How to remove an old toilet: An overview of the technology for dismantling an old plumbing

Certain types of plumbing can be easily replaced independently. So knowing how to remove an old toilet bowl will be very helpful – you will not have to call a plumber and adjust your plans to suit his mood. And the money saved in the dismantling service can be used to purchase more useful items. If you are still in doubt as to whether you can complete the toilet replacement work yourself, we will spread your doubts. Next, we will talk about proper removal of old plumbing and what tools will be required for this.

Table of Contents

When to start disassembling the toilet?

The need to replace an old toilet bowl with a new one arises at the most unexpected moment – a plumbing product may explode or crack if something heavy falls on it by mistake. Although the repair was not planned, it is not possible to live without a toilet.

In case of emergency you should evaluate the front of the future work, study carefully the shape of the toilet, how it was connected and purchase a model with similar characteristics. This will allow to replace the wrong toilet with minimal cost.

If it is time to carry out a renovation, then the form of discharge, the supply of water to the drain tank, the form of the product itself will not be materially important. In this case, you can choose the model that best suits the idea of ​​an ideal toilet – in any case there is an extensive work front and the replacement of the pipes will probably be one of the points.

Before you start dismantling an old or broken toilet, you should definitely buy and wait for a new product to be delivered. Also, you should check immediately if there are any accessories needed when replacing.

Safety precautions before starting work

When you are planning to replace the toilet, there is no doubt about the feasibility of doing all the work yourself. In fact, you will have to deal with removing the old one yourself and installing a new device. The main thing is to do everything in sequence, following the manufacturer’s recommendations and following the advice of experienced craftsmen.

 There are two job options:

Hire a plumber
Do it yourself

The first option is suitable when there is a scheduled repair and there is no time limit. Sometimes a plumber has to wait weeks – he always has unforeseen circumstances. Hiring a plumber can lead to even more expenses – it’s good if you get an experienced artist whose hands are growing from the right place. Otherwise it can ruin the whole bathroom.

The last option of do it yourself is the most profitable – you can get practical experience and money will be saved. Yes, and great destruction can be avoided. If it is decided to have practical experience in dismantling the toilet, the safety measures should not be forgotten, because in the work process different tools can be useful.

Care should be taken to protect the eyes, hands, other important organs and body parts. To do this, wear special glasses, tight gloves, and a face mask to protect the respiratory system. Clothing should completely cover the hands and feet so that sharp fractures will not accidentally damage the skin.

The technology of dismantling old plumbing

Once you have decided to carry out the disassembly of the toilet yourself, you must know the theoretical part and only then proceed with the practical application of the accumulated knowledge. Only with a full idea of ​​what is left to do, it is easy to develop an action plan and act on it. To get an initial idea of ​​a typical workflow for plumbing removal, consider the process of dismantling the toilet with a direct release:

The first step: preparing the facility

The first step is to carry out preparatory work, a careful examination of the toilet and all household accessories. This will help determine the set of tools needed for disassembly. So you should clean the bathroom as much as possible of unnecessary items – take out sinks, buckets, washing machine, if it interferes with free access to the toilet. In a word, it is necessary to take out of the room anything that could interfere or there is a chance of accidental damage.

Preparations before starting work:

Preparation of the necessary tools
Rinsing the product from facial contamination
Shutting down the water supply system
Evacuation of water from the drain tank
Prepare dry cuts of fabric, old towels or sponges and other soft materials capable of absorbing water

It is important to carefully check all the adhesives – if you used silicone sealant for sealing, then you will also need a construction knife to remove it.

Also, regardless of the model of the toilet and the location of the drain tank, you must turn off the tap on the pipe that brings water to the house / apartment. So you need to check if everything worked out by opening the tap for that purpose. If the water does not flow, then anything is possible and the preparatory work can continue.

Drain water from the tank so that it does not interfere with further disassembly. Dry sponges, old towels and floor rags are effective for wiping puddles and making it impossible to close the entrance to the sewer outlet. This measure partially protects the occupants of the apartment / house from the intrusion of a particularly unpleasant odor from the sewer installation after the toilet has been dismantled.

If the toilets are embedded in the floor or the pit is in the wall, you will need to remove the tiles and thus release the access. Also, do not forget about the tanks built into the wall. When dismantling such products, severe damage can not be avoided. Work on removing tiles, removing decorative coatings or panels in advance, during the preparation stage.

