach the bowl to the floor.
  3. It is important to remember to turn the water supply off to the toilet before beginning the process.
  4. Once the bolts are sufficiently loosened, one can then lift the bowl off the floor.
  5. The toilet bowl should be tipped forward to ensure that all water is emptied out before it can be removed.
  6. In some cases, a pry bar may be necessary to remove the toilet bowl if it is stuck to the floor.

Gathering Tools

When it comes to removing a toilet, it is important to gather the right tools for the job. Choosing the right tools can make all the difference in making the process quick and efficient. One of the most important tools you will need is a pair of protective gloves, as this will protect your hands from any germs or bacteria that may be present. Additionally, you will need a wrench or pliers to loosen and remove bolts that hold the toilet to the floor.

Safety precautions should also be taken during removal. Before beginning, turn off the water supply valve to prevent any water from flowing into the toilet bowl. It’s also important to empty any remaining water in the bowl by using a sponge or bucket. This will not only make it easier to move but will also prevent any accidental spills or leaks during removal.

Other tools that may come in handy include a putty knife for scraping away old wax sealing, a screwdriver for removing mounting screws, and towels or rags for cleaning up any mess left behind. By taking these safety precautions and choosing the right tools, removing a toilet can become an easy task that anyone can handle with confidence.

Loosening The Bolts

When it comes to placing a toilet bowl, there are several important steps that should be taken to ensure proper installation. One crucial step is loosening the bolts that hold the toilet in place. To do this, it’s essential to have the right tools on hand, including a wrench or pliers. These tools will allow you to easily remove any rusted or corroded bolts and make sure they are securely fastened.

Before loosening the bolts, it’s important to turn off the water supply valve and empty any remaining water from the bowl. This will prevent water from spilling onto the floor and causing damage during removal. Once the bolts have been located, use a wrench or pliers to loosen them by turning them counterclockwise. If the bolts are rusted or difficult to remove, applying some lubricant can help make the process easier.

Once all of the bolts have been removed, gently lift the toilet up and away from its position on the flange. It’s important to handle the toilet with care during this step as it can be heavy and awkward to maneuver. Once removed, inspect both the flange and wax ring for any signs of wear or damage. Replacing these parts if necessary can help prevent leaks and ensure a secure fit when placing your new toilet bowl back in its place.

Lifting The Bowl

After successfully removing the old toilet bowl, the next step in placing a new one is lifting the bowl. This process requires proper techniques and safety precautions to avoid any injuries or damages. As a plumbing expert, I highly recommend using a partner to help lift the bowl since it can be heavy and bulky.

To start, position yourself and your partner on opposite sides of the bowl with both hands gripping firmly underneath it. Slowly lift the bowl up while keeping your back straight and knees bent. Avoid jerking or twisting movements that may strain your muscles or cause damage to the flange. If you feel any discomfort or strain, stop immediately and take a break.

Another important safety precaution during lifting the bowl is wearing protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses. These items can protect your hands from sharp edges or debris that may be present on the underside of the bowl. Additionally, make sure to clear any obstacles or tripping hazards in your path before moving the bowl to its final destination.

In conclusion, lifting a toilet bowl requires proper techniques and safety precautions to ensure a successful installation. By following these guidelines and having a partner assist you, you can avoid potential injuries and damages while serving others by providing them with a properly installed toilet fixture.

Securing The Bolts And Caps

After removing the old toilet, it is important to secure the bolts and caps properly before installing a new one. This will ensure that your toilet is stable and safe to use. To secure the bolts, place a washer on each bolt and insert them into the flange. Turn them clockwise until they are snug but not overly tightened. Over-tightening can cause damage to the porcelain base or even crack it.

Next, you need to install the caps that cover the bolts. If you removed old ones, clean any residue before attaching new ones. These caps come in different shapes and sizes depending on your toilet model, so it is crucial to check which type of cap fits your bolt size correctly. One tip for removing stubborn old caps is to use a utility knife or pliers to pry them out gently. Once you have placed the new cap over the bolt head, press down firmly until it snaps into place.

