How to: Remove an Old Toilet

How To: Remove an Old Toilet

Here are very basic step by step instructions for removing an old toilet…for when you find yourself in need of upgrading your porcelain throne, remodeling your bathroom, or fixing a leak. (Please excuse the black floors – these were taken in the beginning of the renovation process)

Step 1: Identify the offending toilet in need of removal.


Step 2: Find the water shut off valve behind the toilet. Turn the water off.


Step 3: Remove the lid from the tank on the back of your toilet and flush the toilet to allow the water to drain.


Step 4: With your dollar store rubber gloves on and a large dollar store sponge- soak up the remaining water in the bottom of the tank and empty it into a bucket.


Step 5: There will be water still in the bowl from flushing the tank. Use your handy-dandy plunger to plunge the bulk of the water out of the toilet before going in with the sponge to soak up the rest.

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Step 6: Squeeze out all the excess water into your bucket, and admire your empty ready to be removed toilet.

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Step 7: Disconnect your water line from the bottom of the tank (place your bucket under the valve if you weren’t able to get all of the water up with your sponge).


Step 8: Remove the bolts from the base of the toilet and use a utility knife or multi-tool to cut the seal around the base of the toilet (many times it is simply a thin layer of silicone).

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Step 9: Call in the muscle! (If you are taking the toilet out on your own and don’t think you can lift it whole, you can separate the tank from the base and remove each portion one at a time.) Rock the toilet back and forth in order to break the wax seal between the toilet and the drain. Then pick that bad boy up and haul it away!

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Step 10. After you have removed the toilet, scrape around the drain to remove the old wax seal and prep the area for the new toilet. Finally place a rag into the drain opening (preferably an old rag or section of towel) to prevent sewer fumes from coming up the pipe and to prevent tools from falling into the hole. Make sure the rag is big enough to fit snug and not to simply fall down into the pipe.


Congratulations you have just removed your very own toilet and by doing it yourself you just saved a bunch of hard earned cash!

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Filed under Budget, DIY, Education, Home and Lawn

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