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Old 03-25-2018, 01:21 PM   #1
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Toilet floor bolts -- how tight is "snug"?


We installed a new toilet 3 years ago. Tightened the floor bolt nuts to the point we thought was snug but not too tight. Last month there was a small leak under the toilet, and when we pulled it up we found the floor bolt nut on one side was loose -- could finger-turn it. I suspect that's why it leaked, though not sure.

We reinstalled the toilet (new wax ring of course). Tightened the bolts to what I thought was snug but not risk cracking. Checked them a week later, and one side was loose -- could finger turn again.

So how do I tell exactly how much to tighten them? All the advice says snug but not too tight. I read one that said tighten by hand then another quarter turn with a wrench, but they seemed way too loose at that point -- I went about a full turn more and it was still fairly easy.

BTW, the bolts are brass but the nuts are stainless (the old ones were brass but didn't fit the new bolts). The toilet doesn't rock at all, nor did when it leaked.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-25-2018, 03:23 PM   #2
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Re: Toilet floor bolts -- how tight is "snug"?


It's near impossible to get them to the correct tightness when installing a new ring.
It takes a day or two of using the toilet to fully compress it.
Just go back and snug it up again.
Sure your using the right ring for how your floor was done?
If the floor was tiled and the flange is sitting below the surface you may need a double thick wax ring.
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Old 03-25-2018, 03:24 PM   #3
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Re: Toilet floor bolts -- how tight is "snug"?


Plus 1

When you pulled the toilet, did you check the flange itself to make sure it's secure to floor. I've seen that a few times. Just a suggestion.
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Old 03-25-2018, 03:35 PM   #4
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Re: Toilet floor bolts -- how tight is "snug"?


If it happens again, put a star washer under the nut.
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Old 03-25-2018, 04:25 PM   #5
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Re: Toilet floor bolts -- how tight is "snug"?


It's setting on wax and neoprene. The flange is too tall preventing the toilet base making floor contact.
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Old 03-25-2018, 04:41 PM   #6
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Re: Toilet floor bolts -- how tight is "snug"?


The wax should prevent any leaks even without any bolts. The bolts really just keep the toilet from sliding out of place and being pulled up. If you are leaking, I'd check for cracks in the toilet, flange or misaligned wax ring.
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Old 03-25-2018, 04:53 PM   #7
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Re: Toilet floor bolts -- how tight is "snug"?


Thanks all for your help.

Answering in order:

Pretty sure we're using the right ring. The floor isn't tiled. The bottom of the flange is flush with the floor, so the top sits a little above the floor. Last time we used a thick ring (about 50% bigger than standard) but this time a single.

The flange is secure, no movement at all.

I'll try a star washer -- assume I should put it between the nut and the flat washer that's on the porcelain?

It doesn't seem like the flange is too high for the toilet -- see above. Of course I can't see it when the bowl is on it, but looking at it when apart it seems like it should be okay. It was fine for 3 years before the leak, and it's been fine in the short time since we re-seated it.

No visible cracks in the toilet or the flange; we checked closely. It's possible the ring was misaligned but wouldn't it have leaked sooner than 3 years?

Thanks again!
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Old 03-25-2018, 05:00 PM   #8
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Re: Toilet floor bolts -- how tight is "snug"?


Quote:
I'll try a star washer -- assume I should put it between the nut and the flat washer that's on the porcelain?
Correct.
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