Down and Dirty Toilet Replacement

Pouring bucket full of water into toilet bowl to drain water out of toilet.

Step #2: Drain Toilet Tank and Bowl

Start by draining as much water as possible out of the toilet tank and bowl, then sponge out the rest.

How to drain a toilet:

  1. Turn off Water: Find the water line shutoff valve located below the toilet and turn it to the right (clockwise) as far as it will go. If your toilet doesn’t have a shutoff valve, you will need to turn off all the water to the house where the water line enters the house or at the water meter.
  2. Flush Toilet: After turning off the water, flush the toilet and hold the handle down to remove as much of the water in the tank as possible.
  3. Drain Bowl: Fill a bucket up with water, and pour it rapidly into the bowl. The fast movement of the water down the drain creates a partial vacuum that sucks most of the water in the bowl down with it. Watch our video on How to Drain a Toilet to see how it’s done.
  4. Remove Remaining Water: Wear rubber gloves and use a sponge and bucket to remove any remaining water in the bowl and tank. If your idea of a good time isn’t sponging water the out of a toilet bowl, you can drop a packet of LiquiLock (available at home centers) in the bowl to turn the remaining water into a gel.


    • J.
      Try carefully tightening the toilet bolts that hold the toilet to the floor up, but don’t overdo it as it could crack the porcelain bowl. If that doesn’t help, put a shim between the floor and toilet.


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