When you're repairing or replacing your toilet, the first step is to drain the toilet tank and bowl. The water must be emptied completely even for maintenance processes as simple as rebalancing the toilet base with shims. If the toilet is not drained properly, it can flood the bathroom when the pipes are disconnected or the bowl is raised from the base at floor level. Fortunately, emptying the toilet of water is a relatively simple process, requiring only a few minutes and several basic props.
Disconnect the water supply to the toilet. The location of the control valve depends on the individual unit, but water can usually be sealed off with knobs located behind or beneath the toilet tank.
Flush the toilet to drain the tank of water. Hold the handle down until water stops flowing from the tank into the bowl.
Drain the remaining water from the bowl by pouring a bucket of water down into the bowl. Aim for the exact centre and pour from a height in order to increase the speed and force with which the water flows into the bowl.
Wait for the water to drain out of the bowl as much as possible. In the meantime, remove the lid of the toilet tank and use the sponge to soak up any remaining water there.
Use the sponge to soak up and remove any water that has collected in the bottom of the bowl.