How to Drain a Toilet | How to Empty a Toilet Bowl

How to Drain a Toilet

There are various reasons you would need to empty the toilet of water. If you don't know how to drain a toilet, we can help with this article. It's a simple process but not exactly intuitive, so you'll want a few professional tips before tackling this project. Before we start with the process, we need to begin with the basics.

Why Empty the Toilet Tank and Bowl?

how to drain a toilet with a bucket of water

For several fixes and repair jobs, you only need to empty the tank. However, if you are replacing the entire toilet, then you have to drain the bowl completely. Maybe you have a two-piece toilet and only need to replace the bowl? In either case, you have to drain the tank and bowl. So let's proceed with instructions on how to empty the toilet bowl. 

Draining a Toilet in 5 Steps

  1. Lay towels on the floor to limit the mess (optional).
  2. Cut off the water supply by closing the shut-off valve.
  3. Flush the toilet to drain the tank. If the tank is still holding water, you can sop it up with a sponge.
  4. Fill a 5-gallon bucket in the bathtub with about 3 gallons of water. You want to pour from about a foot above the bowl. Counterintuitively, pouring water into the toilet bowl will actually help drain the bowl. You should see significantly less water than what you started with.
  5. Once again, use the sponge to soak up the remaining water.

That's it! You're all done. Like we promised you, the process is not very technical, but how would you know to use water to remove water unless somebody told you?

Shop PlumbersStock for Toilets & Parts

Hopefully, that was helpful to you in learning how to drain a toilet bowl. Plumbing professionals and DIY novices alike both choose PlumbersStock because of our great prices and quality brands. Here, you can save big on all the toilet parts and plumbing tools necessary to complete this project. We are leaders in online plumbing supply for good reason. Industry professionals can hit us up for special deals when they buy in bulk, so don't hesitate to contact us. Additionally, you can find other helpful how-to plumbing tutorials.

Related resources:
1-Piece vs. 2-Piece Toilets
How to Clean Toilet Bowls and Tanks
Measure a Toilet Rough In

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