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BillD 06-28-2008 10:33 PM

toilet tank burst
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My mother (76) was awakend by a loud explosion at 2AM to find that her toilet tank cracked. Water was everywhere. She cut her finger trying to close the shut off valve. You can imagine what I felt when she told me. She had stitches to close the wound on her fingers. I'm really concerned about what bacteria she may have been exposed to.

I'm attaching a pic of her tank. I don't know what brand this toilet is, but I am concerned that she had an open wound. Does anyone recognize this one?

I'm also concerned that the water may have seeped into the drywall in her bathroom. My Mom has some respiratory problems and I know that mold is not covered in Texas. This is a nightmare on several levels for me.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Mike Swearingen 06-28-2008 11:23 PM

If your mother had to get stitches at a hospital, then she also was treated to prevent any infections at the same time. I wouldn't worry about that.
If you're concerned about mold developing in the wall or floor, remove any drywall or flooring that got soaked and the insulation, if any, with it. Dry it out good, and then repair it.
I'm not a pro plumber and don't recognize that toilet, but the water that spilled from the cracked tank actually would have been clean drinking water from her water supply.
Her homeowner's insurance should cover most of the repairs for the accident. Even if she has to pay for it herself, I also would have it inspected by a certified mold-and-mildew removal expert to get it all certified that it is mold and mildew free before wrapping the walls/floor back up. That would be just for the record and her own protection, because insurance companies track all damage claims, and they can cancel insurance if mold and mildew are likely to get going.
Good Luck!

Ron The Plumber 06-29-2008 01:53 AM

Looks like American Standard to me. Did the tank sit real tight to the back wall, if it did then it broke under stress.

BillD 06-29-2008 11:43 PM

Thanks Mike and Ron for your replies. I'm confident the doctors took care of her, although I'm following up on her.

I'm going to visit her tomorrow when the homebuilder people go to investigate. It is a newer home. about 2 years ago that it was built. I'll check to see if the tank was put in too close to the wall (stress thing that you mentioned). Can they bolt down the tank too much? Would that put enough stress to make it burst?

I'm really concerned about the water she had in that bathroom. She mentioned that the floor tiles had a 'bubble' behind the toilet (vinyl flooring) after all this. She threw down so many towels to try and absorb the water. Her house is on a concrete slab. I know how drywall has a tendency to draw water (the wick effect). How can I check to see if the drywall absorbed some of that water. I know that would be a breeding ground for mold.

I would appreciate any suggestions.

Ron The Plumber 06-29-2008 11:49 PM

If the tank was tight to the wall and was tightened down with it tight to the wall that alone will put excess stress on the tank, like trying to get porcelain to bend when it won't, and it could have been caused by over tightening the bolts, one way or the other stress was the cause of it to break.

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