How to Change a Toilet
Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows the basics of changing a toilet
- Shut the water off at the toilet. The shutoff valve should be to the left of the toilet.
- Flush the toilet to drain out as much water as possible. The rest can be removed with a sponge and a bucket.
- Break the water connection from the hose to the toilet tank. It usually can be loosened with hands alone.
- Use the open-ended adjustable wrench to loosen the closet bolts on both sides of the toilet. Remove the nuts and the washers.
- Use the grips under the toilet to carefully lift the toilet straight up off the bolts. Place the toilet on a piece of plywood or drop cloth to protect the floor.
- Wearing gloves, remove the wax around the flange using a putty knife.
- Check to ensure the closet flange is intact. Replace if it is broken.
- Insert new closet bolts into the flange. Buy ones with plastic tabs on them so they stay in place. It will make it easier to put the toilet back on.
- Add a new wax ring to the flange.
- Carefully put the toilet back on the flange and push to set into the wax ring.
- Add the toilet cap base to the closet bolts on both sides.
- Put the washer and nut back on each closet bolt. Secure them on both sides with the open-ended adjustable wrench. Take turns securing each side and do not overtighten to prevent damaging the toilet.
- Use the mini hacksaw to carefully cut the closet bolts close to the nut.
- Add the toilet cap to the closet bolt. It should snap right into the cap base.
- Hand tighten the water connection back to the toilet.
- Turn the water back on.
Everything Richard used to remove and reinstall the toilet, including the sponge, bucket, wrench, and closet bolts, can be found via The Home Depot.