Removing toilet bowl

This work is not often necessary, but sometimes it must be done to put in a new bathroom floor or clear a stoppage in the bowl.

The first step is to pump and sponge all the water out of the bowl and trap. It is best to shut off the water supply into the tank and have the flush tank empty, so that there will be no leakage of water to the floor. Next, disconnect the pipe from the tank to the bowl. Inspect the packing at the connections to bowl and tank and replace it if it is worn.

The bowl is fastened to the floor with bolts which pierce the closet floor flange. This flange is attached to the sewer pipe. The nuts for these bolts may be covered with porcelain caps held in place with plaster of Paris or putty. Insert a sharp knife under the cap and gently tap or pry up the cap very carefully until it is loose.

Once the caps are off, remove the putty or plaster of Paris and unscrew the nuts. To free the bowl from the floor flange, jar it slightly with the hands. This will break the putty seal between the bowl and the flange. Now the bowl can be lifted up and put where it will be out of the way. Clean all the old putty from the flange and around the base of the bowl. In some cases, the joint between bowl and floor flange is sealed with a gasket. Cover the opening in the floor so that nothing can fall into the sewer pipe.

About three pounds of a special putty will be required to seal the joint when the bowl is replaced. If the joint was sealed with a gasket, it is better to use a new one than to take a chance with the old one. Gaskets will make tighter seals.

Tighten the nuts, making sure that the bowl sits level. After the nuts have been tightened, remove the excess putty from along the edge of the bowl and connect the pipe to the tank. If there is any sign of a leak at the joint between the bowl and floor flange, you should remove the bowl and reseal the joint with a new application of putty.

Handle the bowl with care, as it cracks or chips easily.


  • Boilers
  • Clogged drains
  • Clogged sewer pipes
  • Clogged water pipes
  • Draining plumbing
  • Faucets
  • Flush tanks leaking
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  • Miscellaneous
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  • Preparing traps
  • Sewage disposal
  • Sewage system
  • Toilet removing
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