"a practical hands-on
   guide to bathroom


Toilet Removal Tips

Before removing the old toilet, make certain that the floor area has all carpeting or rugs removed as well as anything else that may be soiled by the removal process. 

Turn off the water supply at the toilet; however, old shut-off valves may not function and require water to be shut off at the main valve (see Shower Faucet Installation or Vanity Faucet Installation).  Advise occupants in the house that the water may be off for a short period to minimize any other household functions.  Flush the toilet and remove the excess water from the tank and bowl.  An old towel or sponge is good for this since it will have to be disposed of after this project is completed.  You might use the empty boxes from the new toilet tank and bowl as trash containers. 

Disconnect the water connector from the tank.  The toilet may then be removed as one unit (a must if it is a one-piece fixture) or you may remove the tank from the bowl.  Old tank bolts are usually impossible to unscrew so they may have to cut off from the bowl.  Removing the toilet in two pieces (if it is a separate tank/bowl unit) is best for easy of handling.  Keep in mind you will most likely still have some water in the trapway and tank, so use caution to prevent water damage to carpets and areas from the bathroom to the outside final disposal point. 

Remove the old wax seal (or putty) as well as the mounting bolts.

Finally, keep in mind that if the replacement toilet is not to be installed immediately, you risk personal injury from hazardous gases that may leak from the flange opening (the drain in the floor).  A large wet towel placed in the flange will keep unwanted gases from entering the living quarters.  Do not use small rags or papers which may fall into the drain line causing blockage.