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How to replace a toilet

Toilet Troubleshooting and Replacement: Chapter 5

Toilet Replacement

By the end of this module, you should be able to describe the following: Process of removing a toilet, and Process of installing a new toilet. Skip to quiz!

Removing a toilet

If a client wants you to:

  • Upgrade to a more stylish toilet or

  • Install an efficient or problem-free toilet,

You must replace a toilet with a new one. Before purchasing a new toilet, measure the distance from the wall to the bolts.

The distance from the wall to the bolts is usually 12 inches. Now, we’ll learn to remove the existing toilet.

  • Turn off the shut-off valve to stop the tank from refilling,

  • Flush the tank to empty it,

  • Remove the tank lid,

  • Bail out the water from the tank and bowl,

  • Disconnect the supply line from the tank,

  • Loosen and remove the bolts below the tank using an adjustable wrench,

  • Lift the tank and remove it safely,

  • Remove the caps on both sides of the toilet bowl,

  • Remove both of the nuts using an adjustable wrench,

  • Rock the bowl back and forth to break the wax seal,

  • Lift the bowl and remove it carefully, and

  • Scrap the remaining wax seal from the floor flange using a putty knife.

Install a Toilet

To install a new toilet, perform the following steps:

  • Insert the bolts in the flange,

  • Then, insert new washers in the bolts,

  • Place the new wax ring on the floor flange,

  • Then, align the new bowl on the bolts,

  • Feed the nuts through the bolts on the bowl,

  • Press the bowl down to seat the wax ring,

  • Then, use a level on the bowl to check it is seated properly,

  • Tighten the nuts on both sides of the bowl by hand,

  • Then use an adjustable wrench to tighten the nuts,

  • Double-check the bowl level to ensure it’s appropriately installed,

  • Trim the excess bolts using a hacksaw blade,

  • Reinstall the bolt caps,

  • Place the new tank on the bowl,

  • Hand tighten the nuts that hold the tank on the bowl,

  • Use an adjustable wrench to tighten the nuts,

  • Remove the old supply line by loosening the nut using an adjustable wrench,

  • Install the new supply line and tighten it with a wrench,

  • Turn on the shut-off valve to fill the tank and observe the water level in the tank,

  • Flush to check the proper working,

  • Install the new seat using appropriate fasteners,

  • Place the new tank lid on the tank, and

  • You may caulk the base of the toilet using a caulk gun.

In this module, you have learned about the following:

  • Process of removing a toilet, and

  • Process of installing a new toilet.


Question #1: Why do you replace a toilet? (Select all that apply)

  1. Upgrade to a stylish toilet

  2. Install an efficient toilet

  3. Get a problem-free toilet

  4. If the water runs intermittently without flushing

Scroll down for the answer...

Answer: Upgrade to a stylish toilet

Install an efficient toilet

Get a problem-free toilet

You can replace a toilet if:

- You want to upgrade to a stylish toilet,

- You want to install an efficient toilet, and

- You get a problem-free toilet.


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