Disabled Toilet: How to Disable a Toilet

flexible sink hose
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
Old jug
Rubber gloves
Instruction manual

Whether you are undertaking a refurbishment or a repair, you will need to start with a disabled toilet. Knowing how to undertake this process will ensure that you can complete the necessary work without hindrance.

Step 1 - Water Supply

The first step necessary to disable a toilet is to prevent the water from running, which is done by turning off the water supply that serves the toilet. If it is not possible to isolate the supply to the toilet or the bathroom, switch off the supply to the entire property for the time it takes to do the necessary work.

Step 2 - Bail Out

Despite taking the necessary steps to switch off the water supply, this does not mean that there will be no water remaining in the toilet. To ensure that you are left with a disabled toilet, this water will need to removed. This process can often be undertaken simply by flushing until all of the water is drained. Alternatively, remove the lid of the cistern and use a jug or similar vessel that is of a suitable size to bail out the water. To prevent any remnants of water in the tank escaping and wetting the floor during disassembly, use a rag to soak it up before taking the components apart.

removing a broken toilet

Step 3 - Flush Mechanism

Whether or not you intend to disassemble it completely, a toilet can be disabled by dismantling the flush mechanism. Lift the lid of the cistern out of place, which will require the initial removal of the flush operating button on some models. This can be twisted out of place. Make use of a pair of rubber gloves to improve your grip.

Once both components are removed, carefully set them aside. This will give you access to the internal workings of the cistern. If you have retained the manual for the toilet, it is a good idea to through it, as this will give you an idea of where best to start with the dismantling process. If this is not available, start by removing the ballcock, which can be unscrewed to get easy access to the arm it is attached to. The fasteners at the joints can be removed with a pair of pliers or other appropriate tool.

Step 4 - Remove Toilet

Once the internals are removed from the disabled toilet, you will be in a position to determine whether there are any bolts in place to hold the cistern to the wall. The fasteners at the base of the cistern can then be removed to enable it to be lifted out of place. The bolts that hold the toilet bowl to the floor will then have to be removed so that the bowl can be removed. Stop up the resulting drain hole with rags to prevent noxious gases from rising up from the drain.