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Old 05-10-2011, 06:24 PM   #1
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Failing at toilet repair


Thanks to the water company giving us a $400 water bill, we discovered our toilet had a leak. I purchased a "complete toilet repair kit" and set to work. I've gotten as far as needing to remove the tank from the bowl. Only problem is the nuts are completely rusted over. I've tried Calcium Lime Rust remover (CLR), WD-40 and pliers before I found my old socket wrench and finally got some movement out of the nuts. However they just spin in place. I think they might be stripped as well as rusted.

I read somewhere else that a last resort is using a hacksaw to cut the bolt between the tank and bowl but that's an awfully tiny space to work. Any tips? Is there a particular kind of hacksaw I should look for? Am I jumping the gun and should work with the socket wrench more? Help!

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Old 05-10-2011, 06:33 PM   #2
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Failing at toilet repair


If you have a Dremel or similar tool, you can cut the head of the bolts off inside the tank and push/pull them down and out. I've done it many times. Be sure and go back with solid brass bolts and nuts (or stainless) and next time you wont have any problems getting them out. Even if your rebuild kit didn't come with them, it's worth the extra few bucks for solid brass or stainless

If you did get some movement out of them with your socket, you might try and put a vise grip on the heads and continue working them (being careful not to put too much pressure against the tank). Sometimes if you can get a good enough grip on both ends of the bolt, you can twist the bolts and shear them off somewhere in the middle.


Last edited by Lightfoot; 05-10-2011 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:36 PM   #3
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Failing at toilet repair


I have used a wire saw before to cut bolts in tight places.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:14 AM   #4
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Failing at toilet repair


I've never run across a toilet where I could remove the tank-to-bowl bolts without the use of a Dremel with cut-off wheel. They're almost always rusted solid. Try a Dremel. They're pretty cheap, and it's fun!
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:40 AM   #5
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Can you get a sawzall blade between the tank and toilet?
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:05 AM   #6
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Failing at toilet repair


What is leaking that you need to remove the tank from the bowl to fix it?
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:33 AM   #7
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I do have a Dremel so I will try that

@bob22-I have to remove the tank from the bowl because the toilet repair kit i got is a "complete toilet repair kit" and per the instructions I need to replace the flush valve. This IS my first toilet repair job I've done myself so I'm just following the instructions provided
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rknight718 View Post
I do have a Dremel so I will try that

@bob22-I have to remove the tank from the bowl because the toilet repair kit i got is a "complete toilet repair kit" and per the instructions I need to replace the flush valve. This IS my first toilet repair job I've done myself so I'm just following the instructions provided


where is this thing leaking? if the flush valve is leaking you should be able to replace just that, $4 from ACE, disconnect the water line, install the new flush valve, you're good to go. (o, and turn off the water first)
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:06 PM   #9
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Failing at toilet repair


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where is this thing leaking? if the flush valve is leaking you should be able to replace just that, $4 from ACE, disconnect the water line, install the new flush valve, you're good to go. (o, and turn off the water first)
Replacing the flush valve requires seperating the tank and bowl. You are talking about replacing the ballcock (fill valve).
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:06 PM   #10
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Failing at toilet repair


If the flush valve is not leaking I wouldn't replace it even if included in the "complete toilet repair kit". Put some food dye in the tank once it is done filling. If you see the color in the bowl, the flapper and/or seat are leaking and one or both need to be replaced. I believe there are kits that don't require flush valve removal; you place a new valve seat on the existing one and no need to remove tank from bowl. Could you share where the water is leaking from?
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:05 PM   #11
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Attached are a few pictures i've taken since succeeding in removing the tank from the bowl. The first one is all the parts that came with the kit. Due to some bad writing in the instructions I'm confused as to which part is which. Could I have some help identifying? I know the black hose with the blue device is the water-control valve, unique to this kit as it's a water-saver.

The second picture is inside the tank and there's this white ring still in the center that's broken and I believe part of the original flap Should this come out? (My idiot mother-in-law decided to take a crack at it while I was away)

The third picture is the bottom of the tank which I believe is the rubber gasket? Since I wasn't having any leaks on the floor i'm assuming this isn't faulty. I should therefore leave this alone?

Having read everyone's posts (thank you all by the way. You've been very helpful. I mean that) I've come to the conclusion I really only needed to repair the flap as I believe that is what was leaking. The toilet did always sound like it was running. However as you can see from the pictures I've come to far to go back. Any assistance anyone can give would be most appreciated.

Failing at toilet repair-img_0404.jpg

Failing at toilet repair-img_0405.jpg

Failing at toilet repair-img_0406.jpg
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:05 PM   #12
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A $400 water bill? Sounds crazy, like a meter mis-read. Someone turned the hose on at my dad's house while he was away and made a small lake in the backyard. His water bill only went up an additional $60.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:36 PM   #13
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A $400 water bill? Sounds crazy, like a meter mis-read. Someone turned the hose on at my dad's house while he was away and made a small lake in the backyard. His water bill only went up an additional $60.
I agree. We had a burst pipe leak for over a week at our old place and it was only around $70.00! Something else is going on here....

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