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How to Drain a Toilet (So It Can Be Removed)

Does your toilet need to be replaced?

Whether you’re remodeling your bathroom or you’re just looking for an updated, water-efficient model, a new toilet is always a good thing!

But before you can remove a toilet, it must first be drained.

Step 1: Prepare the Bathroom

Before you even touch the toilet, there are a few things you must do first. Start by turning the toilet’s shutoff valve clockwise to the closed position. This will stop the flow of water from going toward the toilet and will allow you to disconnect the toilet.

You’ll also want to grab a few different bath towels and lay them across the floor near the toilet. This way your floor will be protected from any spills that may occur during the removal process.

Once this has been done, grab yourself a pair of gloves and get to work!

Step 2: Remove the Water

Remove the lid of the toilet tank and set it down elsewhere on a flat surface. Do not place this lid on the bathroom vanity or anywhere else where it could be knocked over.

Press down on the toilet’s lever and keep this lever down until all of the water has been flushed out of the toilet. This should remove all of the water from the toilet’s tank. If there’s still water left in the tank, use a super absorbent sponge to soak up the rest. You can then squeeze your sponge into the toilet’s bowl (rather than the sink so you don’t cross-contaminate).

Step 3: Replace the Water

Even though all of the water is out of the toilet, there’s still excess toilet water within the fixture and connecting pipes. You’re going to want to replace that excess water with clean water, this way any water that is spilled during removal is not water that’s been sitting in your toilet.

Grab a bucket that is big enough to fill roughly three gallons worth of water. Fill this bucket in your bathtub and bring it on over to your toilet. But before you pour it into the bowl, there’s a special technique you need to perform.

Step 4: Flush-Mimic Technique

Begin pouring the water from your bucket into the toilet bowl with the bucket only a few inches from the opening of the bowl. As the water begins pouring into the bowl, begin lifting the bucket higher and higher until it is one foot above the opening of the bowl.

Why do you need to do this? Lifting the bucket as you pour will increase the speed at which the water is falling, which will mimic a flush by making excess water go down into the drain.

Step 5: Soak Up What’s Left

The last thing for you to do is to take your sponge and soak up any remaining water from within the bowl. Once this is done, you can begin repairing your toilet bowl or remove it for replacement.

Once you’re finished with any repairs or replacement, remember to ensure all connections are fastened tightly and the shutoff valve is turned back on.

Draining a toilet is necessary for some repairs and for replacement of the entire fixture. Now you know how to do it yourself!

Removing your own toilet can be a tricky project, as it can easily break and plumbing can become damaged during the process. If you need help with toilet repairs or replacement, know that our professional plumbers can do anything and everything for you! Just give us a ring and we’ll be there!

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When you need a reliable partner for all your home services in the Lancaster area, trust Lancaster Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. From our location in East Petersburg, we can provide fast, professional HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services anywhere in Lancaster County and the surrounding communities. We have some of the best technicians in the business. Our company features:

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