I'm in the process of remodeling one of the bathrooms. The remodel includes removing tile from walls, installing a new shower, toilet and sink, refinishing the walls, new linoleum, etc. I would like to take the toilet and sink out now to make the tile removal easier (and to give more room for when I bring the new shower in). Thus, the toilet and sink will probably be out of the bathroom for some time (a few weeks as I'm doing this almost exculsively on weekends).

What precautions should I take to ensure safety, etc? For example, I've heard I should plug up the sewer line to the toilet so sewer gases don't come into the bathroom. How do I do this? Is there a similar concern with the sink?

2 Answers 2


If you remove the P-Trap (the S shaped pipe) from the drain of the sink, then yes, you need to plug that pipe up as well.

The toilet drain has no trap - the toilet itself is the trap, and so it will need to be plugged regardless.

For the drain to the sink, its often easiest to simply affix a permanent cap on the drain pipe and then cut that off when ready to work again, but you need enough of a drain pipe to be able to cut a few inches off later and still work.

For the toilet, you can pick up a toilet drain plug which you can insert into the toilet drain and tighten to form a seal.

  • I wasn't planning on removing the P-Trap from the sink. Is there any concern though that the water that is in there will evaporate? I can always pour a cup of water in it every few days. Same probably goes for the shower drain too I'm guessing.
    – mikeazo
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 14:01
  • @mikeazo I don't think just a few days would be long enough to cause a problem by evaporating the trap dry. If it was it would be a major headache for real-estate sales or for people going on vacation. Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 16:14
  • 2
    Remember to remove the drain plug before installing the toilet! I've seen guys have to remove the toilet, because they forgot to remove the rag/plastic they stuffed in the drain.
    – Tester101
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 17:22

That's right about the sewer gases comming up to your bathroom, odors included. And that's from both the sink and toilet.

Usually, it's the water in the S-shape in the plumping that plugs the hole, but during your remodeling your can plug the hole with anything that will be easy to remove afterwards, like a plastic bag with a rubber band, a plastic bowl or trash can upside down over the toilet hole, duct tape, etc.

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