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Removing a Toilet

Project Overview

Removing a Toilet

You'll remove your toilet in two stages: first the tank, then the bowl. The messiest part is removing the old wax ring underneath the bowl; once that's done, the job is simple. Before you disconnect the plumbing, make sure you have another toilet to use while this one is out of commission. Also, you might want to check with your local trash services to see if they pick up old toilets, or if you'll need to make special arrangements. You don't want your old toilet to become a permanent lawn decoration.

6 Steps

  1. Turn Off Shutdown Valve on Supply Line
  2. Remove the Nuts from the Mounting Bolts
  3. Pry Off the Trim Caps
  4. Break the Wax Seal
  5. Scrape Away Old Wax
  1. Stuff a Rag in the Hole
Show all steps »
Turn Off Shutdown Valve on Supply Line

Step 1

Turn Off Shutdown Valve on Supply Line

Turn off the shutoff valve on the water supply line. Flush the toilet -- that empties the tank and the bowl -- then sponge them both dry. Disconnect both ends of the water supply tube at the shutoff valve and at the toilet tank.

Remove the Nuts from the Mounting Bolts

Step 2

Remove the Nuts from the Mounting Bolts

Use a ratchet wrench or a basin wrench to remove the nuts from the mounting bolts that hold the tank onto the bowl. There will be two or three of them -- one on each side of the tank, and maybe one in the middle. Carefully lift the tank off the bowl and set it where it won't be in the way.

Pry Off the Trim Caps

Step 3

Pry Off the Trim Caps

If you still have trim caps on the floor bolts, pry them off and then remove the nuts from the floor bolts with an adjustable wrench. If the nuts won't budge, try spraying them with penetrating oil. If that doesn't work, you may have to cut the bolts with a hacksaw or split the nuts with a nut splitter.

Break the Wax Seal

Step 4

Break the Wax Seal

Underneath the toilet is a wax ring that seals the bottom of the bowl to the toilet flange -- that's the end of the drain pipe. To break the seal, you'll have to straddle the toilet and gently rock it side to side. When it's free, lift off the bowl, then lay it on its side nearby (but out of the way).

Scrape Away Old Wax

Step 5

Scrape Away Old Wax

Use a putty knife to scrape away the old wax from the toilet flange and the bottom of the toilet. Line a bucket with a plastic bag and throw the old wax in it. Clean the flange and horn with a stiff wire brush.

Stuff a Rag in the Hole

Step 6

Stuff a Rag in the Hole

Right about now you'll probably be smelling something pretty strong -- it's sewer gas. To keep sewer gas from entering your home, stuff a rag into the hole. Cover the flange and rag with an inverted bucket for the time being

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Project Details

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 2 hours

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.

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