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How to Replace a Toilet

When cost is an issue, save by replacing your own toilet instead of hiring a plumber.


  • Step 1: Get rid of water Turn off the water supply and flush the toilet to remove most of the water. Use a sponge to soak up any water remaining in the tank and the bowl, or siphon the remaining water out with a rubber tube.
  • Step 2: Disconnect supply line Disconnect the brass compression nut connecting the supply line to the toilet tank with the adjustable wrench.
  • Step 3: Remove closet nuts Remove the caps from the closet bolts located on either side of the base and protruding from the flange. Then remove the nuts from the closet bolts with your wrench.
  • TIP: You can separate the toilet's bowl from its tank if it makes removal easier.
  • Step 4: Remove old wax Lift off the old toilet and get it out of the way. Then scrape away any residue on the flange from the old wax ring with a putty knife.
  • TIP: Use a utility knife to cut through any caulk around the base of the toilet, making it easier to remove.
  • Step 5: Apply a new wax ring Apply a new wax ring to the flange or the bottom of the toilet -- ensuring a tight seal -- and place the new toilet over the closet bolts protruding from the flange.
  • Step 6: Replace fill valve and flapper Replace the fill valve and flapper if the old ones are damaged.
  • Step 7: Reconnect water Reconnect the water supply line. Then turn on the water and flush the toilet several times to check for leaks.
  • Step 8: Re-caulk around the toilet Re-caulk the base of the bowl to create a waterproof seal to protect your floor and to provide additional stability. Your bathroom is officially good as new!
  • FACT: Before 20 months, toddlers' bladders empty too often for them to control when they go.

You Will Need

  • Sponge
  • Rubber tube
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Putty knife
  • New wax ring
  • New toilet
  • Caulk
  • Utility knife (optional)

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