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How to Replace a Toilet (So You Can Do the Deed in Peace)

By August 30, 2020October 12th, 2023No Comments
how to replace a toilet

Toilets compose 30% of water consumption in an average home, which is even more than sinks and showers. 

Let’s just say they’re a necessity and it’s important that they stay functional for whenever the moment calls for one.  

Should you need to fix one to avoid a bathroom crisis, here’s how to replace a toilet the right way. 

1. How to Replace a Toilet with the Right Tools

Replacing a toilet can be done with a few simple tools you already have. The toilet you purchase may not come everything you need, so here’s a general list:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Lubricant
  • Hacksaw
  • Bolts (if they require replacement)
  • New flange (if it requires replacement)
  • New wax ring (if it requires replacement)

If you find that your bolts are too stiff or corroded to loosen during these steps, you can use a sturdy lubricant to break down the rust. You can then use a hacksaw to cut through the bolts altogether.  

2. Turn Off and Disconnect the Water Supply

The first step is to take water out of the equation to minimize the mess. Locate the water valve on the wall or floor next to the toilet. You should see a lever or crank that you can turn to shut off the water supply.

This prevents the toilet from filling with water. However, you also need to drain the water that’s already in the tank by flushing. 

Once you turn off the water, disconnect the supply line by loosening the valve with an adjustable wrench.

3. Disconnect the Tank From the Toilet Bowl and Remove Them

Find the tank bolts at the rear of the bowl, underneath the tank, and start loosening them. Then, disconnect the tank from the bowl by lifting it straight upwards. 

You may need two people for this job so that one person can hold the toilet bowl while the other pulls the tank in the opposite direction. 

Uninstall the toilet by removing the bolts that secure it to the floor. Be sure to place everything on material that will protect your floors from residual grime and moisture, like newspapers or a throwaway rag.

Some toilets come as a one-piece so that the tank and the toilet bowl don’t disconnect from each other. In this case, it can be much easier to request plumbing services so they can professionally replace the whole unit and install a new one.  

4. Inspect the Bowl Bolts and the Flange Underneath

When you lift the toilet completely from the floor, you’ll find a wax ring. If you were able to remove the toilet cleanly without cutting any corroded bolts, you can simply reuse those bolts for the new toilet. Otherwise, you’ll need new ones.

Underneath the wax ring is a flange designed to secure the bottom of the toilet to the floor. If the flange looks worn and unusable, you should replace it with new bolts and replace the wax ring by cutting out the old one with a putty knife. 

5. Install the New Toilet on the Flange

Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for. You can now pick up the new toilet by the bowl and lower it onto the flange. 

Refrain from angling or tilting the toilet too much. Otherwise, you could damage the wax seal.

Then, use bolts to secure the new tank on top of the bowl and to secure the toilet to the floor. 

How to Replace a Toilet 

Installing a new toilet doesn’t have to be complicated. However, there can be some unforeseen roadblocks that you may need a professional plumber to handle.

A clogged toilet that refuses to unclog or trouble shutting off your water supply can derail the whole process, especially since cutting off the water is the first step. 

If this is you, or you’d like a pro to help you simply get the job done, we can show you how to replace a toilet and get the job done. Just give us a call or fill out a form, and we can help you keep things running the way they should.