How to Remove a Toilet Properly

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I’m going to go over steps on how to remove a toilet, and the first step is we want to shut of the water from the shut off valve underneath the toilet itself. So to shut off the valve, it’s just a matter of turning clockwise the handle on the valve, and this is a nice tool. If you have a valve that’s very hard to turn the handle, this is Ridgid Faucet and Sink Installer. It has different size fittings, and one of them is a fitting that will go around the handle and allow you to very easily turn off a valve. And what’s nice about this is it actually allows you to grab this with a wrench. If it were very difficult to turn, you could connect a wrench here, and it’ll give you more torque.

Once the valve is off, we’re just going to flush the toilet. Hold the handle down so as much water as possible gets out of the tank. Then we’re going to plunge out all excess water out of the bowl because when you pick this up, the trap inside will spill the water if it’s uneven. So I want to get as much water as I can out of the bowl. Now we’re going to remove the supply line from the shut off valve up to the fill valve on the tank. So I’m just using a pair of channel locks. I’m going to grab the top of that supply line and turn it counter-clockwise, and I’d also put a small pan underneath this because there’s going to be a little bit of water in this supply line here.

So we’ll just loosen this up and disconnect the supply line from the fill valve. Now we’re going to remove the nubs that are holding down the toilet to the flange. So just by removing that decorate cap, we’re going to put some sort of adjustable wrench on this nut. I just picked this up. These are Husky Adjustable Socket, and this will actually adjust to 22 different sizes, metric and standard. I really like them because you can just lay it on a nut, give it a twist and it locks in like that. So just a very nice tool for any size nut. And so you can see what’s happening is the whole bolt is actually turning. So whoever put this toilet on, they did not lock down this bolt with an extra stainless steel washer and nut because, as you see this thing move, you see how rusted it is.

So now this is going to be a bit of a troubleshooting tip. We’re going to first grab this with a pair of locking pliers and see if we can get this loosened up. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to have to cut this off with a hacksaw. So to help free up this nut, I’m going to first spray it with a little penetrating oil and let it set for a few minutes, and hopefully that will help loosen this up. So I’m going to take these locking pliers and lock them to the top of this bolt, and we’ll see if that allows us to turn this. And it’s not.

So what I’m going to have to do and just take a hacksaw blade, and I’ll hack right underneath that nut and take the whole bolt off. So I’m going to leave the locking pliers on that bolt so we can wedge this tight, and I’m just going to take a hacksaw blade. And underneath that nut, I’m just going to work all the way through. And if you don’t want to lose the handle on the blade, you can just use the blade itself. You can use a pair of leather gloves.

So we’re just going to cut through the bolt and see what the other wise of the bolt looks like. So the bolt on the other side of the toilet is also spinning, so I’ll show you an easy way of how to get into a hard to reach area. So I just take a hacksaw blade with leather gloves and I just get on the bottom of the nut. And we’re just going to work on top of this washer and on the bottom of the nut. And I’m just going to work it until we cut through that bolt. With all you’re doing, it may seem like you’re never going to get through it. But if you’re just persistent, you can see that you can cut right through this.

You’re now going to be able to pull up the toilet. So once you’ve removed your nuts and cut through your bolts, it’s a matter of lifting it up and setting it off. I always have some newspaper or some cardboard to set it on, and you always want to keep the toilet level because in that trap, if you tilt the toilet, it’s going to spill water out of that trap. So it’s just a matter of lifting it straight up and removing it. And that’s all there is to removing a toilet.

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