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How To Remove A Toilet To Clear The Drain Pipe

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Your toddler has just achieved a goal that had proven insurmountable in past attempts. The apple of your eye has finally flushed something down the toilet that cannot be dislodged by a simple plunger. You must now remove the toilet to snake the drain to snag and remove the offending object.

Removing as toilet is relatively simple, but not pleasant. Using a drain auger to snake the drain is the more odious (and odorous) task, and not for the faint of heart. However, unless you decide to pay for a professional to perform your plumbing services, it's time to take a deep breath and engage the task at hand.

What do you need for this task?

Adjustable wrench 

Roll of teflon tape

Replacement wax ring to seal bottom of toilet

Drain auger

Rags for water absorption

Pail or bucket

Heavy work or garden gloves (no thin plastic gloves)

Stick level or cell phone app level

Removing the toilet

You will begin by turning off the supply valve to your toilet. Flush the toilet repeatedly to remove as much water as possible from the tank, then absorb the rest of the water in the tank and bowl with rags until both are as empty as possible. Disconnect the supply line from the bottom of the toilet with the adjustable wrench and place the end of the supply hose in your pail, because it will still be filled with water.

When this is done, loosen the two bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. When the bolts are removed, you can lift the toilet up and away from the floor drain and place it on the floor. Place a wadded rag inside the drain pipe temporarily to keep sewer gases from entering the home.

You will need then to clean the remains of the old wax ring from the bottom of the toilet and the top of the floor drain,then remove the wadded rag from the drain opening.

Snaking the drain

A drain snake consists of a long flexible metal cable with an auger tip that resembles a spring with a sharp hook at the end. The shape and design of the auger allows it to burrow through accumulated sewage that lines the inside of drain pipes, with the hook included to snag the offending clogging agent.

You must twist the snake cable as you feed the auger tip through the drain line to create the necessary burrowing effect. When you appear to have hit an obstruction, you must then apply greater pressure in your twisting to snag the clog with the auger tip. You can then retract the cable to see if you've snagged the troublesome object.

Use gloves to retract the cable, because it will be covered in raw sewage, a black, vile substance that stains whatever it touches and smells worse than it looks. It's a good idea to have a bucket or pail available, especially if you've inserted several feet of cable into the drain line. You can coil the cable inside the bucket as you retract it, then use the bucket to store the cable.

If you've succeeded in your fishing expedition and snagged the offending object, it's time to replace the toilet.

Replacing the toilet

Removing the plastic covering from the new wax ring and place it, large side down, over the floor drain. You can then place the toilet drain atop the wax ring and rock the toilet gently into place. Place the two bolts into the floor holes and turn them slightly by hand, but don't tighten them fully.

Use your stick level or cell phone app to adjust the toilet so that it is completely level, then tighten the two floor bolts fully.

Wrap a few layers of teflon tape in a clockwise direction around the threaded supply connection at the bottom of the toilet, then connect the supply line with the adjustable wrench. you can then turn on the supply valve and allow the tank to fill before trying a test flush. If you've retrieved the clogging agent, your drain should be clear until your next adventure in parenting.

Contact a plumbing company, like Johns Plumbing INC, for more help.


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