DIY – Remove Your Toilet

Are you thinking of remodeling your bathroom? Whether you’re changing the toilet, or changing the flooring under, it’ll probably need to come out while you work. Here’s how to remove your toilet yourself…

First things first!! Go turn OFF the water.

There should be a shut-off valve underneath your toilet (on the hose that supplies the water). If you can’t find it, you can just turn of the water to the whole house or a little while. If you don’t know where your main water shut off is, *stop* working and go find some more experience help for this project before going on.

Once the water is off, flush the toilet a few times. This will take most of the water out of both the bowl and the tank.

Now take the lid off the tank. The tank is the rectangular part on the back; the part that’s behind you while you’re sitting on the toilet. If you have any tissue boxes, potpourri, or whatnot sitting on there, now is the time to relocate them. Be careful moving the lid. It’s heavy, but thin, and can crack easily.

Now, if you want to avoid having to much water on the floor in later steps, you should try to remove as much of the water from the tank as you can. Scoop it out with a disposable cup (which you will throw away afterwards!). You can use old towels or sponges to soak up the last of it. Be sure to put that water down a sink, and not into the toilet bowl!

You can pull out the toilet and tank in one piece, but they’re very heavy nd hard to move as a unit, so I sugest taking them apart. That’s easiest to do while the toilet is still in place.

Look into the bottom of the (hopefully) empty tank. You should see two nuts, one on either side of the hole with the flapper cover. You’ll need to remove those nuts. The come off by turning counter-clockwise. They may be a little stuck in place from being under water so many years, but they do come off.

That will leave the tank sitting on the threaded bolts that the nuts just came off of. You’ll lift the tank up off those bolts to remove it. I suggest having a helper for that, it’s heavier than you’d think. Lay the tank carefully aside.

Now look at the base of the toilet. There are two more nuts,one one either side of the toilet base. (They may be covered by little decorative plastic caps that pull off.) Remove these two nuts by turning them counter-clockwise. SAVE THEM!! You’ll need them to put a new toilet on later.

Your toilet bowl is stuck down to it’s drainpipe by a thick wax-ring. You’ll need to pull hard to get it loose. The best way to get enough leverage is to sit on the toilet facing backwards with your hands under the rim (I’d wear gloves for this part.) Rock a little as you pull upwards until you feel it loosen up. Then get off and and have your helper help you lift it out of the way.

If you’re not installing a new toilet right away, you need to cover up the drain hole in the floor. You need to keep people from stepping into it accidentally, and to prevent anyone from dropping stuff (trash, action figures, etc.) into it.

Happy Remodeling!

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