Is It Easy to Replace a Toilet?

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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2019
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Replacing a standard toilet is not the most complicated plumbing job, but it does require some preplanning and muscle power. The first step is to clear a path between the toilet and its eventual resting place. Toilets tend to leak and drip even after removal, so it helps to have all obstacles removed and carpeting protected. A wheelbarrow or dolly should be available for transportation. Toilets can be heavy, as well as awkward to carry. Cleaning the toilet thoroughly before replacement will definitely help.

Once a pathway has been cleared and the work area cleaned, a few tools will be necessary. An adjustable wrench may help turn off the water supply line located on the wall near the tank. Twist the valve clockwise until the water has completely stopped. Flush the toilet several times until the water has left both the tank and the bowl. The cover may be removed and carried away separately to reduce weight. Once the tank and bowl are completely drained, use a small adjustable wrench to unhook the water supply line from the tank. It should come off easily, but residual water may still be present.


In a standard toilet installation, there should be two long bolts protruding from either side of the bowl and seat assembly. These bolts are secured with two nuts, which may be covered by plastic caps. Remove the caps by hand and use a properly-fitted socket wrench or pliers to loosen these nuts. Once these nuts have been removed, carefully rock the tank and bowl assembly to loosen the seal under them.

At this point, additional help may be required. One strong person should firmly grasp the entire toilet and pull it straight up until the anchor bolts (sometimes called "toilet screws") have been cleared. The toilet should then be placed on the wheelbarrow or dolly and moved out of the bathroom for disposal. Meanwhile, another person should have an old cloth ready to stuff down the central pipe exposed by the replacement process. This pipe is a direct conduit to the sewage system, so noxious fumes and gases may escape if not covered quickly. Plumbing supply stores do carry professional caps designed to fit over this pipe if another toilet is not immediately installed.

The final step in replacing a toilet, is bringing in a new one. First, scrape out the wax seal and replace it with a new one that can be purchased at most home supply centers. Installing a new toilet progresses much like the removal, but in reverse. Although the whole process may be mildly challenging for some, a new toilet usually breathes new life into a bathroom.


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Post 2

Many problems associated with a toilet's basic function can often be fixed without the need for total replacement. A professional plumber can use special tools to clear out obstructions and chemicals to remove build-ups. Sometimes replacing a worn or broken part will address the problem. The most common reason for replacing an entire toilet would be irreparable damage to its structure, such as a cracked bowl or leaking water tank. When the structural integrity of the toilet has been compromised, it can easily become a safety hazard for users and should be replaced promptly.

Post 1

My toilet is flushing sluggishly. When is it necessary to replace a toilet?

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