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Post Info TOPIC: Replacing A Toilet

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Date: Jun 7, 2021
Replacing A Toilet


How to replace a toilet

Toilets are very durable accessories, but sooner or later you will likely want to replace a toilet in your home, either for cosmetic reasons or because the toilet is broken or cracked . Or, you may need to temporarily remove it simply to replace a damaged wax ring that causes water to drip around the base of the toilet. Whatever the reason, removing and installing a toilet is not as difficult as you might imagine and only takes a couple of hours or so.

Tools and Materials You Will Need

Adjustable wrench

Screwdriver (flat or Phillips blade or both may be required)

Hacksaw (if necessary)

Plumber's putty

Wax ring

Cabinet flange (if necessary)


big sponge


An assistant (if necessary to lift the toilet)

02 of 08

Step 1: drain the water

stocknroll / Getty Images

Before you do anything, you must first get all the water out of the existing toilet.

Turn off the water supply valve on the toilet or the main shutoff valve in the house

Once the water supply is turned off, flush the toilet to empty the tank.

Remove the tank cap and set it aside in a safe place. Keep the fin tank ball or flush valve at the bottom of the tank open to allow as much water as possible to drain from the tank into the toilet. A small amount of water remaining will still be in the tank after discharge.

Remove the remaining water from the tank and toilet bowl with a large sponge. Squeeze the water into a bucket and repeat the cleaning process until the toilet tank and toilet are dry. Even a small amount of water left in the toilet bowl can spill out when you remove the toilet.

03 of 08


Step 2: remove the toilet

Perry Gerenday / Getty Images

With the water completely drained from the toilet, you can now remove the toilet from the mounting bolts that hold it to the floor. If you're careful, you can lift both the toilet and the tank while they're still connected. Be careful though, as the tank is easy to break where the bolts connect it to the toilet bowl. (Another method is to disconnect the tank from the bowl, which will require a large screwdriver and adjustable wrench to remove the bolts from the tank.)

Disconnect the water supply tube that connects to the tailpiece from the fill valve on the toilet tank, using an adjustable wrench.

Remove the porcelain or plastic caps from the floor bolts that hold the toilet to the floor . Remove the nuts with an adjustable wrench.

If the nuts are rusted in place and cannot be removed, then you will need to cut the bolts below the nuts with a hacksaw blade.

Now have your helper help you lift the toilet bowl and tank assembly off the bolts on the cabinet flange. (The closet flange, which is attached to the floor, secures the toilet to the floor and provides the outlet opening for drainage.)

Place the old toilet on soft, absorbent materials, such as an old carpet or a pile of newspapers, to avoid staining the floor.

Gently place the toilet on its side or back, making sure the porcelain tank and bowl are compatible. Remove the wax ring and plumber's putty from the bottom of the toilet. A putty knife could be useful here.

Remove the old wax and plumbing caulk from the cabinet flange, too. A wooden paint stick works well for this.

Check the cabinet flange. If it is damaged, it will need to be replaced or repaired.

04 of 08

A word about closet flanges

Cabinet flange replacement with wax ring.

The metal or plastic accessory that fits under your toilet is known as a closet flange (toilet is the other name for a toilet, hence the name). This flange is the connecting interface between the toilet and the floor structure. It has two square holes that allow the square head bolts to slide into it. These bolts secure the toilet to the flange, and the square heads prevent the bolts from turning when the bolts are tightened. The flanges also have holes that allow long screws to pass through them and into the floor frame.

Cabinet flanges come in several different types

Replacement for a cast iron sanitary line.

Replacement of PVC sanitary line (plastic).

Repair kit for any type of sanitary line.

New cabinet flange for any type of sanitary line.

Compensation flange.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we will focus on using a repair kit as identified on the previous page, or using a replacement cabinet flange if the damage appears to be too great after removing the toilet.

05 of 08

Step 3: prepare and test the toilet

Cabinet flange with bolts in place.

The next step is to prepare the toilet for installation. Once you've determined if the closet flange is intact or needs repair or replacement, you can proceed to test the toilet's fit.

If you are replacing the cabinet flange, be sure to remove the large plastic plug blocking the center opening in the new flange, using a hammer navigate here. (Not all flanges have this plug).

Make sure you have removed the wax ring and plumbing caulk from the toilet (if you are reinstalling the existing toilet).

Once the closet flange is ready to accept the toilet, tighten the bowl by temporarily testing it on the flange and verifying that the bolts are aligned with the holes in the toilet base. Also make sure the toilet is level. If you need to level it, level the toilet by placing it underneath with stainless steel or plastic washers.

Once level, remove the toilet and place it upside down (if separated from the tank) or on its side or back (if the tank is connected) and place it on a protected surface, such as an old carpet.

06 of 08

Step 4: Attaching the Wax Ring to the Toilet and Cabinet Trim

Wax rings come with or without a plastic bell.

The wax ring is the anonymous hero of your toilet and is usually made from preformed amber petrolatum wax. It seals the sewer fumes in your bathroom and prevents water and waste from going under the toilet during a flush. Some rings are simply wax, while others have a built-in plastic "funnel" or "bell" to provide additional insurance to ensure debris reaches your sanitary line. You only need a simple plain wax ring if the closet flange is slightly above the finished floor, but if the closet flange is flush with the floor, or slightly below, use a wax ring with the plastic bell or funnel. .

The preferred method of installing the wax ring is to attach it to the lower flush outlet (horn) of the toilet. Remove all paper or plastic packaging and wax ring protection. Be sure to install at temperatures above 70 degrees. Center and press firmly on the wax ring until it is fully seated in the outlet. Be careful not to damage the wax ring or leave the toilet with the ring in place until final installation. If the ring is deformed, it will not seal properly and cannot be reused.

TIP : Some plumbers will place the wax ring in a warm place, such as on a radiator or sunny window, for a few minutes to slightly soften the wax and make it easier to adhere to the toilet.

Another common approach used by many plumbers is to set the wax ring directly on the cabinet flange first, and then to place the toilet on the wax ring. This can be a less complicated method.

Running a bead of plumbing caulk around the bottom of the toilet base is a good idea, although it is not always done. This helps ensure a good seal. A good silicone caulk applied around the base of the toilet after installation also works.

07 of 08

Step 5: Putting the toilet in place

Once the wax ring is in place, you now need to place the toilet.

With a helper, carefully lift the toilet bowl (or bowl and tank together, if attached) onto the flange of the cabinet, aligning the bolt holes in the toilet base with the bolts.

The toilet will lift slightly off the floor when you hit the wax ring, but continue with gentle rocking pressure until the toilet is firmly seated against the floor. You will need to lean down over the center of the bowl to better control the location of the bowl.

Install the plastic cover base, washer, nut, and nut cap for the two hold-down bolts.

Tighten the bolts gradually, working back and forth from one side of the toilet to the other, trying to maintain similar torque pressure on both sides of the toilet. Be careful not to overtighten the bolts, or the tank base will crack.

Clean up spilled plumber's putty around the base of the toilet.

08 of 08

Step 6: Make final plumbing connections

Once the toilet bowl or bowl and tank are installed, complete any remaining plumbing connections and reconnect the water supply to check for leaks. This is really just a matter of reversing the process by which you unplugged the toilet at the beginning of the project.

Many new toilets now come with the fill valve and flush valve already installed on the tank, but you may need to purchase these accessories and install them on the tank yourself before mounting it on the bowl you just installed.

Many plumbers take this opportunity to replace the water supply tube and shutoff valve as well, as these parts also wear out.

-- Edited by jackabramsX2 on Monday 7th of June 2021 11:53:33 PM

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