Removing the toilet flush valve from your toilet is an easy task that has to be done when it begins to malfunction or leak. There are two basic ways in which this task can be accomplished, depending mostly upon whether the toilet is a single or two piece unit. The two piece units are much easier to work on, and they do not need special tools in order to accomplish the removal. However, a one piece unit will require that you purchase a special removal tool at the closest plumbing store or home improvement outlet center.
Step 1: Remove all Water
Before removing the toilet flush valve all of the water must be removed. Begin this process by first finding the water shut-off valve. It should be located behind the toilet on the plumbing lines next to the floor. Some older toilets where not installed in this fashion, so the main water shut-off may have to be closed before proceeding.
After the water has been turned off, flush the toilet a couple of times to remove as much water as possible from the bowl and tank. Take as many dry towels as are needed to finish soaking up any water that has been left over. The entire tank has to be free from water otherwise it will get all over the floor, which can cause water damage to the surrounding areas.
Step 2: Prepare the Toilet Flush Valve for Removal
Unhook the flapper chain, or plastic strip, from the flapper so that it is out of your way. If the toilet that you are working on is a one piece unit, remove the flapper ears from the sides of the flush valve. Since the flapper arms are rubber, this can be accomplished by twisting the pins in either direction and sliding them off.
A two piece toilet will have a nut on the underside of the toilet tank which can be removed with a wrench. A one piece unit, on the other hand, will have a nut located in the same place but it will have to be removed with the help of a special flush valve removal tool. To accomplish this, place the removal tool into the toilet bowl and line up the notches of the tool and the nut, and then use a wrench to turn it from the outside. In large toilets you may need to have a helper hold the tool in the tank while you unscrew the nut from the bottom. No matter which type of toilet that you have, this nut needs to come off now.
Step 3: Remove the Toilet Flush Valve
After all the hardware has been loosened and removed, the toilet flush valve can then be slid out so that the new one can be installed.