Removing a toilet can be a daunting task. But with the right tools and instructions, it can be done relatively easily.
In this article, we will provide you with the steps necessary to remove a toilet permanently.
1. Turn Off the Water Supply to the Toilet Tank
Whether you’re using a one-piece or two-piece toilet, the first step is to stop the water supply to the tank. This can be done by turning the toilet shut-off valve in a clockwise direction.
Some toilets use the push/pull water valve, pull the valve to stop the water supply. You will find the water supply valve behind the toilet bowl or below the toilet bowl.
2. Empty the Toilet Tank
This step prevents spilling water on your bathroom floor. The best way to empty the toilet tank is to flush your toilet. Press and hold down the flush lever/button to empty the toilet tank into the toilet bowl.
Remove the tank lid and take out any residual water from the tank using a vac, foam, or sponge. Once all the water is out, move to the next step.
3. Remove the Toilet Tank
This step is necessary only for two-piece toilets. If you have a one-piece toilet, skip this step. Otherwise, it will save you unnecessary stress, exertion, and back pain.
First, disconnect the water supply line. The water supply line is either a rubber hose or plastic pipe that connects the shut-off valve to the tank. It’s usually connected to the toilet tank using a plastic locknut.
Turn the plastic locknut in an anticlockwise direction to disconnect it and the water supply line from the toilet tank. You may need to pace a rag or empty bucket to catch any water spillage from the loosened water line.
Next, loosen the tank bolts around the flush valve assembly. Most toilets come with two tank bolts though some modern toilets come with three. Depending on your toilet’s design, you may just need to loosen the nuts under the toilet bowl using a wrench.
For toilets that don’t have nuts under their tank, loosen the tank bolts from inside the tank using a screwdriver. Once you’ve loosened the tank bolts and nuts, lift the tank gently to remove it and place it somewhere safe.
4. Empty the Toilet Bowl
Before removing the toilet bowl, make sure that there is no water inside it. Otherwise, the water will get spilled onto the toilet floor. To prevent this, use a plunger, a vac, or a rag to empty the toilet bowl.
Using a plunger is easy and effective. Put the plunger’s cup over the toilet hole and push and pull the handle to create suction. The suction will help to remove water from the bowl.
For toilets with a large amount of water, you may need to use a vac or a sponge instead of a plunger. If using a sponge, make sure to wring it out frequently to avoid water spillage.
And make sure to wear gloves and goggles for hygiene.
5. Remove the Toilet T Bolts (Flange Bolts)
Most toilets have color-matched plastic caps that cover the toilet T bolts (also called flange bolts) for aesthetic purposes. Remove these plastic caps with a screwdriver to expose the flange bolts and nuts.
By design, the flange bolts are inverted and the toilet bowl is held down by the nuts.
Use a wrench to loosen the nuts from the flange bolts. Now it’s time to remove the toilet bowl or the entire toilet as the case may be.
6. Remove the Toilet/Toilet Bowl
If yours is a two-piece toilet, you may be able to lift the toilet bowl by yourself to remove it. However, you would need a helping hand if yours is a one-piece toilet. Except if you can conveniently lift as much as 100 pounds of weight.
Either by yourself or with extra hands, sway the toilet bowl slightly to break it off the wax ring seal. If you have caulking around the base of your toilet bowl, use a sharp razor to cut it off. Then lift the toilet gently off the flange bolts and place it on a rag to absorb any residual water.
Please note that this method is for floor-discharge toilets and the method for permanently removing rear-discharge toilets is slightly different.
For rear-discharge toilets, you would have to disconnect the P-trap connector from the waste outlet on the toilet. The P-trap connector connects the toilet’s waste outlet to the wall hub fitting.
7. Remove the Gasket Seal/Wax Ring
On top of the toilet flange, you will see a wax ring or gasket seal. Pull out the gasket seal or remove the wax ring with its rubber lip. Also, remove the flange bolts from either side of the toilet flange.
Now you have an open drain pipe and harmful sewer gasses may escape through the pipe into your home. It’s important to plug this drain. Use any suitable material to temporarily plug the drain until it’s time to finally seal it.
This step is only applicable to floor-discharge toilets. Rear-discharge toilets don’t use wax rings or gasket seals.
8. Remove the Toilet Flange
This is the last step in removing a toilet permanently. To finally seal the drain pipe, you need to remove the toilet flange. With a screwdriver, carefully loosen the toilet flange from the toilet floor and remove it from the drain pipe.
Some toilet flanges are attached firmly to the drain pipe. Such toilet flanges must carefully be removed by an expert to prevent damage to the drain pipe.
Floor-mounted rear-discharge toilets also use a toilet flange, which must be removed if the toilet is removed permanently.
9. Place a Drain Cap on the Drain Pipe
Now that the toilet has been removed permanently, the drain pipe also must be sealed properly. You may need the service of a professional plumber at this point. The professional plumber should determine whether a cleanout is required before installing the permanent drain cap.
However, it’s fine if you feel you can handle it yourself though we don’t recommend that you handle it yourself.
Measure the length of your drain pipe and get a drain cap that perfectly fits the drain pipe. Seal the drain pipe with the drain cap to permanently and completely stop sewer gasses from escaping into your home.
You have successfully removed your toilet and sealed the drain pipe. That wasn’t difficult, was it? You can now use the space for something else or just keep it as is.
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