Can't Get Water Supply Line Off Tank

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  #1  
Old 10-12-14, 09:18 PM
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Question Can't Get Water Supply Line Off Tank

I don't know why nothing I try to do myself is simple. I discovered that my toilet leaks when I flush and figured it was the tank to bowl fittings. Well, I can't even get that far. I turned off the water and unscrewed the white nut expecting the supply line to just pop off (like I've always seen)...

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And instead of it detaching, it was just stuck there...

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What am I missing? I thought it might just be stuck to the inlet with gunk, so I tried pulling on it, digging around the edge to loosen it up, but it won't budge.

I don't want to disconnect the line from the other end at the valve since I got concerned about plumbing sites saying that had a higher chance of not going back on properly and I need to be able to handle this today without any trips to the store which means no "just saw it off" type options. What does this look like to you, is it just stuck? If so, I'll take scissors and try to slice the gunk to separate it.

Or is this some type of different connection that's supposed to be stuck together like that? One thing I noticed after seeing that it didn't come off is that my water supply line is just a straight bar, not a flexible tube like I see on other toilets. Could that be a part of the problem? Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 10-12-14, 10:56 PM
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Thanks! I was afraid of that. I'll just try taking it off from the other end. This is my only toilet and I don't have even an extra $5 for anything right now so I can't replace the line. I already had replacement fittings for the tank to bowl from way back (still packaged) so that wouldn't be an extra expense. I just need to get the tank off.

I'm also having trouble with one of the bolts being stuck to its nut and the tight space is making it hard to grip them separately to force in opposite directions. Is there anything that will loosen that up that's just lying around the house? I can't pick up any WD 40 and don't know what happened to the can I had. I still have my bottle of CLR but I don't know if it's good for that sort of thing? Thanks again!
 
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Old 10-13-14, 03:50 AM
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To get tank off you will have to take toilet out. Bolts will be rusty and need replacement. I would leave it alone until have $ for repair.
 
  #4  
Old 10-13-14, 04:11 AM
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Sorry, just checking, why do I have to take the whole toilet out just to take off the tank? It has two bolts. I got one off fine and the second came mostly off but is kind of gunked in one spot. I'm still able to turn it, just not as easily, so I was hoping something could loosen it up.

Unfortunately, I can't just leave this alone because it leaks onto the floor every time I flush and I live above someone else. I really don't feel like getting a knock on my door. I put cups and towels down but it comes out unpredictably.

From the pricing I checked, at least a flex pipe isn't expensive so my concern with replacing it is it leading to more replacements like a new valve to match it because I can't find a compatible fitting anywhere for what's there and the inlet bending so I need to fix that too etc. I just don't want this to get complicated.

Since the kind of line I have may be notorious for leaking, I'm going to replace it when I can but for now, my concern is the gasket. Any leak that pops up from the line is easier to control.
 
  #5  
Old 10-13-14, 05:48 AM
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Couple of things:

First, the supply line. The reason you're having difficulty removing it is because it doesn't bend easily.
Don't plan to save it, bend it or whatever you need to do to get it off.

Replace with braided toilet supply line, the end that connects to under tank is standard. Take the existing line with you to store so you can match up the end of line that goes to house valve. Those are not standard.

You don't need to remove toilet to fix tank.

Buy a new tank to bowl Bolt Kit.

Post back if you need specific instructions on replacing bolts and washers.
 
  #6  
Old 10-13-14, 09:26 AM
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I'm okay with the line, I just needed confirmation it was supposed to be like that before I messed with it and you all helped with that, thanks! Right now I just need the other bolt off. I left it sitting in some vinegar and brushed a lot of the grime off with a wire brush and have been working it back and forth.

It's weird because it doesn't look all that rusted to me, so I'm hoping its not a thread issue. I'll report back!
 
  #7  
Old 10-13-14, 09:44 AM
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cyber Iíve gotten tanks bolts off a few times by sliding a hacksaw blade between the tank and bowl using a gloved hand. A little bit of work but not too bad if I remember correctly.
 
  #8  
Old 10-13-14, 12:59 PM
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Here's the bolt I'm talking about, the nut is at the bottom. It unscrewed all the way down to that point without resistance after a bath in vinegar and oil.

The problem is that I can't get any leverage to unscrew it the rest of the way because the bolt moves with it and I don't have anything I can latch on to the bolt to hold it while I turn the nut. That fiber you see is from the piece of paper towel I had wiped off some excess oil with earlier btw.

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It looks like I either have to spend money I don't have on more tools or go back to just having the leak. I saw hacksaws at sears. I'd be all for just cutting the bolt off if it's not something that'll take 8 hours of sawing to accomplish but I don't have enough clearance to get a saw where this bolt is and a quiet option is better anyway because I share walls in a place that's VERY strict about noise.

