Learn how to remove a toilet and replace it yourself by installing a new one. This step-by-step video guides you through the removal and replacement of your old toilet.

Learn how to remove a toilet by replacing your damaged or mal-functioning bathroom toilet or just update the old model with one of hundreds of available colors, styles, or materials. An assortment of wrenches, a putty knife, a screwdriver, and a bucket and sponge are the required tools. The hardest part of this DIY toilet installation is lifting the heavy units into place.

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Turn off water when you want to remove a toilet
Step 1

Turn off the Toilet Water Supply at the Shut-off Valve

Turn the shutoff valve on the wall behind the tank clockwise to cut the water supply to the toilet.

Drain water before you remove a toilet
Step 2

Remove Water from the Toilet Tank and Bowl

When learning how to remove a toilet, it is important to first drain water from the toilet tank by flushing and keeping the drain valve in the tank bottom open by holding the lever up. Soak up the remaining water in the tank and bowl with a sponge and bucket.

You cannot remove a toilet before loosening the nut
Step 3

Loosen the Nut Attaching the Water Line to the Tank

Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the nut that attaches the water line to the toilet tank and then pull the line free. Keep a towel handy to mop up any residual water.

Remove the toilet from the floor
Step 4

Detach the Bathroom Toilet from the Floor

Remove decorative covers from the bolts holding the toilet to the floor is an important next step when learning how to remove a toilet. Remove the nuts from the bolts. Use a utility knife to cut any caulking seal around the base, and lift the toilet up and out of the way.

Remove wax ring after removing the toilet
Step 5

Remove the Wax Ring from the Toilet Drain Flange

Remove the old wax ring from drain flange, using a putty knife to lift it and scrape remaining waxy residue and debris. Note that the plastic collar in the wax ring faces downward into the drain.

Replace water supply line after removing toilet
Step 6

Replace the Old Water Supply Line on the Shut-off Valve

Replace the water supply line on the water shut-off valve. Older lines may lose their seal after being disturbed, so a new one is just good preventive maintenance--especially when it is so easily accessed with the toilet removed.

Install wax ring at bottom of removed toilet
Step 7

Install a New Wax Ring on the Toilet Bottom

Add a new wax ring to bottom of toilet with its plastic ring facing away from the underside of the toilet. The plastic ring must fit downward against the floor drain flange once the toilet is installed.

Set replaced toilet in place with bolts
Step 8

Set Toilet in Place with Bolts Extending through the Base

Pack plumber's putty in flange slots to hold bolts upright. Set the toilet in place carefully with bolts extending through the base. Press down without rocking to compress the wax ring. Replace washers and nuts, tighten, and break off the excess. You are one step closer to learning how to remove a toilet.

Place replaced toilet water tank in alignment
Step 9

Position Water Tank to Align with Holes on the Base

Set water tank in place, aligning bolts to holes in the toilet base. Push bolts down inside tank and secure with washers and nuts below. Ensure tank is level by tightening left or right nut as necessary.

Fit replaced toilet seat hinges
Step 10

Fit Toilet Seat Hinges into Holes on Toilet Base

Position toilet seat with hinges in the holes on the toilet base and secure w/nylon bolts. Tighten the nuts under the base with your fingers and then finish tightening with a screwdriver in the slot on top of the bolt. Congratulations, now have now learned how to remove a toilet.


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