Charlotte Plumber DIY Series: How to Replace a Toilet

Learn How to Replace a Toilet

Got a broken toilet? Never fear! We will gladly teach you how to replace a toilet. It's easier than you might think!

Step 1: Put down rags and newspaper

Before you get started, you will need newspapers and/or old towels to set the toilet on once you remove it because an accidental dropped toilet can crack a ceramic tile floor.

Check and make sure the new toilet fits in the space occupied by the old toilet because some newer models can be longer and larger in size than older models.

Step 2: Drain the water

  1. Shut off the water supply that goes to the toilet.
  2. Flush the toilet multiple times when the water supply is disconnected.

*Flushing the toilet repeatedly will remove the water inside the tank and inside the bowl.

  1. Use a container to scoop out any remaining water left inside the bowl.

*This is important to do because remaining water in the bowl an leak out when you carry and dispose of it.

Step 3: Disconnect the toilet

  1. Unscrew the nuts that connect the water supply to the toilet.
  2. Take off the caps that cover the bolts on the base of the toilet.
  3. Unscrew the nuts located under these caps.

Step 4: Undo the seal

  1. Between the toilet bowl and the floor, use a utility knife to score them apart.
  2. Lift the toilet up and place it on top of the old towels and/or newspapers.
  3. Using a putty knife (or something similar), take the wax gasket off.
  4. Block the drainpipe with a rag to stop sewer gas from escaping.

Step 5: Arrange the New Bowl

  1. Insert a new wax gasket on the outlet of the new bowl.

*The tapered side faces away from the bowl.

  1. Make sure the toilet flange is tight and not corroded because this creates a tight connection between the toilet and the waste pipe.

*Just to let you know: The flange is what sits on top of the floor and connects to a collar that fits through the bathroom floor. Historically, the flange used to be what people used for putty, but luckily, there are now several plastic flange gaskets to choose from.

Step 6: Replace wax ring

Replace wax ring with your preference of the many options to choose from.

  1. Some have a plastic insert used to direct water flow.
  2. Some have a wax gasket with an insert #10 that is thicker and provides a good connection when remodeling the bathrooms in older homes or if the flange is set low.
  3. Some have wax gaskets without plastic inserts that can provide a suitable seal against sewer gases for most situations.

Step 7: Apply caulk and set bowl

  1. Set up a bead of caulk to the toilet base.
  2. Take away the rag from the drainpipe.
  3. Lower the bowl into place on top of the flange and then press down.

Step 8: Attach bowl to floor

Tighten the washers and nuts onto the bolts gently because tightening too hard can crack and damage the porcelain.

Step 9: Level toilet out and cover bolts

  1. If the toilet is not level, use plastic toilet shims.
  2. Put plumber’s putty in the caps and put the caps over the bolts.

Step 10: Set the new tank

  1. Place the tank bolts through the tank’s base.
  2. Position the tank over the bowl and gently lower the tank into place to avoid damage.

Step 11: Secure tank to bowl

Fasten the nuts and washers to attach the bowl to the tank.

*It is important to make sure the tank is level.

Step 12: Place a lid on the tank

  1. Once the tank is level, place the tank lid on top of the toilet tank.
  2. Do not seal the connection between the lid and tank.

Step 13: Connect the toilet to water supply

  1. Connect the supply line between the shut-off valve and the fill valve of the toilet.
  2. Tighten the compression nut.
  3. Open the shut-off valve.

Step 14: Apply caulk

  1. Apply a bead of bathroom caulk along the bottom of the toilet because this will seal the joint between the toilet and the floor.
  2. Smooth the caulk by moving a wetted finger along the joint for a clean finish.

Need Charlotte Plumbing Services?

Are you interested in more information about leak detection? Not sure you learned enough about how to replace a toilet to do it yourself?

Looking to find plumbing contractors?

Need assistance or advice about how to fix a leaky faucet?

E.R. Services is open 24/7, 365 days a year. You don’t need to take time off work or wait until the morning because we never charge extra for nights or weekends. Just give us a call at 704-269-1066 or use our online contact form.

Learn more about Charlotte residential plumbers here.

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Article Summary

Quick question & answer: How do I replace a broken toilet?

To replace a broken toilet, put down old rags, drain water and disconnect the toilet. Undo seal, arrange new bowl, then replace wax ring. Apply caulk and set bowl, then attach bowl to floor. Level the toilet out and cover bolts. Set the new tank, secure it to the bowl, place a lid on the tank, connect it to the water supply, and apply caulk.

Emergency Plumbing Harrisburg NC, How to Replace a Toilet


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