How to Replace a Broken Toilet

bathroom toilet

There are two different options for replacing the toilet; you can call in a professional plumber or you can do it yourself. Toilets are a sturdy fixture, but they are going to need to be replaced every few years. If you decide that the time has come to replace the toilet and you want to do it yourself, Bill Cable, owner of Akron Plumbers, offers some tips on getting it done efficiently and effectively.


You will need to shut off the main water supply line and flush the toilet in order to get the bulk of the water out of the toilet. Then you can use a sponge and a bucket to get out as much as you can. Then you are going to have to disconnect the water supply from the bottom of the tank on the back of the toilet and loosen the bolts that hold it to the floor.


You will need to cut the caulk away that is around the toilet where it meets the floor and then rock it back and forth in order to make sure that it is all the way loose. Toilets are fairly heavy, so you will likely need help in getting the old one out of the way (and when it comes time to bring the new one in). The wax seal can then be removed with a putty knife. Remember to stuff an old towel or rag in the hole to keep the nasty sewer smell from coming up into the bathroom.


Caulking the new toilet helps in filling in any gaps that may be present in the toilet bowl and makes the installation much easier and neater. A big leak in the wax ring will seep through a poor bead of caulk, so take your time to do it right. You will need to clean the floor with rubbing alcohol and then apply a bead of caulk around the base of the new toilet.


Now is the time to take out the towel that you put in the whole so that you can insert the new wax ring in between the bolts and then put the new toilet in place. You will want a friend’s help in guiding the toilet in place. Many people want to press the bowl down, but you should allow the weight of the bowl to do that for you.

You will then lay down a coat of plumber’s grease on the spud washer (or petroleum jelly if you don’t have any grease) on the spud washer before putting the tank on. Line the tank up properly with the mounting bolts before setting it on the toilet bowl.


Be careful during this step not to overtighten the bolts because it could cause damage to the tank. Place the washer onto the bolts and make it hand tight and then finish tightening it up with a screwdriver.


You can now put the mounting bolts back in and then check to make sure that the toilet is sitting level. Once you are confident that everything looks good, you can hook all the water lines back up and turn the water on so that the tank can fill back up. Before using the toilet, do a test flush to make sure that everything is working properly and that there are no visible leaks.