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Old 12-25-2009, 06:19 AM   #1
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Leaking tank bolts


I have a ceramic toilet tank attached to the bowl via two bolts. Looking inside the tank I cannot see any bolts so I am presuming they are somehow fixed to the underside of the tank (I did not fit it). When we run a hot bath in winter you can see water dripping off the tank bolts within seconds. Within 10 minutes or so you can see condensation forming on the outside of the tank itself. We get a few drips on the laminate floor but they are usually gone by morning.
This morning I noticed there was still water on the bolts, not actually dripping as such (just one every 20 mins or so) but I never actually noticed water before on there the next day after running a bath. Now I originally put this down to condensation but why is it still there almost 12 hours later. I made sure they were tight (there seems to be a metal washer there as well) and I cannot see any way water could get from the tank to the bolts if they do not pass through both the bowl and the tank.
Any ideas? Is this something to get looked into or just see if it passes with the cold weather.
We have a warm house so any water that has dripped seems to have evaporated. There is no immediate threat of damage to the floor but I worry it is the start of something worse.
Great start to Christmas day eh?
merry Christmas to anyone reading.

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Old 12-25-2009, 06:43 AM   #2
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Leaking tank bolts


To clarify, I just looked in the tank again and there is no sign of any bolt heads inside. However, there is some slight 'tearing' for want of a better word in the base of the tank. Two bits about an inch long that looks like expansion in fired clay; not an actual crack. Hard to explain really but it looks like it has always been there. They are hard to see and not at all like cracks.

So, I guess this could be very slow leakage through those 'cracks' building up on the join between tank and bowl then finding its weak point through the bolts...or a similar build-up of condensation in the same place that is just taking longer to evaporate due to the colder weather (currently snowing and below freezing in the UK)
I am just puzzled how it gets worse at bath time and slows down through the day if it is a leak, but equally puzzled why it decided to carry on dripping today...I dried it up and it seems to have slowed down to just feeling wet rather than dripping.

Sorry for ranting...I hate leaks and drips, especially on a day where you have little chance of getting a plumber if necessary!
Have a good one all.
Any insight into this will be welcome though...

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Old 12-25-2009, 07:55 AM   #3
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Leaking tank bolts


To test for toilet tank leaks I suggest:
1. Turn off the toilet water feed.
2. Empty the tank by flushing and holding down the lever.
3. Dry off the outside of the tank.
4. Fill the tank with warm water (will prevent condensation outside)
5. Wait an hour.

Sometimes the bolt heads inside are covered with caulk or something but sometimes this develops cracks.

Note: "Lukewarm" is not "warm" in any literal or in any figurative or in any idiomatic sense or usage of the word.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-25-2009 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 12-25-2009, 08:00 AM   #4
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Leaking tank bolts


Sometimes the seals get old and leak. You can pick up a seal repair kit for about $5 at the hardware store and repair all the old seals. You won't really know until you shut off the water and remove the tank on the back. There are two screws or bolts that you loosen from underneath the tank. Careful, you can crack the tank if you are not careful, or over tighten the screws/bolts.
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Old 12-25-2009, 07:04 PM   #5
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Leaking tank bolts


Cheers for the input. I had a look between the tank and bowl and there are two L shape brackets on the bottom of the tank which the bowl is bolted to so there is at least a quarter of an inch between the bolt heads and the tank so the problem cannot be there. As suprised as I am about it being condensation (on just the bolt heads?) I went out all day and came back to no drips at all so I don't think it is a leak.

Will keep an eye on it...
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