Removing a toilet tank with no visible bolt heads inside the tank


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Old 11-18-22, 09:31 AM
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Removing a toilet tank with no visible bolt heads inside the tank

I need to replace the guts to my toilet.

I have already replaced the fill valve, which was really easy. However, the flapper assembly replacement requires that I remove the tank from the bowl. The problem with that is that there are no visible bolt/screw heads inside the tank, even though the bolts and nuts are visible underneath. And, the nuts are so tight that I'm afraid to put too much pressure into trying to break them loose.

Help!
 
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Old 11-18-22, 10:03 AM
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You didn't say what toilet you have or provide a photo it's hard to provide specific information but...

Here's one option: Spray the bolt & nuts with penetrating oil and let it sit 10 minutes. Then try loosening. Each time you try increase your force. The nuts will loosen or something will break, possibly leading to replacement of the tank or whole toilet.

Option 2: If there is bolt protruding past the nuts firmly clamp onto the end of the protruding bolt with a pair of Vice grip pliers. Hold the bolt from turning with one hand while you try to loosen the nut. The Vice grip will have ruined the threads on the bolt so you probably won't be able to get the bolt completely off. You just want the nut loosened enough to get a saw blade between the nut and tank so you can cut off the bolt. If you can get it in there you can also try a Dremel tool. Hopefully your bolts can be replaced for reassembly. And of course you need access to get in there with a saw to cut the bolt.

Option 3: Get a small nut buster and split the nut in half.

Option 4: This is like option 2 except you don't loosen the bolt. Use a saw right against the bottom of the bolt that is touching porcelain and cut through the bolt and nut. There is more cutting and of course the bolt will need to be replaced. You can also try using a Dremel tool instead of a saw.

Option 5: Run a saw blade between the tank and bowl to cut the bolts.
 
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Old 11-18-22, 10:12 AM
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Pilot Dane,

Thanks for the quick response. I apologize for the lack of info, but I was trying to do this at 2AM, after working all day & night. The toilet is between 13 - 15 years old and the fill valve has been replaced a few times, already. The initial problem was that the fill valve would not turn off, even when the tank was full, thus causing the toilet to overflow all over the floor. The replacement kit my wife bought had EVERYTHING included, so I figured I may as well replace everything, even though the fill valve replacement solved the problem.

Once I get home and reassess the situation, I'll provide more information.
 
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Old 11-18-22, 10:53 AM
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A faulty fill valve should not cause a leak onto the floor. If the valve fails to close the water in the tank rises until it crests the overflow tube where the water spills down into the bowl and eventually down the drain. It wastes water but it doesn't make a mess on the floor.

If you are getting water on the floor it can be:
a leaking supply hose
a leak where the hose connects to the bottom of the fill valve
fill valve to tank leak
tank to bowl leak

If you are having trouble finding the source of the leak adding food coloring to the water in the tank can help. This will make leaks more visible and hopefully leaves a colored streak back to the source.
leaking wax ring
or a crack in the tank or bowl
 
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Old 11-18-22, 11:14 AM
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There were multiple issues, I believe. The flapper valve is old and worn so it wasn't seating right. Also, there could have been a clog that was causing the bowl to overflow (like i said, i was at work and only going by what my wife was telling me). I didn't discover the fill valve issue until I got home and turned the supply line back on. Also, once the fill valve was replaced, there was probably enough pressure when flushing to push through whatever could have been causing the blockage. The toilet seems to flush correctly now.

Again, I'll have more time to dig deeper into the issue tomorrow when i am home.
 
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Old 11-18-22, 02:57 PM
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I thought most toilets had slotted bolts in the tank. Used a flat screwdriver to hold it while turning the nut. It may be crusted over with mineral deposits so you don't see the slot.
 
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Old 11-18-22, 02:59 PM
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@badeyeben, no. . . it's definitely solid porcelain where the bolt head should come through.
 
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Old 11-18-22, 05:58 PM
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I have seen toilets that have a bracket under the tank that engages the bolt heads. I seem to recall that is to prevent tightening through-bolts that might crack the tank or leak.
 
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Old 11-22-22, 09:57 AM
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Thanks, everyone, for your responses. After replacing the fill valve, I chose to just replace the flapper instead of the whole flapper valve assembly. That seemed to solve all of the issues I was having.

Maybe after the holidays I'll try to remove the tank and replace the flapper assembly, although there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it (no leaks).
 
 

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