Toilet tank leak

One of the bolts that holds the toilet tank to the toilet base rusted and broke so I replaced both of them. When I replaced the tank and tightened everything down, everything was fine until I flushed and then I had water leaking from the bottom of the tank. I believe that it was leaking from around the gasket; however I purchased a new gasket and still have the same leaking problem. Does the gasket go directly into the ceramic part of the toilet base or do I need to replace some other part? Is there something that I should be doing that I'm not? Any suggestions, please!
Thank you, Brian
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Brian H. Loher wrote:

My guess is somewhere along in the process, likely when you "tightened everything down" you may have tightened a little too much and now you have a crack, which means new tank (you can't really fix those cracks) and considering the age of the toilet, I would just replace the whole thing with a good quality one. Don't judge quality by price.
Buying by brand name is not a good idea. Most brands make good models and poor models. Many of the water savers are very good, some are very bad. I was looking at a few the other day. Limiting it to standard looking models (no color or special designer looks) I found models priced from $39.95 to $289.95.
All the cheaper models (which likely make up 90+% of the total sold, especially to contractor homes) have 1.75" traps unglazed. The better ones had 2" or larger traps with additional water surface areas and the trap areas were glazed. Some even had special pressurized water tanks.
Consider the difference. Have you felt the surface of an unglazed ceramic surface? That along with poor design, small opening etc. all contribute to poor performance. Using a lot of water was just a cheap way of getting around bad design.
Get a good water saver and you will be fine. Get a cheap model of any design and you will have problems.
BTW most water savers have a dual flush system. A single press uses 1.6, holding it down gets you about twice that, which is about what the old ones used. So if you just hold the handle down a few seconds when needed, you get the additional flush as well as saving water when you don't need it.
A very large market for them are builders who want the cheapest thing that meets the code, so they all make one. You don't want this. They all also make nice looking models that have a lot of appeal until you get them home and you find that the working parts are the same as the builder's specials.
Consumer Reports magazine did a report on them not long ago, you should be able to find a copy in the library. That may help.
Most people seem to be very happy with the American Standard Cadet models. Note that they do make more than one model in that line and pay attention to the trap design in which one you pick. Others like the Gerber (sp) power flush line. They are a little nosier and have a little more complex flushing system, but it is very effective.
Lowes has a nice web page that shows photos of much of this and even more information.
http://www.lowes.com/lkn?action=howTo&p=BuyGuide/ToiletBG.html
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Joseph E. Meehan

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Joseph Meehan wrote:

<snipped>
Uh, Joseph.... I don't doubt that a lot of tanks get cracked through overtightening of the hold down bolts, but.....
The OP said, "everything was fine until I flushed and then I had water leaking from the bottom of the tank."
That "then" sure sounds like he's saying the tank was filled and NOT leaking BEFORE the flush. I thought I understood the mechanics of typical toilet construction and operation, but I'm always willing to learn more. How does the OP's story jive with a cracked tank?
Sounds a lot more like a gasket leak to me. Possibly the first gasket was no good for reuse and the replacement is not thick enough or got shifted out of place. I may not be right about that, but I think it's "the way to bet" in the absence of further details from the OP, like does it stop leaking after it's through with a flushing.
What say?
Jeff
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Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

...
My guess it that it was leaking before he noticed it. Another possibility is that the fill tube is spraying inside the tank and that some of it oversprayed over the top and ran down looking like it was leaking at the bottom.

That may well be.

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Joseph E. Meehan

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Ya know, you may have problems that you didn't know about, and discovered when you flushed. So when you talk about the gasket, my question is 'how did you tighten it down'? There is a correct way, and an incredibly wrong way, and both ways appear to be acceptable within the industry. One way is to have the bolt head and washer in the tank, and the nut and another washer under the commode, and tight till there's no leak. Just imagine how easy it would be to crack porcelain that way!!!! The other way is to be including a thin nut and washer under the tank. So with flapper valve in place, you could walk around with a filled tank without a leak. If you can do that, and then find that a leak happens when you flush, then you can look to that gasket you mention. BTW, I am a fan of the American Standard Cadet, but I just recently installed a Kohler Wellworth for my mother, and am very pleased with it, too.

same
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Michael Baugh wrote:

I recently had a similar problem with a gerber toilet in my upstairs bathroom. Even after replacing the large tank to bowl gasket, I had a regular gully washer when I flushed. It turned out that the "universal" replacement gasket from the Borg just wasn't quite thick enough for the Gerber. The original gasket fell apart when I first pulled the unit apart so I really had nothing to compare it with.
Anyway, once I got the proper "fatter" gasket (from a plumber), it was good to go (pardon the pun).
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN

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I agree with Michael Baugh's reply. There should be two nuts on each bolt. The thin nut under the tank compresses the gasket in the tank and prevents leaking. The other nut at the end of the bolt merely holds the tank in place. The bowl should have bolt holes which are large enough to allow the thin nut to project through downward. If not, rubber strip spacers can be used between the tank and bowl.
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