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How To Remove A Toilet
Some tips to make removing a toilet easier and
more sanitary. Toilet Removal Basics.
Have some bleach on hand before removing a toilet.
To Remove a toilet, first put on your rubber gloves, use the
sponge and the water - bleach solution, or spray Lysol around the base of the
toilet and then use a sponge and water / bleach solution to clean up around the
Next step in toilet removal is to flush the toilet two times, then turn off the valve coming out of the wall or
Use the sponge to soak up any water that might be left in the tank and squeeze
it into the bucket.
Remove any items in the tank like Tidy Bowl that could tip over and leak.
Remove the flexible plastic or metal pipe attached to the valve on the wall or
floor with your adjustable wrench. You may want to remove the tank from the bowl
to make it easier to handle (this is not necessary it just makes it easier to
handle and store until you replace it).
To remove the tank, loosen the bolts holding the tank on to the bowl and lift it
The next step in removing the toilet is to remove the little plastic covers that are on top of the nuts that are
attached to the bolts coming out of the floor which hold the toilet down. You
might need to remove any caulking if there is any between the tiles and the base
of the toilet with a scraper or utility knife.
Once the nuts holding it down are removed, gently rock the toilet back and forth
a couple of times to break it free from the wax seal holding it down.
You may want to have a very large plastic leaf bag laid out on the floor and set
the toilet down on it and pull it up around it. This will keep any water
containing germs from spreading around the house when you move the toilet.
Note: If the nuts are rusted on you are going to need to hacksaw them off, and
this may scratch the toilet, but chances are if they are that rusty the toilet
needs to be replaced anyway. It may be hard to get a hacksaw up against the bolt
so you might need to use a sawzall with a metal cutting blade. Make sure you
wear safety goggles. First, though, you might try and spray WD-40 or Liquid
Wrench on the bolts and let them soak a while before trying to remove them. If
the nuts are badly rusted you may need to use adjustable pliers.
The next step in removing the toilet is to remove the old wax seal if is still stuck to the floor, by using your putty
knife (you should wear gloves the whole time, this is nasty work).
Now plug the hole with a wet rag so that sewer fumes don't enter the room.
Dispose of all rubber gloves and disinfect everything including your adjustable
wrench, scraper, and screwdriver in a bleach solution and then spray tools with
WD-40 to prevent rust caused by the bleach.
Scrape off any remaining wax from the bottom of the toilet. To replace the
toilet you will need the same size wax ring and if it is older, it is also
recommended that you replace the flexible hose going to the wall valve.
When your floor is done you may have a higher surface and need a bigger wax
ring, they are available in different sizes.
When you are ready to reinstall the toilet you may want to replace it with a low
flow model. The new low flow models are much improved over the first ones that
came out that required flushing twice. Newer ones flush well and only use 1.4
gallons of water per flush, saving on your water bill and also helping save the
planet. Some cities have rebates for low flow fixtures. I'll be adding a page on
choosing a low flow toilet soon, some models are better than others.
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