I'm just so frustrated that something that should only take 15 minutes has turned into a two day affair and I haven't even gotten anywhere because of a stupid bolt. Is there anything small that works in tight spaces that I can just twist around the bolt to cut it off? Something like those pipe cutters you put on a pipe and spin only that would work on a bolt?
 
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Old 10-13-14, 01:08 PM
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Grab the bolt inside the tank with vise grips. Then unscrew the nut while holding the vise grips...
 
  #10  
Old 10-13-14, 01:20 PM
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Thanks Mike! You might think I'm stupid (...) but I thought of that when I first started taking the bolts off. When I looked in the tank, I didn't see the top of the bolts so I thought they were instead going through something where their heads were under the tank. I didn't bother looking in there again and forgot about that.

I checked again now and realized why I didn't notice them last time. The black caps over the area where the bolts are, when I first checked back with the first bolt by pushing the bolt up after I loosened the nut, the black cap didn't move even though the nut was nearly all the way to the bottom. I expected it to raise up if the bolt was actually long enough to go through that area. So I didn't think it did which would mean I wouldn't be able to grab anything from tank side. I picked at the cap to see if it would come off, it didn't.

This time, I just kept pushing the second bolt and finally, the black cap over it budged, then popped off. It seems the bolt wasn't going straight up, it was going sideways so it wasn't pushing upward and when it did, the cap was resisting enough for it to feel like it couldn't punch through. Mystery solved!!!
 
  #11  
Old 10-13-14, 04:39 PM
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Okay folks! Checking in. It seemed the gasket was fine enough in that it didn't look damaged and corroded. I would have replaced it anyway since the leak only happens when I flush (which is why I leaned toward a gasket issue), but none of the gaskets I have on hand from other toilet repairs (not this toilet) are the American Standard type. They're all the thicker donut type that wouldn't allow it to recess and would force the tank up too high and I'd rather not shim or wobble.

Interesting, all the wetness and stains were around the bolt holes. It was totally dry around the gasket. *shrug* The tank had a rubber horse shoe support the bolts were through instead of washers and the shoe was split at the bolts and corroded. The head of the bolts themselves had no washer on the inside of the tank and had some kind of build up underneath one of the heads.

I replaced the bolts in the order of bolt, metal washer, rubber washer tank side. Underneath (between the tank and ledge), I put a second large diameter rubber washer slightly thicker than the rubber support was. Then slid everything back into place and secured the bolts in order of metal washer against the toilet, then nut.

I leveled the tank off forward and side before tightening them and then used a cup to fill the tank just enough to cover the bolts to check for leaks. One of them leaked a drip so I tightened it just a skosh, dried it off, waited, and checked again. No more leaks. I filled the tank more, still no leak. So far, so good.

The problem now is the water supply line. It won't tighten to a proper seal anymore, so when I tried to turn the water back on, it just sprayed out from under the fitting. So I'm going to leave that for now and just fill the tank manually to flush. If it was earlier, I'd go pick up a new metal flex tube but I won't get to my nearest home depot or lowes before it closes tonight, so I'll go tomorrow.

I haven't removed the bottom of the line yet. I know it isn't standard, but is there anything else I should ask about when trying to match it up at the store? Also, are there any downsides to having the valve shut off for extended periods? I noticed when I went to turn it back on, it made that loud rumbling noise, so I figured I should turn it more gently to ease up the pressure and that worked (it's a multi turn, not a quarter turn). I just want to make sure I'm not hurting anything in the water pressure by leaving it off.

Thanks again, all!
 
  #12  
Old 10-13-14, 04:57 PM
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When I said the bottom of supply line isn't standard, what I meant was there are a few standards:

House valve (angle stop) outlet could be:
3/8" Compression
1/2" Pipe Threads (NPT)

There are others that are less common (at least out here)

1/2" Compression
7/16" Compression

This is why it's a good idea to take old line to store.

If you haven't touched bottom of supply line, it looks like top will seal. Cone washer looks like it's not damaged.

Gently bend supply tube to get it headed as straight as possible into bottom of tank valve.
Hand tighten nut and turn water on. Use pliers to tighten nut further (a little at a time), until leak stops.
 
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Old 10-13-14, 04:58 PM
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I replaced the bolts in the order of bolt, metal washer, rubber washer tank side.
No metal washers in the tank... just a bolt and rubber washer. metal washers will cause leaks...

Been doing it like that 30 yrs... I dont care what instructions say. They are wrong... There is no physical way it will work with metal washers...
 
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Old 10-13-14, 05:14 PM
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Okay, Mike thanks, I'll try it again without the metal washers! I thought they might help hold the rubber in place but I can see how not using it makes sense for a better seal. I'm also going to see if they have the kind of gasket that matches my toilet while I'm there.

Yes, Brian, I'm taking it with me to the store, but I want to make sure I know what to ask since they don't always have someone working who knows about that area of the store. Then if anything, I'll have some more guidance. Compression fit versus not was one of the things I was worried about, thanks, I'll be sure to double check that. Hopefully someone there will be able to help!

