Japanese toilet innovation is legendary, especially when it comes to the space age bidet seats that do everything but polish your shoes, and Toto, being a Japanese company, has introduced some interesting toilet innovations to the North American market. Some of these innovations call for changes in the installation procedure, and once the toilet is installed, the removal procedure may seem mysterious to anyone who has never installed one. Don't worry — except for a few details, the procedure for Toto toilet removal isn't much different from removing any other toilet.
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Basic Toilet Removal Procedure
Most toilets, including Toto model CST425F and others like it, are bolted directly to the closet flange, and you can see the bolts on the base of the toilet approximately in the center of the bowl after you pry off the caps. Before you unscrew the nuts, you have to unhook the water supply:
- Turn off the water valve.
- Flush the toilet and sponge residual water into the bowl.
- Put a bucket under the water connection on the tank just in case.
- Unscrew the water connection from the toilet by hand or by using adjustable joint pliers.
Once the water is disconnected, unscrew the nuts with pliers and remove all the washers underneath them. Lift the toilet straight up and set it aside. It's important not to tip it to make sure water doesn't spill, so you may want to get a helper if you're removing a Toto because they can be heavy.
With the toilet out of the way, you can clean up the old wax from the toilet flange using a putty knife, collect it all in paper towels and discard it. Finish by plugging the toilet waste inlet to seal sewer gases in the pipes.
There Are No Toilet Bolts
One of Toto's innovations is to hide those pesky toilet bolts that tend to rust and make removal more difficult. Some models come with mounting blocks that you screw to the floor; they are set just inside the base of the bowl, and the bowl is attached to them with screws through the side of the toilet base. The screws are hidden by caps that you can pry off with a flathead screwdriver, and once the caps are off, you can back out the screws with a drill and a Phillips bit.
Once you've done that, the removal procedure is almost the same as for a regular toilet except you have to unscrew the mounting blocks from the floor after the toilet is gone. You also have to unbolt a component Toto calls the "socket" from the toilet flange that provided a seal for the toilet waste outlet. After lifting out the socket, remove the wax from underneath it and from the flange and block the waste inlet.
Mounting Bolts Are in Back
Some of the most recent Toto toilets come equipped with a fitting called an outlet connection that connects the toilet flange to the toilet outlet, which is at the very back of the fixture. This fitting is a special drain pipe that Toto claims makes flushing more efficient. Toilets that use the outlet connection fitting are bolted to it, and the bolts are at the rear of the toilet.
The bolts are hidden by plastic covers mounted on the side of the bowl, and they are easy to pry off since they are held only by Velcro. You unscrew the bolts as you would those on a standard toilet, and when you lift off the toilet, you'll see the connection fitting, which is made of cast iron. It's held to the flange by toilet bolts, and at the other end, it's held to the floor by screws. Back out the screws with a drill and unbolt the connection fitting from the toilet flange with pliers. Then, lift off the connection fitting, clean up the wax and block the waste inlet.
Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker and Family Handyman.