DIY Network

How to Replace a Toilet and Connect the Water Lines

These step-by-step instructions show how to replace a toilet and include the following steps: Remove the water, disconnect the tank, install the new toilet and connect the water lines.

More in Plumbing

  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Moderate

Highlights:

Step 1: Empty the Tank

Turn off the water at the toilet stop by turning the handle clockwise. Drain the tank by pulling on the handle. Take a sponge and bucket to soak up the remainder of water left in the tank. If needed, use some paper towels to finish the job.

Now that the tank is empty, it's time to address the bowl. Since there's still water left in the trap, take an ordinary plunger and press it once or twice as you would with a clogged toilet. This will force all the water out of the trap making the old toilet ready for removal.

turn off water at toilet stop

Step 2: Disconnect the Tank

The first step in actually disconnecting the toilet from the bathroom is to unscrew the supply line from the stop using a crescent wrench.

Next, disconnect the tank to bowl nuts on the tank. Simply use a long screwdriver to hold them in the tank and then loosen them from the underside. Now the tank is free from the bowl and can be easily lifted.

unscrew supply line from stop

Step 3: Remove the Bowl

Flip up the bolt covers and remove them if necessary. Loosen the bolts slightly, but make sure they don't start to spin.

Now that the closet bolts are disconnected, tightly grip the old toilet and lift it out.

flip up bolt covers and remove them

Step 4: Replace the Wax Ring

The next step is to take an ordinary putty knife and scrape off the old wax ring (Image 1).

Place a new wax ring over the flange (Image 2).

Step 5: Create a Seal

Line up the closet bolts with the bowl and gently let down the bowl.

To make sure a proper seal is created with the flange and drain, temporarily add the seat and sit on the toilet. The added weight will evenly press the seal tight.

Tighten the provided nuts over the closet bolts and tighten.

Step 6: Align the Flushing Valve

Line up the flushing valve to the opening in the top of the toilet bowl. After making sure the seal is in place, add the tank to bowl gaskets. Secure the tank with a screwdriver and crescent wrench.

line up flushing valve to opening in toilet bowl

Step 7: Finish the Installation

New stainless steel supply lines from the ballcock to the stop should be installed.

Next, open up the valve to let the tank fill about 1/4 of the way full. Now, check for leaks.

Add the toilet seat and bolts; adjust the float slider if necessary.

Learn how upgrading the toilet can increase your home's value at HGTV's FrontDoor.com.

finish installation

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