rusty toilet tank bolts

In one of the toilet tanks in my house, the heads of the bolts in the tank look all rusty and deformed. They looked that way 3 years ago when I moved in here, and haven't leaked yet.
Since nothing is leaking, I'm just wondering if I need to address this, or should I leave well enough alone. Since my female friend moved out, nobody is using the toilet on a regular basis.
FYI: This toilet is a Gerber. Replacement of the tank bolts looks like it would involve removing the entire tank, because there are hex nuts attached to the bolts at the bottom of the tank. The nut is between the bottom of the tank and bowl. At the very tail end of the bolts are wing nuts. In other words, it looks like, to access the hex nut, this would involve unscrewing the wing nuts and lifting the entire tank, unless there are tools thin enough to reach the hex nut. Do any such tools exist? The gap is very small. Another issue is that the heads of the bolts appear to be so deformed that there isn't any slot remaining to stick a screwdriver. Should I leave well enough alone if it's not leaking?
Thanks,
J.
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(...)

Yep.
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On Mon, 5 Nov 2007 06:55:42 +0000 (UTC), blessed style

Or drain the tank, sponge as dry as you can and let it air dry till it's completely dry. Then coat the heads and a little of the surrounding tank with silicone. That way they wont rust further.
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On Nov 5, 2:19?am, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

at replacement time its easiest to use sawzall under tank to cut bolts off.
I wouldnt disturb the current situation but drying and silicone is excellent idea.
I put silicone on all drain connections at install, havent had a single leak.
got this idea from a plumber who I had come for a stuborn leak, he did the silicone thing.
his education cost me 80 bucks but that was 15 years ago, I have put it to excellent use ever since!
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On Nov 5, 4:19 am, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

Suggestion. Leave it alone for the moment. But eventually the bolts may rust further and you may get drips/leaks. Have a bowl or can ready! When it does turn off water to the toilet tank. The bolt heads probably sit on rubber washers inside the tank, which may also deteriorate. Be ready when it does come time to replace, with some stainless bolts of right length (or even a bit longer if they will fit) four or six new rubber washers, stainless steel washers etc. You can use nuts or wing nuts underneath to tighten, but DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN and crack the porcelain! Just snug down gently so toilet tank does not wobble or shift around. One one occasion we had to work at removing a very rusty bolt; why don't they supply brass or stainless? A combination of pecking away at the bolt with a hacksaw blade (not much space) and then breaking off the remainder of the bolt without damaging the porcelain took about half an hour! With ones head at height of the toilet bowl! Patience is a virtue. With us maintenance is critical cos we only have one toilet. Good luck. Silicon caulking may also help but sounds more like a temporary fix?
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On Mon, 05 Nov 2007 05:48:51 GMT, " snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net"

Personally I wouldn't disturb it but I don't see any harm in trying to drain the tank so that it can be dry around the bolts and then spray some rust inhibitor and let it soak for a couple of days before refillng the tank. Maybe it would work, maybe not but this way you aren't disturbing the seal unless the rust is helping??
Once I had to saw off a bolt that was on the bottom of the tank holding the guts in place and used a hacksaw (straight handle type) to get into a cramped area. The bolt and nut were plastic and too tight and when I tried to use various pliers it was stripping the nut so cutting the bolt was my only remaining option. It worked and then the rest of the job was easy. At first I dreaded the job because I didn't know what to do but with a little thought and the right tool, it wasn't so bad.
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<observer> wrote

Dremels work perfect for that tight space and application.
Steve
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On Mon, 5 Nov 2007 08:30:45 -0800, "SteveB"

I've been thinking of buying a dremel with a lot of accessories. I might revisit my idea and see what is available. Any good source to buy from?? Is the battery operated one worth it or better to stick with electric?
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<observer> wrote in message wrote:

It all depends on what you want to use it for. I have a Foredom, but I use it for much more than just what one would use a Dremel for. I have way more in carbide bits than a Dremel costs.
So, analyze what you want to use the tool for. If you want to do wood carving, or intricate things, you might want to step up. If regular stuff and an occasional bolt cutting is in line, then the Dremel will do just fine. Shaft sizes are mostly the same, so you can even use the cheapo HF and Chinese accessory packs of like 500 pieces for eight bucks.
I personally don't like the battery models, as they run out of gas before they cut through anything substantial. And then, when I go to use the thing, the battery is usually dead. Cords have their restrictions, too, but they won't run out of juice. The higher speeds of the motors (I think) use up batteries faster. And one of the new ones with a high voltage battery is starting to get big.
Dremels, Foredoms, and other such tools are great because they do a particular job when nothing else will, and save a lot of misery and heartache. (As breaking the porcelain while trying to get out a bolt.)
Steve
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On Mon, 5 Nov 2007 11:56:13 -0800, "SteveB"

Thanks Steve. You reminded me of my dad because I think he bought one years ago and used it for wood carving (old scooners 1 to 3 foot in length). I've got about a dozen of his (deceased now) wood boats with masts and nylon stringing (fine detail wood work upon close inspection) which I won't part with no matter how much money I'm offered... consider it a family heirloom now and reserved for my 2 daughters.
Appreciate the reply Steve !!
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Exactly. Most will corrode, so the trick is when you put new to tighten correctly and then leave them alone until they leak, or another component goes out and you want to do a whole rebuild.
And on that point, when my mechanisms go out, I just do the whole rebuild kit instead of a part here this week and a different part next week. I've done so many of them, I can do them in the dark.
Steve
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net wrote:

She may have moved out because females are finiky about their toilets. That in itself is strange inasmuch as they don't look before they sit down...
I'd spray paint 'em with white Rustoleum (the bolt heads, not the females).
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wrote:

Well maybe that female that moved out is okay to use some Rustoleum on but I'll let the OP be the judge of that <grin> .
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I agree with Steve, Dremel is the greatest for that , with a good metal cutting blade. I also used it under the kitchen to cut the large basin nut because it was corroded and leaking.
I just got out the Dremel, cut the large nut in 2 pieces, and removed the old drain in minutes! DO NOT FORGET SAFETY GOOGLES!!
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Thanks Bumpy also for the info. What accessories did you get to go along with your dremel? And do you have the battery or electric one?
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observer wrote:

You won't need accessories for a simple cut-off, just the cut-off wheel.
Use of safety goggles with a Dremel is for pussies.
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