Properly securing toilet bolts and caps might seem like a simple task, but doing it incorrectly can lead to leaks or an unstable toilet. Referencing a table like this one can be helpful for identifying which size washers and caps you need for your specific toilet model:

Toilet ModelWasher SizeCap TypeBolt Size
Model A1 1/2″Snap-On5/16″
Model B2″Screw-On3/8″
Model C1 3/4″Push-In7/16″

By following these tips for securing toilet bolts and caps correctly, you can ensure that your new toilet stays in place and functions properly without any issues. The next step would be reattaching the tank, which we will discuss in detail in the subsequent section.

Reattaching The Tank

After securing the bolts and caps, it’s time to remove the toilet. This can be a daunting task for many homeowners, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done quickly and easily. Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary tools on hand. Tool options include a wrench or pliers, a putty knife, and a bucket.

To remove the toilet, start by turning off the water supply valve located behind the toilet. Next, flush the toilet to drain any remaining water from the tank and bowl. Use your wrench or pliers to loosen and remove the nuts that secure the toilet bowl to the floor flange. Once these nuts have been removed, you should be able to lift the entire toilet off of its base.

Now that you’ve successfully removed your old toilet, it’s time to reattach your tank. There are several techniques you can use for this step depending on what type of tank you have. If your tank has bolts already attached to it, simply align them with their corresponding holes on your bowl and tighten them down using your wrench or pliers. If your tank doesn’t have pre-attached bolts, use a nut-and-washer assembly along with rubber gaskets to secure it in place. Finally, attach your water supply line back onto your fill valve and turn on the water supply valve.

As mentioned earlier, one final step is turning on the water supply valve once everything has been securely reattached. This will allow water to fill both your tank and bowl so that they are ready for use once again. Remember to check for leaks around all connections before using your newly reinstalled toilet – if there are any leaks present then address them immediately before they cause damage elsewhere in your home!

Turning The Water Supply Back On

How to turn the water supply back on after removing a toilet is an important aspect of the overall process. Before turning on the water supply, it is crucial to ensure that all connections are properly secured and free from leaks. This includes checking the valve assembly, bolts, and gaskets. Failure to do so could result in water damage or even flooding.

One of the most common mistakes to avoid when turning the water supply back on after removing a toilet is forgetting to open the valve fully. It is important to open the valve slowly and gradually, allowing time for any air pockets in the plumbing system to escape. Doing so will prevent pressure buildup and potential damage to pipes and fittings.

Another mistake that should be avoided is neglecting to check for leaks after turning on the water supply. Even if everything seems secure initially, small leaks can develop over time and cause significant damage if left unchecked. To prevent this, it is recommended that you inspect all connections carefully using a flashlight, paying particular attention to areas where there may be visible signs of moisture or corrosion.

Overall, turning the water supply back on after removing a toilet requires careful attention to detail and thorough inspection of all components involved. With proper technique and attention given towards avoiding common mistakes, this task can be accomplished safely and efficiently with minimal risk of damage or injury.


When it comes to removing a toilet, having the right tools and supplies is crucial. Before beginning the process, make sure to have a wrench, pliers, a bucket, and gloves on hand. Once you have all the necessary items, turn off the water supply and drain both the tank and bowl.

Next, remove the tank by loosening and removing the bolts that connect it to the bowl. Carefully place the toilet bowl on a soft surface such as a towel or blanket to avoid damaging it. After securing new bolts and caps in place, reattach the tank before turning on the water supply once again.

In conclusion, removing a toilet can seem like an intimidating task but with proper preparation and execution it can be accomplished without issue. As plumbing experts will attest, performing this process is akin to disassembling a puzzle – each piece must be removed with care in order for everything to come together smoothly again. By following these steps carefully and taking precautions along the way, you can remove your old toilet with ease and prepare for installation of a new one.

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Author: Itamar ben dor

My name is Itamar Ben Dor, and I am passionate about environmental sustainability and the power of plants to improve our lives. As the founder of Green Life, I have assembled a team of experts in the fields of horticulture, design, and sustainability to help us bring you the most up-to-date and accurate information.

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