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Toilet Tank Leaking Rusty Water


toilet boltsSo how many times do you look in your toilet tank? Probably not much. Well I had occasion to once I noticed a puddle of rusty water on the floor. I got on my knees and looked at the rear of the toilet and there was a stream of rusty water from the tank, slowly running down the bowl to the floor. I lifted off the tank lid and saw the culprit: balls of rust the size of a golf ball that had corroded the bolts holding the toilet tank to the bowl.

Usually you can unscrew the bolts from inside the tank, but the rust prohibited that. Sometimes you have to get creative. After shutting the water off to the toilet and flushing it to remove the water in the tank, you can remove the water supply line to the fill valve.

I removed a hacksaw blade from a hacksaw and cut the bolts off in between the tank and the bowl. The bolts are brass and were fairly easy to cut through. The other option is to try to drill out the bolts, but if you have a lot of corrosion built up on the bolts, I would go straight for the hacksaw. Be careful as the toilet is vitreous china and will crack if you try to manhandle it.

With the tank off, you can remove the corroded bolts and replace them with new ones. Use a new spud washer and place it over the flush valve opening (it gets sandwiched between the tank and bowl). Place the washers on the bolts and install them through the tank holes and finally the holes in the bowl. Make sure the holes line up or when you tighten the bolts it may crack the tank. You want an even distribution of pressure from the bolts, so make sure the holes are aligned before tightening.

Once you reconnect the water supply line to the fill valve, turn the water back on and flush the toilet several times. Check for leaks under the toilet, and particularly on the ends of the tank bolts.


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