how to remove a toilet

How To Remove A Toilet

Plumbing
Aug-2020 / 4 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The bathroom is one of, if not the, most essential parts of a house. In fact, it is the most irreplaceable section. Think about it. Many households can live without a kitchen. Living in a studio flat means no living room. Backyard? Only the rich could afford that. A house can even be considered a home even with just a pseudo-bedroom (aka sleeping on the couch). 

But a house with no bathroom? Definitely a deal-breaker. In reality, it is a non-negotiable part of the house. The bathroom, in a way, is the most intimate part of the house. So what exactly happens when your toilet malfunctions? 

Pandemonium, of course! (Read: 4 Common Toilet Problems here!)

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If your toilet is continuously malfunctioning, then it may be high time for you to invest in a replacement that will work correctly. Remove the old and welcome the new and all that. Of course, the best way is to call professional plumbers with an emergency same-day response like Plumbingforce. However, if you want to experience fitting a toilet from the very beginning, read ahead. We have listed down the steps on how to remove an old toilet.

You Will Need:

  • Sponges
  • Buckets
  • Soap
  • Toilet Brush
  • Wire Brush
  • Slip-Joint Pliers
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Utility Knife
  • Gloves
  • Replacement toilet valve and bolts (optional)

How To Remove A Toilet: 8 Easy Steps

Shut Off Water

Before you remove the toilet, the first thing that you do is to shut off the water supply. After all, you don’t want to flood not only your bathroom but your entire house unnecessarily, do you? The supply pipe of your toilet is located below the toilet tank. Turn it off before you do anything.

Have you replaced your toilet valve recently? If it’s the same age as your toilet, it’s ideal that it also joins the old toilet in the disposal bin. As something connecting a toilet to the main water supply, you wouldn’t want that to be corroded or rusty. Even if it may seem like in good condition right now, but it is only a matter of time when you need to remove it as well. Get ahead of the curve and replace it before you start fitting a new toilet.

Clean Your Toilet

Give your old toilet the proper send-off that it deserves after it served you for countless years. Bust out the gloves, soap, toilet brush, and sponges one more time. Show your toilet some love and scrub it clean for old times’ sakes. Do one pass with a toilet cleaner and leave it in the bowl for a while before you flush the toilet. This would also make disposing of your toilet bowl much easier and, of course, more sanitary.

Empty The Toilet

Once your toilet is clean, drain all of the water from your toilet bowl and tank. Flush the toilet several times until all the water is out. With your supply valve disconnected, the water won’t be refilled. Even if you’ve cleaned it out, it’s always best to use rubber gloves for this step.

Remove The Water Supply Tube

Once your toilet is empty, disconnect the water supply tube from your toilet tank. Take a slip-joint plier or an adjustable wrench and unscrew the mounting nuts and bolts. You can find the tailpiece on the water inlet valve which is on the bottom left side of the tank. Remove the pipe from the water tank. There will be some water left, so be prepared with a towel to catch any remaining drops if you don’t want your bathroom floor to get wet.

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Disconnect All The Nuts and Bolts

Disconnect the plastic bolts that cover the base of the toilet bowl. You can use your hand or a flathead screwdriver to take out these floor bolts. Afterwards, use your slip-joint pliers to disconnect all the nuts and washers from the toilet floor.

Disconnect The Water Tank From The Bowl

This is an optional task, but we recommend you do it because when you remove your water tank, it makes it easier for you to pull out the plumbing of a toilet. It also lessens the bulk of what you have to carry out of your bathroom afterwards.

Using your slip-joint pliers or adjustable wrench, start unfastening the nuts under your water tank. Once all the nuts have been removed carefully pull your tank up and off of the bowl to remove it. Again, be prepared for any water that may have been left.

Cut Through the Caulking

Exercise caution when using a knife!

Take out your utility or putty knife and cut through the caulking connecting the base of the toilet bowl to the floor. Make sure that you are cutting caulking and not just scratching your flooring. Once you’ve cut the caulk, wiggle your toilet from side to side to set it free. 

Pull The Toilet Up

You might want to have a helper with this next step. 

Have the toilet bowl between you and your helper and slowly lift it. Don’t do it abruptly as you might crack the porcelain. Now you know how to remove a toilet. The next step is just to clean up and prepare your bathroom to fit a new toilet.

Take a wire brush and start cleaning the toilet flange. It is responsible for connecting your toilet to the sewage system. Your toilet flange is usually surrounded by an old wax ring to seal your toilet. When you are going to fit a toilet, you need this out of the way. You can use a putty knife or an old paint scraper to take it out. After you get the main chunks of wax, you can use a wire brush for the stubborn pieces stuck to your toilet flange.

When everything is cleaned, you are finished! You are officially ready for a new toilet!

So, do you think you are up to the job? You know how to remove a toilet theoretically. Of course, the actual process can present many more problems. Countless factors will affect the amount of time you spend removing your toilet by yourself. Usually, this entire process would take a professional plumber less than half an hour to finish. However, it might take you an hour to even half the day!

If you think it is difficult to remove an old toilet, it is also difficult to fit a new one as well. If you get one step wrong like having loose floor bolts or a weak seal, it isn’t a pretty picture. Ease the burden off your back and just call Plumbingforce. We have locally based plumbers all over the UK, allowing us to send you a Gas Safe registered plumber on the same day that you call. Call us now at 0330 162 2549 to know more about our services or send your queries on our website and leave an email address!

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