Leaking Toilet Tank at Bolts

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  #1  
Old 05-01-02, 02:50 PM
cubbies14
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Leaking Toilet Tank at Bolts

I had to replace the fill and flush valve on my toilet. When I replaced the flush valve, I removed the tank from the bowl, replaced the gasket and things were going smoothly. However, I cannot get the tank to stop leaking at the bolts after securing the toilet tank bolts. I've got new washers for all three bolts, they fit the bolts snugly and I have been careful to apply "equal" pressure (of course how exactly I am to accomplish that is beyond me). The tank is bloted in three places. The only things that are not new in the tank now are the bolts and nuts to secure it. At one point I had just a drip coming from one of the bolts but it turned into a "stream"after tinkering.

Suggestions/tips on stopping the leak? I'm getting pretty frustrated with the thing.
 
  #2  
Old 05-01-02, 03:00 PM
diemeto
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are you sure your new washers are correct size? does it leak from all three bolt positions or does it vary depending on tork?
 
  #3  
Old 05-01-02, 04:46 PM
cubbies14
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I'm pretty sure they are the right size. I got them at Home Depot and all the washers there in the toilet repair section were the same. The washers fit nice and snug when I slid them on the bolt and sat against the bolt head nicely.

As far as the leak, at times only one will leak, at other times all three can leak (gernally not)--usually one or two. As I torque, the leak can slow or increase. I did get one bolt down to a drip with the other two bolts not leaking at all once.
 
  #4  
Old 05-01-02, 05:00 PM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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The way I solve this little problem is to turn off the water, flush the toilet and sponge out the leftover water in the tank.
Loosen the bolts, and dry the gaskets and inside the tank bottom with a hair dryer on high.
Smear a little silicone caulk on the gaskets, and re-tighten.
Let the caulk "cure" for a couple of hours.
Should solve the problem.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
  #5  
Old 05-01-02, 08:00 PM
cubbies14
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Bad news. It didn't work. I did as instructed but when I turned the water back on, the right side bolt leaked right away and then the rear one started seconds later (left side was good). As they leaked I torqued them down some more but there was no letup pf the water escaping. Any more suggestions?
 
  #6  
Old 05-01-02, 10:20 PM
mazie6
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I had a similar problem and OldGuy's silicon caulk strategy worked just great (lavish use of caulk!) But if that's not working for you -- below is something I happened upon in another forum that might help, if you haven't already done it this way.


" Go to your local fastener supply store and order or buy 2 brass "jam nuts" that will thread on your tank-to-bowl bolts and 6 flat washers for the tank-to-bowl bolts, also in solid brass. A jam nut is an ordinary nut, but only half the thickness of a regular nut, so you can fit it between the top of the bowl and bottom of the tank.

If the rubber washer/gasket's you're using aren't reinforced with cloth, then chuck them and buy 4 cloth reinforced ones from one of the plumbing wholesalers in your area (or any local plumber). Also, show them your tank-to-bowl bolts and see if they have any in solid brass with larger diameter heads. If so, buy them too.

Remove the toilet tank, and put a rubber washer under the head of each tank-to-bowl bolt, reach into the tank and hold them in the holes while you press another rubber washer and then a flat brass washer on the end of the bolt and then thread the jam nut on less than finger tight.

Move each bolt up, down, left and right in the hole, and at each position, mark the edge of the rubber gasket on the underside of the tank. Now hold the bolt in the middle of those marks (so it's centered in the hole), and tighten the jam nut with a wrench. NOW, you can tighten the jam nuts quite tight to get a water tight seal since there's much less chance of cracking the tank.

Set the sponge washer on the bottom of the flush valve and install the toilet tank with the two remaining flat brass washers and regular brass nuts. Now, you can take the toilet tank off in future without any water dripping from it.

I think the leaking problem may be because you have a metal washer immediatly under the bolt head. This metal to metal contact won't be water tight, and that may be why the tank is leaking. Only use a rubber washer/gasket under the tank-to-bowl bolt heads. "




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  #7  
Old 05-02-02, 09:44 AM
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Nothing was said about the sponge gasket. Was it replaced with a new one? A leak there would probably dribble around the bolt holes.
 
  #8  
Old 05-02-02, 05:58 PM
cubbies14
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I had put on a new tank to bowl gasket when doing this originally. I re-tried the silicone method early this morning with lavish caulk and letting it sit for about 12 hours. Same old story. Quick leak at the right bolt, very slow leak at the left bolt and the rear one was fine.

I'll try the jam nut method and the cloth reinforced washers on the inside and outside the tank next. Won't be able to get to plumbing store for a couple of days though. Will let you know how it turns out (unless there are other suggestions).
 
  #9  
Old 05-02-02, 06:54 PM
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cubbies14,
Sorry that my thing hasn't worked for you.
Always has for me.
Good luck!
Mike
 
  #10  
Old 05-04-02, 11:11 AM
cubbies14
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Good news, it's fixed!! Had to use the more extensive method offered by mazie6--rubber washers on either side of the tank secured by metal washers and nuts before getting bolted to the toilet. Also, sprung a leak at the toilet shut off valve but used a previous Old Guy suggestion on stopping the leak by using the repacking string that I got at the plumbing supply place. Thanks to all.
 
 

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