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?
On Nov 5, 2:19?am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
at replacement time its easiest to use sawzall under tank to cut bolts
I wouldnt disturb the current situation but drying and silicone is
I put silicone on all drain connections at install, havent had a
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!
On Nov 5, 4:19 am, email@example.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
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?
On Mon, 05 Nov 2007 05:48:51 GMT, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
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.
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
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.)
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
Appreciate the reply Steve !!
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.
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).
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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