If all else fails, I'll kick the toilet out the window.
 
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Old 10-14-14, 07:22 PM
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Hi all, will update tomorrow on where I'm at but a quick question, I was reading around for some of the issues that might come with a line that's too long being coiled to avoid kinks and within each link I clicked on different sites, someone mentioned that pex doesn't tend to burst like braided and that got me concerned.

I saw both the white (which I thought was pex) and metal braided and got the braided, but now I'm worried about bursting. As mentioned, I live in a condo above another unit. I CANNOT afford to come home after work to find my place flooded.

It seemed the comments were referring to the bursting happening at the connector, not the tubing itself. If there's even a .01% more chance of braided bursting, I'd rather return it and get the white pex.

Also, length was an issue. I saw 6 and 12. The 6 inch was too short for my line so I got the 12 and I'm not comfortable with the amount of strain I feel it's putting on the connectors, so I was thinking I'd just get something longer and loop it to reduce that strain.

I saw a 16 but they only had it in an option that didn't have the same connection at the angle stop as mine. I'll look again, just wanted feedback on these issues though.

P.S. Is there a way to change the thread title? I feel like it isn't useful now since it's gone off topic from getting the line off.
 
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Old 10-14-14, 07:29 PM
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You should be fine with the 12". The line can snake out a little. Better than a loop IMO. I don't mind loops under sink, but try to stay away from them under toilet. (purely for Looks)

Did you end up finding that your supply valve is 3/8" compression? (most common)

If so, the big box stores sell supply lines that are "no burst". There is a check valve integrated into the line that will close water flow if excessive flow is detected.
 
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Old 10-14-14, 07:45 PM
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Put copper back...

Homewerks Worldwide 3/8 in. OD x 20 in. Chrome Plated Copper Tube Toilet Supply Line-7236-20-6-38-2 at The Home Depot

Make sure the top nut is metal... not plastic. These crack..

Infact here solid copper is required in highrise apartments and condos...

The flood safes as handyone mentioned are problematic...
 
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Old 10-14-14, 07:50 PM
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Yes,
I would always listen to Lawrosa. Professional plumbers out here almost never use any type of braided line. It's copper all the way. I never use the "flood safes" as they should not be necessary if a line is properly installed. I thought it might be good for a DIY guy.
 
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Old 10-14-14, 08:00 PM
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OK, thanks for the tips! There wasn't anyone in the section so I just searched for a connector that matched mine by eye and I tested it on one of the valves like mine lying free to make sure they both fit it the same. Yep, it was a 3/8 comp!

The line I got was the Watts SS braided. I wanted to keep the old line but it just didn't reach anymore once I replaced the bolts. Just out of reach straight up and I was afraid to tackle buying one that I had to manually bend and shape.

I kept it though since I'm still going to try to replace the gasket and redo the bolts just in case it ends up falling back down to close that small gap again.
 
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Old 10-14-14, 08:06 PM
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If you are going to use braided at least get one with a metal nut for the toilet side... the plastic ones crack...
 
  #21  
Old 10-15-14, 05:48 AM
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Okay I'll update later! I'm not normally paranoid and really am handier than I seem. When I lived in a house, I fixed and built all sorts of things because I wasn't afraid to experiment and my roommates worked opposite shifts so if something went wrong, there would always be someone home who could catch it. I also had a garage and a full set of tools to cover any job.

Now it's just being in a condo alone, I'm terrified of touching anything, especially to do with water, and my tools and space are limited. I just don't have the money for a plumber. Even these little supplies are just going on a credit I can't pay down right now since I'm in a bind.

If I can't get this fixed, I'll just leave it so I go back to the question I didn't see answered. Is there any downside to just leaving the valve shut off?
 
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Old 12-11-14, 11:51 AM
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Thanks everyone!

Sorry, I thought I already came back and updated this thread. Our big box stores have hours that conflict with my daily work schedule (including weekends), so it was a while before I could go. That's why I asked about leaving the valve shut indefinitely. I didn't have any problems with it being shut this past month.

I'm finally on my vacation days, so I went and picked up a braided steel line. The longest they had was 21", which ended up being fine for me to loop it like I intended without there being any pressure or bend at the fittings. I'm not concerned about the plastic nut tank side, the original copper also had a plastic nut and it was fine and there wasn't anything else at the store that was all metal.

I didn't bother redoing the nuts and bolts because the tank isn't leaking, but if it does down the road, I'll swap the metal washers out. Thanks for the help everyone!
 
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Old 12-11-14, 01:40 PM
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Thank you for the update.. Dont be a stranger.....

I will close this thread.
 
  #24  
Old 12-22-14, 10:39 AM
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Uh, If you want to seal your tank properly, put rubber washer in tank, put steel washer and nut under the tank, sealing the tank completely before putting it on the bowl. Then use two more nuts and washers to attach to bowl. Best way I've found.
 
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