"Hairline" crack in toilet & tank: Problem?

We have an older house with a BLUE toilet and Tub. We can't get a color matched replacment.
BUT the toilet tank has a visible hairline crack on the inside at the bolt hole. The toilet itself has a hairline crack on the glaze at the base.
Is this an "accident waiting to happen? or what?
EMWTK
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Yes. We had an unnoticed hairline crack in the toilet tank in our upstairs bathroom, and it decided to spring a leak while we were on vacation. Luckily, the cat sitter showed up to feed the cats and noticed that it was "raining" out the kitchen windows onto the deck. She shut off the water and called us, so the disaster wasn't total. Still, the water had been squirting out the crack for about 8-10 hours, and we had to completely gut the kitchen. The ceiling had fallen, there was standing water in the toaster and stove, the countertops had de-laminated, and the seals in all the windows had failed.
I'd replace the toilet TODAY if I were you. Of course, YMMV.
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On Oct 21, 7:58 am, <h> wrote:

After the fact...it's a good a idea to turn of the water supply or pump when you leave for extended periods.
If it hasn't leaked...it may be fairly safe. You could dry-out the tank and put some silicone caulk on the crack.
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BAD advice. Unlike metal, porcelain does not flex or bend and is prone to catastrophic failure. It may last for a time, but it may just fall apart and make a disaster once the water starts running and no one is home.
I'd turn the water off to the fixture and go shopping for a new toilet.
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re: Unlike metal, porcelain does not flex or bend and is prone to catastrophic failure
When I said my neighbor's hairline crack "let go", I should have mentioned that he came home to find his toilet tank in pieces on the floor. "Catastrophic failure" would be the proper term.
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My neighbor let a hairline crack on his toilet go...and then the crack let go while he was at work. Luckily it was in the basement.
The unlucky part was that the slab sloped towards the opposite corner of the basement so the hundreds of gallons of water flowed across the entire *finished* basement.
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John-
As an owner of an old (1930) home, I understand your desire to keep the house "original".
As the others have said, tanks are brittle and if they break, they can fail suddenly & completely.
You've heard stories (here) of sudden, catastrophic failures.
And keeping the cracked tank is a risk.
Is the crack only is the glaze? (IMO that is crazing not a crack) Or is the crack in the base material as well?
Having said all this, I had a wall mount toilet tank (1930) with a long crack. It leaked slightly (about 4oz per day) which I caught in a small plastic trash can. The water in my area has a tendency to calcify leaks & cracks. Water heaters last in excess of 20 years.
Anyway, I finally found a replacement (wall hung) tank on Ebay & I replaced it in June. After letting is drip for 16 years. :)
In order to get the flush handle hardware off (the threads were galled) I have to break the tank. I had to hit it rather forcefully with a hammer (a couple blows) to get it to break. The tanks was pretty hefty I'd say at least 3/8".
I guess I was pretty lucky to have the thing not break but now I have a complete style & color match.
How important is the color match?
You could replace the current tank only (any color) & then start looking for a color match. You could buy a tank that matches up mechanically & have the bath tub acrylic resurfacing done to get an exact color match.
Does the crack leak or weep? Kids in the house? How often does that bathroom / toilet get used? Second floor? First floor?
You could install a 1/4 turn shutoff & shut the toilet off every time you leave the house. You could install an automatic toilet shutoff valve that would activate in case of tank failure. Total water loss would be limited to 5 gallons or so. Still a mess but not a disaster.
And do this until you find a color match toilet (or just the tank)
Having not seen the crack, so good assessment (size, location, etc) of it is not possible.......so I can't see how bad it is but it doesn't seem that bad IF its only in the glaze.
It all depends on your comfort level with risk.
The result of a tank failure will be water running at ~3gpm until you discover the problem. :(
So what you've got (IMO) is a low probability event with extreme consequences,
your call as how to handle it.
cheers Bob
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Seems to me the extreme consequences are a failure while someone is sitting on it. Then you have a bare bottom in free fall toward a pile of broken pieces of porcelain.
OUCH!
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wrote:

Dan-
The crack is in the tank, I don't see how a tank failure will result in free fall.
Unless he sits on the tank to use the toilet.
You'll get wet as will the floor.
Bowl / commode failure, yes.......but not a, tank failure.
Subsequent poster suggested "anti-flood supply hoses"
sounds like a good idea
cheers Bob
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Why are you quys wasting time a failure is a mess and doe's alot of damge which insurance won't cover. REPLACE IT
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Jim-
Because one of the OP's considerations is color match?
If the "crack" is only in the glaze & not in the base material it could be a total non-problem.
A "anti-flood supply hose" could be an answer.
I've got a 1930 home with lavender (rose) & black bathroom. Lavender pedestal sink, tub & toilet.....if I have a problem with the sink or the toilet I guess I'll just replace it with a modern white one? No.
Some people drive 65 Mustangs & assume the risks associated with that decision. Their choice..
cheers Bob
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what is your google broken or something?
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Why not put on one of those anti-flood supply hoses and leave it as is?
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The base is most likely-not a problem...if the one in the tank is not leaking...it probably won't unless leaned against. You could dry the tank and put some silicone seal or epoxy over the crack. But don't mess with the bolt at this precarious time.
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wrote:

I am not understanding the location of the crack. What bolt hole? If you mean inside the tank, you can drain the tank, make sure it's thoroughly dry and put a thick layer of epoxy across it. If it's the bolts that hold it to the floor, you may not have as easy of a fix, but at the same time you wont have any chance of a flood, just some filthy water leaking after a flush. THere are no other bolts unless this is an odd toilet.
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On Oct 22, 4:46 am, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

tank/inside/bolthole/crack...what's to get?!
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On Mon, 22 Oct 2007 03:10:45 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Epoxy or JB Weld. The JB is extremely strong, I'd use that. JB is actually an epoxy but stronger than most. Tank must be fully dry and clean. I'd sand the surface after drying and cleaning to insure there is no water scale left. I'd remove the bolts, and apply the epoxy, after it drys at least 2 days, replace the bolts with a new set of bolts and washers, or at least the washers. If crack goes right to the bolt hole, the epoxy must be thin where the bolt and rubber washers go or the washer wont seal. I'd use the epoxy on the bottom of the tank too. I see no reason this tank cant be used for many more years afterwards.
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Perhaps you don't but I certainly do. I've worked with ceramics. Once they have stress, it is possible to fail at any time with no advance warning, no creep of the crack. There is no flexibility. It may be next year, it may be February of 2012, it may be at 1:00 AM tomorrow morning while you are asleep.
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