How to Remove a Household Toilet

Do you want to remove one of the toilets from your home? Maybe you’re remodeling the bathroom or converting the space into something else. Either way, you may want to consider removing the old toilet yourself. It is a task that my husband and I have completed on more than one occasion. Here’s how to get the job done:

Supplies Needed

In order to remove your old toilet, you’ll need plenty of old towels, a bucket, a socket wrench, a screwdriver and a putty knife. It is also helpful to have a bottle of Goo Gone, a can of penetrating oil and a pipe wrench handy. The Goo Gone will come in handy during the clean up process. The penetrating oil is good to have just in case you encounter any rusted nuts and bolts along the way.

Get Rid of the Water

Start by shutting off the water supply to your toilet. Then flush the toilet to get as much water as possible out of the toilet tank and bowl. Afterward, unscrew the supply hose. Then use a plastic cup and a bucket to remove any standing water from the toilet’s tank and bowl. I’d recommend that you put some old towels down around the toilet before you begin to remove the water. I have found that doing so helps to keep the mess at a minimum.

Remove the Toilet Tank

Proceed by using your tools to remove the nuts and bolts that attach the toilet tank to the toilet bowl. In most instances, those bolts are located inside the toilet tank. Of course there are other toilet set-ups where the tank is mounted onto the wall. If you have a wall-mounted toilet, you’ll need to remove the connector pipe. It is typically held in place with slip nuts and bolts. Once that’s done, lift the tank up off of the bowl and dispose of it.

Remove the Toilet Bowl

Now that the toilet tank is removed, turn your attention towards the toilet bowl. Look for the closet bolt caps located on the base of the toilet. Pry the plastic caps up with a screwdriver and unscrew the exposed nuts and bolts. Afterward, get your old towels ready again because there is a good chance that water is going to seep out of the toilet bowl as you try and move it. Next, rock the toilet bowl back and forth. I would recommend that you enlist the help of another person for this task. It tends to make it easier. The rocking motion will hopefully separate the toilet bowl from the wax donut. The wax donut is also referred to as a wax gasket or a wax cake. Once the seal between the wax donut and the toilet bowl has been broken, lift the toilet up and dispose of it.

Remove the Wax Donut

Continue by temporarily inserting a rag into the sewer drain. It will help to keep the sewer gases from stinking up your home. Afterward, remove the wax. In my opinion, the wax removal is one of the worst parts of the entire job. I have found that it is helpful to coat the putty knife’s blade with Goo Gone before you start scraping the wax. It tends to help keep the wax from sticking to the blade as you scrape. I’d also recommend that you avoid getting the wax onto your clothes because it has a tendency to stain fabrics. Scrape as much of it off of the floor as you can. Then use the Goo Gone to remove the residual gunk.

Source: Personal Experience

Killeen Gonzalez has a history of completing DIY home improvement projects with her family.

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