How to drain a toilet tank

Toilet Parts

Knowing how to drain a toilet tank properly can come in handy. When you drain the water out of the toilet tank, you’ll be draining the remaining water from the toilet bowl as well. There are several reasons why you may be doing this – a crack in the toilet tank, faulty inner working pieces of the toilet, leaks, or simply just cleaning your toilet. You won’t need a plumbing service for this task, just simply follow the directions down below and you’re good to go!

Materials Needed :

  • Rags
  • A Large Sponge 

How to Drain a Toilet Tank

drain toilet
  1. You’ll want to begin by shutting off the water flow to the toilet tank. Reach behind the toilet and find the shutoff valve. It is usually located on the left hand side of the basin either sticking out of the floor or the wall. There should be a knob or lever that controls the water flow into the toilet tank – this is the shutoff valve. Turn it until the water shuts off. 
  2. Next, using the flush lever, flush the toilet 1 to 2 times to drain as much of the water out of the toilet tank as you can. If the chain connecting the flush lever to the rubber flapper is broken, you’ll need to remove the lid of the toilet tank and place it somewhere safe. Reach your hand into the open toilet tank and manually pull the flapper up. This will flush your toilet without having to use the flush lever. 

Note: If the Fill Tube begins refilling the tank with water, you haven’t turned the shutoff valve all the way off. There should be no running water going to the toilet. Also, note that the water flowing into the toilet tank is cold water, not hot water. The water that flows into the toilet tank is clean water as well, so putting your hand into the tank will not hurt you.

  1. Once you’ve gotten as much of the water out as you can, you’ll need to grab a sponge. A sponge larger than a kitchen sponge will be perfect. Place the sponge in the bottom of the tank allowing it to soak up the remaining water. Ring the sponge out into a bucket or something with a drain and continue to do this until all of the remaining water is gone. 
  2. Now that you’ve completely drained the toilet tank, you are good to go with the rest of your toilet repair or cleaning! 

Note: Experts and plumbers recommend cleaning your toilet tank at least twice a year. This helps your toilet look spick and span as well as limiting any compromising issue your toilet may have as a result of rust or hard water buildup. Using White Vinegar inside your toiler tank will help break down rust and buildup as well as keep the float ball, fill valve, flapper, etc. clean. It’s not recommended to use Bleach or allow the toilet tank components to soak in it as it can lead to damage. 

  1. When you’re ready to refill the toilet tank with water, simply reach behind the toilet to the shutoff valve that you used earlier, turning the valve clockwise. The fill tube should begin spitting water out into the fill valve. Allow for the float ball to completely rise. Once the float ball has risen all of the way up, it will shut off the water and tell the fill tube to stop refilling. 
  2. Using the flush lever, flush the toilet once to ensure that the float ball and fill tube are registering the sudden loss of water and begin refilling again. 

While your toilet tank and toilet bowl are empty and have no remaining water, it would be a good idea to inspect the inner working parts of your toilet as well as the bowl. Make sure that the flapper, flush lever, float ball, and all the other pieces that make your toilet run don’t look old or are crumbling. If they do, it would be a smart idea to go ahead and change those pieces out while the toilet tank is empty. 

If you find that you are having trouble emptying the toilet bowl of the remaining water, you’ll need to grab a toilet plunger. It’s possible that you have a clogged toilet. This is often a result of toilet paper that isn’t properly breaking down. 

Place the toilet plunger over the toilet drain and carefully thrust it into it. The toilet plunger will suction the water until the toilet flushes, draining the remaining water out of the toilet bowl. This may not drain all of the reaming water out of your toilet bowl. If it doesn’t not, you can use a sponge to soak up the remaining water that has pooled on top of the toilet drain just as you had in the toilet tank. 

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