Fastest, easiest way to cut rusted / corroded toilet bolts from tank

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by augusta, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. augusta

    augusta New Member

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Augusta GA
    [video=youtube;YmRGR16l6BU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmRGR16l6BU&NR=1[/video]

    I contend that this corrosion happened because there was a metal washer on the inside of the tank between the brass bolt head and the rubber washer. It was rusted on the inside and out. It never fails that when I see the corrosion on the outside of the tank, that there is a metal washer inside the tank. It also doesn't help when folks put those chlorine tablets inside the tank either. Figured I'd start video taping some of my most common repairs.

    When I do plumbing jobs, I'm in and out of there in minutes, not hours. I'm talking swapping toilets, toilet repairs, swapping sinks, faucets, dishwashers, garbage disposals...and now...swapping hot water heaters.

    I didn't see anything else like this on this site so I figured I'd post it so a DIY'er could just knock it out and not suffer through doing it the long way....or even worse...bringing a Plumber out and watching his Apprentice ride the clock (that's not a dis on Plumbers everywhere, just the ones in Augusta).

    Anyone have a faster/better way to get those old corroded bolts off?
  2. Winslow

    Winslow Plumber

    Messages:
    450
    Location:
    Hawaii
    reciprocating saw
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Roto Zip with a Cut Off Wheel

    The washer under the bolt head causes the leak that causes the corrosion....
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,032
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Steel bolts are the cause of the corrosion. A metal washer under the bolt head would leak immediately. I use much longer SawZall blade so the saw does NOT have to contact the tank, nor does the blade have to "angle" to fit between the tank and bowl.
  5. yngwie_69

    yngwie_69 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Prince Rupert, BC
    Lol

    I have done that before! but when ever i install a toilet i use a tank bolt with rubber on top, rubber on bottom then washer then nut, then washer and nut under bowl
  6. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    You almost lost the tank at the end there, lol. faster is not always better, like when you break someones toilet and have to foot the bill for a new one!
  7. augusta

    augusta New Member

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Augusta GA

    Hardly call that "almost losing the tank" at the end there, buddy. I haven't lost one yet. But I have seen a plumber prop the tank lid against the cabinetry, later trip on it, and actually break it on more than one occasion. Know why the tank lid wasn't weighing down the tank and not even in the shot? Because a DIY'er has sense enough to lay it flat in the bathtub. "Faster isn't always better?" Spoken like a true Plumber, set in his ways, who has perfected riding the clock. It's called using the right tool for the job. I suppose I almost lost my finger since they were so close to the blade...and I almost drowned too since my head was so close to the water in the toilet bowl that I could have lost my balance and went head first. Could have pulled a muscle in my back while getting up. And I suppose you walk to work because you "almost" got in an auto accident once - "faster isn't always better", right? Using generalizations where they do not apply doesn't make you sound informed. This method is faster AND better than the traditional hack saw. Geesh. Some folks will argue anything for the sake of arguing.
  8. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    Listen BUDDY! The best and fastest way to cut that bolt would be with a multi cutter in one hand while holding the tank with the other. We plumbers have this thing called call backs. You don't get paid when you go back to fix something because you did the job as fast as you could and missed something or worse caused damage to property and then are liable for repairs. What would have happened if you had brocken that tank? If I did I would have to replace the toilet as they don't make those tanks anymore. So Thats a trip to the wholesaler out of my pocket and back and the time to istall it. Bragging that it takes you minutes to do theses jobs and watching this video makes me lauph! Please do continue to post more.
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,289
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Some of the things Jerome mentions are things we have to be aware of.

    1) Never, ever put anything in the homeowners tub. It is too easy to chip a tub, and tub replacements can go for $3,500.00

    I find it funny when I get to a job with a toilet setting in tub with a nice big chip where the handyman "almost" got the toilet in without banging the tub.
    If I'm doing any extended work, it goes in the garage, after it takes a shower with a garden hose outside.

