How to Replace Your Toilet Tank

A toilet in a bathroom.
  • 3-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-500
What You'll Need
New toilet tank
Mounting hardware
Two long brass tank mounting nuts

Replacing a toilet tank is an easy chore most homeowners try to avoid due to the mess involved. This bathroom repair project only takes a few hours. Doing it yourself will save you money you would otherwise give to a professional plumber. A tank generally rests on top of the bowl. It can be replaced without ruining the entire toilet. Follow these steps to successfully repair the toilet tank yourself over the weekend.

Step 1 - Purchase New Tank

Check the tank to determine its size and make, and purchase a similar replacement tank from your local sanitary supply store. If your tank is an older model that is not distributed in the market anymore, make sure the new one is as similar to it as possible in both appearance and function. Read through the manufacturer's instructions in case there is anything specific you should know before starting the replacement.

Step 2 - Turn Water Supply Off

Turn of the water supply to the toilet. This is generally a knob situated behind it on the wall, which is connected to it by means of a metal tube. Flush the toilet to completely drain and empty the tank. Use a sponge to remove any remaining water in the tank or bowl.

Also unthread the coupling nut between the water supply and toilet tank with an open-end wrench.

Step 3 - Unscrew Nuts

Most tanks are held to the toilet bowls by two long brass nuts that you need to unscrew in order to remove it. Locate these nuts under the flange, towards the toilet bowl rear. These nuts may be tightly screwed and will need lubrication in order to loosen. Apply some lubricant and allow it to settle for twenty minutes before you try to unscrew them. In the rare event of them not prying loose, saw through the nuts with a hacksaw.

While you are at it, also replace valves, washers, and bolts with new ones.

Step 4 - Remove Old Tank

Carefully lift the toilet tank after you unscrew it. Hold it firmly to prevent it from falling and place it on an even surface to discard appropriately once you complete the installation procedure.

Step 5 - Replace Tank

    Place the rubber spud washer with its beveled side out into the valve opening in the base of the tank. Also place any rubber cushion on the bowl. Hold the new tank firmly to prevent it from slipping, and lower it in place, on the back of the bowl.

    Slide both the long bolts from the inside of the tank, into their designated holes. Insert two rubber washers against the bowl and tank, ensuring they form a tight fit. Use a wrench to screw the nuts.

    Connect the water supply to the valve in the lower side of the tank. Turn on the water and notice how the tank fills up. Tighten the nuts to remove any leaks. Place any cover on the tank to complete the replacement procedure.