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How To Drain A Toilet

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From time to time I am asked how do I drain a toilet? Although this seems to be a simple question the answer is actually somewhat tricky. The method for how to drain a toilet is slightly different if the toilet is stopped up or not.

If the toilet is stopped up it may be a good reason to remove it. Many people will remove the toilet to clear blockage or run a snake. You can turn the toilet upside down and remove something that may have been lodged in them. When the toilet is stopped up it is difficult to remove unless you drain it first.

Another reason to drain a toilet is to replace the toilet with a new fixture. The toilet needs to be drained before removing it since you will want to get all the water out before carrying it through your house. Stopped up or not some methods will work better than others depending on the situation.

Here are a few suggestions on how to drain a toilet.

1. Plunge Out The Water

Toilet plunger inside toilet bowl.
Aaron
Plunging is a great way to remove the water from the toilet bowl whether it is stopped up or not. The plunging motion pushes the water out of the toilet bowl and down the drain. Shut the water off by turning off the stop valve to the water supply for the toilet. Use a plunger to get most of the water out of the bowl, then you can slowly flush the water from the tank to the bowl and plunge to get the water all the way out before removing the toilet.

2. Siphon Out The Water

A short hose can be used to siphon out the water from the tank or bowl. Do this by filling up the hose completely with water and then plugging one end with your thumb. Drop the other end into the toilet bowl quickly and then bring the other end of the hose lower than the bowl and release your thumb. Drain this into a bucket or container. It will begin draining and will do so as long as you keep your end lower than the bowl. This will not work so well if the toilet is stopped up.

3. Bail Out The Water

Use a Cup or small bowl and bail the water out of a toilet bowl. A small cup or even the cap of a hairspray bottle or paint can will reach low enough to get the majority of the water out of the bowl.

4. Sponge Out The Water

Drain the toilet water with a sponge
Aaron Stickley
Using a good sponge is a great way to remove all of the water from a toilet bowl or tank. A sponge can easily fit around everything in the tank and can fit way down into the bowl to remove all of the water from the trap. It is a good idea to wear latex gloves and drain all the water into a five gallon bucket. This method of draining the toilet is surprisingly fast and easy with a good sponge.

5. Vacuum Out The Water

A wet dry vac is a great way to remove the water from a toilet. Depending on the size of the toilet tank or bowl you may be able to get all the water in one go. If the vacuum tank is too small to hold all of the water simply dump it out and continue to vacuum.
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