Toilet Removal and Reinstall

by Kent E 5 years ago 37 comments

There can be many reasons why we may want to remove the toilet; a leak around the wax ring, a faulty toilet flange, installing a new toilet and renovating the flooring. The list could go on, but, the previous reasons are quite common.

When the plan does go forward to remove and reinstall, the procedure is similar in the various instances.

The first step, is to turn off the water to the toilet. If not, water will come shooting out from the first loosened connection and create quite a mess. There will be a stop valve located between the toilet hose and wall which is what we want to carefully close.

Once we have the water off, we flush the toilet to remove water from the tank and toilet bowl. However, we will need to remove trapped water from the toilet bowl with a Shop Vac and perhaps some leftovers in the tank. After that, we can disconnect the hose to the toilet while having a handy rag to soak up some some drops of water.

The next step is to remove the caps around the bottom T-bolts followed by the nuts and washers. Only a small wrench is required for this procedure, unless the washer is caked on and knife is required to lift the washers.

At this point, we can safely lift the toilet from the floor and place it sideways on the floor on some protective material like cardboard.

Once we have the toilet off, we can be in for many surprises. But, what we hope for is a healthy flange and minimal cleanup. If the flange is good, we clean it up. If not, we clean it up and install a flange repair kit on its surface.

Regardless of what procedure we are doing, it is a good idea to wear nitrile or latex gloves and have a rag in the flange to stop junk from falling into the hole.

In the case of a floor renovation, the flooring is also removed at this point, and the new flooring is put in place. Silicon can be applied around the flange to fill in gaps.

Once we have a cleaned up flange, we add a wax ring. A good rule of thumb is that if the floor height is the same or lower than the flange we use a flange with sleeve. If higher, a wax ring without sleeve will do.

The next procedure is to clean the toilet bottom and reinstall it. We will want to position new T-bolts so the wide side goes under the narrow slot in the middle of the flange. If they do not turn easily, we can use Channel locks to turn the bolts. We should do the turn near the bottoms so the upper threads do not get stripped.

However, if the bolts are loose, we can add plastic washers that can help secure the bolts, or, we can add a washer and nut to keep them in place. 

Once we have our bolts lined up in the centred position at equal distances from the wall, we place the toilet back where it came from, letting gravity and perhaps just a little help to move the toilet on the floor.

If the toilet sits flat...great. If not, we can use shims to level it followed by a bead of silicon around the outside.

Now, we can add a washer and nut to each side of the toilet and secure them in place, followed by the small covers. If the bolts are too long for the cover, we cut them with a mini hacksaw so the caps fit.

After that, we reconnect the toilet tank to the wall with a new, braided hose; such a s a 20" hose. Then, we turn the water back on, check for leaks and do a few flushes.

Hopefully, we find no leaks and have completed the task.

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