How to Hook Up a Toilet to a Sewer


Toilets hook up to the sewer via a toilet flange, or a metal or PVC pipe screwed to the floor of your bathroom. Your toilet screws into the flange, which connects your toilet to the sewer pipe, which in turn flows into your home’s main sewer line. Hooking up your toilet to the flange involves a few nuts and bolts, along with a wax ring to help secure the toilet, but the job requires only minimal plumbing skills and should take no more than one afternoon of your time.

Things You'll Need

  • Putty knife
  • Rag
  • Water
  • Flange bolts and nuts
  • Wax ring
  • Wrench
  • Tank bolts and nuts
  • Water supply hose
  • Hacksaw
  • Clean the sewer drain opening by scraping the caulk around the opening with a putty knife. Use a damp rag to wipe away any residue around the opening.

  • Push two flange bolts, with the threads facing up toward you, into the openings positioned at opposite ends of the flange. Slide one retention washer over each flange bolt to secure them.

  • Place a wax ring, with the rounded side facing you, around the sewer drain opening. Press down on the ring to help secure it to the opening.

  • Lift the toilet bowl. Position it over the sewer drain opening, matching up the flange bolts with the opening in the toilet bowl’s base. Lower the toilet to insert the flange bolts through the holes in the bowl. Push down on the toilet bowl firmly to press it into the wax ring.

  • Slide a washer over each flange bolt. Then slide a nut over each washer. Tighten the nuts by hand, then tighten the flange bolts with your wrench. Use a hacksaw to cut off the excess flange bolt length that extends past the nuts. Place plastic bolt covers over the bolts.

  • Position the tank onto the back of your toilet and secure it to the toilet with tank bolts. Tighten the tank bolts with a wrench. Attach a water supply hose for the toilet to the water supply valve. Attach the opposite end of the supply hose to the toilet’s inlet, located at the toilet’s base.

  • Rotate the water supply valve counterclockwise to turn on the water supply. Allow the toilet to fill with water before flushing.

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  • Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
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  • "Home Improvement 1-2-3"; Benjamin W. Allen, Christopher Cavanaugh; 1995

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