clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows how to give new life to an old toilet.


1. Close the shut-off valve behind the toilet to prevent any water from entering the toilet tank.

2. Flush the toilet, and hold down the flush lever to allow as much water as possible to drain from the tank.

3. Loosen the fill tube from the underside of the toilet tank. Catch any drips with a rag or bucket.

4. Remove any water from the very bottom of the tank with a turkey baster or wet/dry vacuum.

5. To remove the tank from the toilet, reach into the tank with a large slotted screwdriver and loosen the brass screws located at the bottom of the tank.

6. Use an open-end wrench to hold the nuts on the underside of the toilet.

7. Once the nuts are removed, lift the tank off the toilet.

8. Lay the tank on its side and use pliers to remove the large spud nut from the flush valve.

9. Loosen and remove the fill valve using pliers.

10. Install the new fill valve and flush valve to the tank.

11. Press the rubber spud gasket onto the flush valve.

12. Insert the brass bolts through the holes in the tank bottom and secure them with washers and nuts.

13. Set the tank back onto the toilet. Onto each bolt place a rubber washer, steel washer and wing nut. Hand-tighten the wing nuts from below.

14. Reach inside the tank and insert the flexible refill tube into the rigid overflow tube.

15. If the overflow tube is higher than the flush lever, trim the tube to size.

16. Turn the water back on and flush the toilet.

17. If necessary, adjust the valve so that the water level is about 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube.