The porcelain throne is a most important feature of any modern home. When it's working fine, you hardly think about it. But if it begins to malfunction, it can quickly become the bane of your existence. Removing a toilet can be relatively painless, though, if you follow a few easy steps and pay attention to what you're doing.
The toilet is...
There are two basic components that most toilets share: a tank and a bowl. The tank holds the water that will flush toilet contents down the waste line. When you flush your toilet, a lever raises a ball or cover at the bottom of your tank to release water into the bowl.
Now that you're familiar with how it works, you're probably wondering how to remove a toilet that doesn't. No problem--you'll learn how to do just that in the following section.
Step 1: Shut off the water
Turn the shut-off valve, which is usually located behind the toilet, near your base molding. You'll need to turn it clockwise (righty tighty, lefty loosey!) to accomplish this. After you've done this, flush the toilet to remove excess water from the tank and the bowl. You can use a towel or a sponge to soak up any remaining water.
Step 2: Loosen tank bolts and supply line
You can use an adjustable wrench for this step. Separating the tank from the bowl isn't absolutely necessary, but it can make the job a lot easier because toilets are much heavier than they look.
Unhook the supply line first, just to be sure that no backflow occurs. The supply line is the bendable metallic line that connects to your shut-off valve.
After this, it's time for the tank bolts. They're located inside the tank, at the bottom. The bolts are secured by nuts and fitted with rubber washers. Removing the tank after this is simply a matter of lifting it off of the bowl.
Step 3: Loosen and remove closet flange bolts
These are the bolts that hold your toilet's base to the floor. They are on each side of the toilet. Most of the time they are covered by decorative caps that are the same color as the bowl.
Step 4: Remove toilet bowl
Once you remove the flange bolts, lift the bowl from its seat. If the bowl doesn't come right up, try rocking it gently. It's important to be careful, as there will be some remaining water.
After removing the toilet, use a towel to plug the closet bend (the hole in the floor).
Step 5: Remove the wax ring
There is a wax ring that is used as a water seal between your toilet's base and closet flange. You can use a putty knife to remove it. There will probably be wax on the base of the toilet as well as the closet flange.
If you're still not confident in your ability to remove a toilet, take a look around Kudzu to find a competent pro!