How to Remove and Replace a Toilet Yourself
Remove your old toilet and install a new one. This step-by-step video guides you through removal and installation.
Replace 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.
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.
Remove Water from the Toilet Tank and Bowl
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 remaining water in the tank and bowl with a sponge and bucket.
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.
Detach the Bathroom Toilet from the Floor
Remove decorative covers from the bolts holding the toilet to the floor. 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 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 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 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 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 excess.
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 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.
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