Step two: Disassemble the tank

When the water is off, you can proceed to the next step – remove the drain tank, and do not forget to release them from the water first. Moreover, it does not matter exactly where and in what way it was installed. If the container is hidden in a niche in the wall, you need to break the decorative structure, remove the tiles, trim boards and other types of finishes.

Then you must carefully remove the lid from the container – this will prevent it from accidentally falling during disassembly. If it is a model of a drain tank with a button, then first you need to loosen the button, and only then remove the cover.

When removing the lid, remove it from the room so as not to interfere with further work. Now you need to solve the flexible eyeliner that provides water to the container. To do this, use a key of the appropriate diameter and open it carefully, taking care not to damage the adjacent walls. Then you need to remove the screws that secure the container to the wall, if at all. If the drain tank is on the toilet shelf, it will be necessary to open the screws that hold the tank in a permanent place.

He is left with smooth movements to take the container out and take it out of the tub. It is important to act with confidence – if the container could not be removed for the first time, you should try one or two again, using a lot of force. If only wrong toilet, then you can replace it only, without proceeding to the complete disassembly of the product.

Step three: Remove the toilet bowl

With the removal of the container, you can proceed with the removal of the toilet bowl itself. To do this, it is advisable to first release it from the cover by carefully screwing the screws that hold it in place. It is important not to hurt anything – often the mistress buys a cover separately, and chooses an expensive, beautiful and comfortable seat.

Now you need to loosen the screws that secure the toilet battery to the floor. This step can be simpler or more complex – it all depends on the method of connection:

If the toilet is fixed solely with screws, then they should be disconnected
When a sealant is used as a sealant, you will need a knife to gently cut the silicone layer
If the base of the toilet is on the floor, you will need to use a chisel, hammer and sled

It happens that the toilet sole is attached to a thick wooden board embedded in the floor. After 10-25 years of use in the plumbing body, a board called taffeta rot. Therefore, it is not difficult to remove the toilet, but one should also remove the board.

The next step is to remove the drain from the toilet. The front of the work will depend on the material from which it is made. it could be:

Flexible discharge
Cast Iron

If it is possible to remove the first option flexible discharge from the toilet, then in the second and third case you need to work hard and remove it. Particularly difficult may be the work of removing the iron pipe. If the plastic drain does not work in any way, it can be sawn with a metal saw or cut with a hot knife. Then clean the pipe from all types of twists, for many years ensures tightness and protection against leaks.

Remained in strong rocking motions to remove the toilet without damaging a sewer pipe. It is important to act smoothly. If nothing happened the first time, you do not need to lift the sled immediately – you have to repeat the process a few more times and everything will work out.

It remains to remove the disassembled bowl from the bath so that it does not interfere with further work.

Fourth step: sweeping the area

The volume of work in the last stage depends entirely on the previous stages and on what material the drainage is made. If it is a cast iron pipe, it will have to be removed to replace it with a lighter and more flexible sewer.

It happens that removing the pipe and cleaning the inlet can take more than two hours. But this is justified, because in the future the process of dismantling the plastic corrugated pipe will take several minutes.

Yes, and leakage, if it does occur, is much easier to eliminate than cast iron.

When the toilets were attached to the taffeta, it was necessary to remove all the remnants of the rotten board and install a new one in its place, using grease glue and installing it to the screws. Or you can immediately fill the hole with a solution.

If, out of pits, the toilets are not removed, but thrown away with a sled or other heavy tool, cleaning the bath will take a long time.

To carefully clear the space for new plumbing installation, you will need to make an effort.

Operate smoothly and accurately, you can remove the toilet without damaging anything. It will be ready for full installation in the country.


You can disassemble the toilet yourself, armed with the right tools and a step-by-step work plan. In this regard, it is important to do everything very carefully, and not to forget about personal safety. Indeed, a fracture may detach from the old toilet bowl during disassembly, which is in itself dangerous.

Removing an old plumbing body with your own hands will take between 30 minutes to 2-3 hours.

If you have the necessary knowledge and can give valuable advice to our readers regarding dismantling old plumbing, please leave comments under the article. You can also ask questions that interest you in the subject and we will try to answer them quickly.

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