Major DIY Toilet Rebuild

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When you think about how often your toilet is used on a daily basis, it makes sense that once in a while it would need a tune-up. Leaking toilet tanks are a common issue, and fortunately, an easy one to repair yourself. If you’ve already done the Toilet Leak Test and discovered that the tank has a leak, follow the steps below to solve the issue and add years to the life of your toilet. As always, we’re here to help if you get stuck or have questions.


  1. Purchase a complete toilet repair kit from your local home improvement or hardware store. Verify that the parts in the kit are compatible with your toilet brand.
  2. Place a piece of cardboard or newspapers on the floor of the bathroom. This is where you will be setting the toilet tank once its disconnected from the bowl.
  3. Turn off the water at the supply valve coming out of the wall. Use two hands to avoid breaking anything inside the wall when applying pressure.
    Verify the water is off by flushing the toilet and checking the fill valve hose inside the tank for lack of water pressure. If the water is not turning off, the supply valve may need to be replaced. If this is the case, you may want to stop here and call a professional plumber.
  4. Once you’ve determined the water is off, vacuum the water from the toilet tank and bowl. You can use a wet dry vacuum to do this.
  5. Remove the bolts that connect the toilet tank to the bowl.
  6. Separate the tank from the bowl and lay it on the cardboard or newspaper you’ve prepared.
  7. Remove the bowl gasket, flush valve, fill valve, and toilet handle from the tank. Note the position of the flush valve and fill valve prior to removal. You’ll install the new pieces in the same position.
  8. Install your new flush valve in the center of the toilet, being sure to tighten it in place on the bottom of the tank with large pliers.
  9. Put the new rubber gaskets onto the tank bolts and insert them back into the correct bolt holes. Place a metal washer on the bottom of the tank and tighten the nut to secure.
  10. Install the new tank-to-bowl gasket onto the bottom of the flush valve.
  11. Position the new fill valve, carefully tightening it to the tank with pliers.
  12. Install the flush handle. Make sure the angle of the handle is appropriate for your toilet. Keep in mind most brands of flush handles are reverse threads, meaning they tighten counter-clockwise rather than clockwise.
  13. Connect the chain from the flapper to the toilet handle, leaving just a slight slack in the chain. Cut off the remainder of the chain so it doesn’t get stuck and cause the flapper to remain in the open position and leak water.
  14. Secure the tank back onto the bowl with metal nuts and washers. Do not over-tighten, but ensure the tank-to-bowl gasket is properly sealed.
  15. Install the new stainless steel braided supply line to the toilet tank and the supply valve.
  16. Turn the water on slowly and check for leaks. While flushing, check the connection between the tank and the bowl around the gasket to insure there is a good seal.