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How Long Can I Leave My Toilet Removed?

Removing the toilet is necessary sometimes. It might need to be done for renovation, to check leakage, or just to move to a better option. So, it is not that rare to remove a toilet, but what comes after that is not talked about much.

After removing the toilet, the first thing that comes to mind is how long can I leave my toilet removed.

The answer is you can keep it removed as long as you want, but you need to block the toilet drain properly. It is because an open toilet drain can be the source of sewer gas. That is not healthy at all for humans.

There are many things that should be kept in mind while working on a bathroom. In this article, all that and a few little-known facts will be covered.

How Long Can I Leave My Toilet Removed?

The toilet can be left removed for a long time. It does not mean the toilet drain or rough-in is going to become bad. Also, the toilet will not stop functioning either. As long as you keep the toilet clean and in storage, it can be used again.

Sometimes, it takes time to replace a toilet or to refit it back. That is also not an issue if the toilet rough-in is secured properly. Securing the rough-in means nothing is getting into the sewage system.

But if it is not secured properly, it can be the cause of health hazards. That is because there are harmful elements present in the gas that comes out of a toilet drain.

Additionally, the functionality of the toilet rough-in can also be at threat if it is not covered tightly. It can become clogged if something falls in.

how long can i leave my toilet removed

Problems Leaving The Toilet Drain Open

Opened sewage systems like toilet drains or rough-in are the source of sewer fume. Sewer fume has hydrogen sulfide (H₂S). It is a gas that is naturally formed from biowaste. Hydrogen sulfide (H₂S) is harmful to humans.

Exposure to the gas for a long time or in high quantity can be fatal. It can cause eye irritation in mild concentration and for high concentration death. So, this is a scenario that can occur if the toilet is left removed.

The other problem is the rough-in can be cluttered. The toilet drain will be used later and it is important that it does not lose its functionality. So, leaving the toilet removed can also cause a malfunction of the drain. For these reasons, the toilet rough-in should be covered firmly.

The Dangers of Sewer Fume

The sewer fume or gas is mainly compromised of a few elements such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxides. These elements make it harmful to humans and animals.

However, the dangers of sewer gas depend on the concentration and the exposure time.

  • The health issues that can arise from this fume are irritation of the eyes and respiratory system.
  • Along with these, there can be nausea, vomiting, headache, and many other physical discomforts.
  • If the concentration of the sewer fume is high, trouble breathing, convulsion, shock, and even death can occur.

However, that is highly unlikely to happen in a home setting. But an unsealed toilet drain can cause the primary symptoms easily.

  • The severity of the symptoms can also vary from child to adult. For children, it can be more dangerous and can cause long-term effects quite easily. So, it is essential to know and understand the need to secure a toilet drain properly.

Can You Identify Sewer Fume?

Yes, sewer gas can be identified very easily. The gas smells super bad and the smell is compared to rotten eggs. So, residents would know that there is a sewage leak in the house.

After the identification, it can be hard to find the source sometimes. It can be a sewage leak, toilet rough-in, plumbing problems, etc.

The smell would be very hard to deal with and will make it hard to live in a house. Aside from the potential health risks, just the smell alone would be enough to solve the problem.

Dealing With A Cluttered Toilet Drain

If an open toilet drain is not sealed properly or while working on it, things can fall in. That can clutter the drain or jam it. So, that is another reason for sealing a toilet rough in aside from sewer gas.

A jammed toilet drain is going to be hard to fix. That is why prevention is better in this case. However, if it happens, a professional plumber can help. The plumbing line needs to be taken apart and needs to be unclogged.

When Should A Toilet Be Removed?

A toilet may be required to be removed anytime for different purposes. Yet, there are times when you don’t need to. So let’s validate whether you should remove them in certain situations.

Toilet functionality

If a toilet is not working properly and it cannot be fixed externally, it should be removed. It can be the sewer line, the toilet drain, or even the toilet itself.

Some problems with the toilet, like toilet clogging, not flushing, insufficient water supply, etc. can be resolved without removing the toilet. So, it is always important to troubleshoot before removing the toilet.


Maybe the old toilet has been around for a long time. It is time for a change. So, getting an upgrade is a reasonable cause for removing the toilet too. It can be done because you want something with newer features. Well, then it’s certainly valid to remove a toilet.

Nowadays, there are options like smart toilets, built-in bidets, etc. It makes daily life easier and more comfortable.

Changing location

The location of the toilet does not work anymore for you. Changing the location might let you utilize the space of the toilet for other reasons. It also can be the toilet just looks out of place. These reasons can be enough to remove the toilet.

Always go for aesthetics because a decent-looking bathroom adds value to your home. It will also be appreciated by your guests.


For a quick recap, the answer to how long can I leave my toilet removed is as long as you want. But there’s a catch, you need to seal the toilet rough in properly to avoid clogging and toxic sewage gas. Clogging can be fixed if it happens, but the well-being of your family is much more important.

So, find a replacement for your toilet fast. Do not keep the bathroom without a toilet for too long. That’s because there is always a chance of a leak even if you seal the toilet drain properly. Lastly, stay safe and keep those around you safe too.