    The video does show how hard it is to remove old rusted bolts from a tank. That's one reason I prefer removing the old toilet to a dumpster and replacing it with something new. Something that comes with "BRASS" bolts. If I have brass bolts and nuts, I don't need the sawzall.
    I can quickly spin off the brass nuts and I'm done in less then a minute.
    That also gives me a chance to save the homeowner some money with a water saving, cost saving, water bill saving bowl that also gets the $100 rebate. Yeeha!
  10. augusta

    augusta New Member

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Augusta GA
    No sir. You can't use a multi cutter on this tank because the distance and angle wouldn't have allowed you to. If you noticed (right before I "almost" cut my fingers off) that I had to angle that blade to get around the porcelain ledge that is built into the top of the bowl AND the bottom of the tank, right where I need to cut. A multi cutter would have "sanded down" that rim in a second flat. Now YOU are purchasing a new tank and bowl with your method. Who's laughing now? Your only argument (tank "could" have fallen) is based on an event that didn't happen, and wasn't even likely to happen considering the tank is not laying flat, but sitting on a gasket, so it's expected to teeter like that. It's not going anywhere - just like you see in the video. I would ask you to post some videos of your work, but we both know youtube has a time limitation, and your 45 minute bolt cutting technique with a hack saw wouldn't pass the upload limit. If it'll make you feel better, I'll modify the video and add a bungee strapped to the tank and bowl so that you and your apprentices can wrap your brains around it, and actually accomplish this dare devil feat. And if in the case of cutting toilet bolts, as you say, "faster isn't better" then why on earth are you pretending like you use a multi cutter to begin with? I can see right through you. Keep posting Jerome, you crack me up Buddy!

    Concerning "bragging": I can certainly understand how you would perceive a method that's faster and better than yours as "bragging", considering how it would make you feel *if* you are a Plumber set in your ways who has perfected riding the clock. I get it. I'm only sharing a better and faster way so a DIY'er won't suffer through using a hack saw, or even worse, paying a Plumber to come out, who's set in his ways with slow techniques, who's riding the clock, with every "shoulda coulda woulda" excuse in the book to justify his slow techniques, while getting paid by the hour. Did you not notice that a couple of Plumbers already posted that they use a sawzall, even HJ, who is one of the most experienced Plumbers posting on this site?

    Terry, true, you'd not want to put a tank lid in a *cast iron* tub, but *this* tub is acrylic , and it has a special bottom (tub mat) on it to prevent slippage so it's most certainly fine to place a tank lid there under those conditions (none of it shown in the shot because it's immaterial to the video). Good point, though.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  11. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

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    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    Actually Augusta this is the bragging you were doing, I guess you forgot.

    I didn't need a YouTube video to learn how to cut a bolt with a sawzall either...
  12. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

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    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    Exactly, this isn't an new discovery, stop patting yourself on the back now...
  13. augusta

    augusta New Member

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Augusta GA
    What's also not a new discovery is your bad attitude on this forum. How have you positively added to this discussion, dlarrivee? I'm convinced that you are only here to troll. Two posts in a row from you and nothing but negativity. If you want to make this personal again , and now in this thread, try PMing me some of your hate if it will make you feel better. I honestly don't care that you don't care. If you dislike this thread so much, or if you don't like what I have to post - DON'T READ IT (yet you hang on to my every word). It's pretty simple, unless your role is to troll, while waiting for a moderator to delete your posts. When I state how much time it takes me to do a job (without breaking anything, done correctly and to code) only the slow haters will see it as bragging. When I read those same words from someone else, I look at it as something to shoot for. Guess it's a matter of perspective and attitude. You've got a bad attitude and a lot of hate.

    Maybe you should leave a comment by this video on how to brush your teeth, and the other infinite number of videos out there that you don't need as well? This task will keep someone like you busy all day everyday. I'm assuming you still have your teeth.



    dlarrivee, might I suggest a new avatar for you? This one suits you better than your current one:
    grumpygrandpa copy.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2014
  14. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,289
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Both videos are good. I've been thinking we need more video on the site anyway.
    And yes, of course a lot of us know how to do things, but the video is to share what we do and for those that haven't considered certain methods, it's helpful for that.
    Now I need to get back and "Brush my teeth" again.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  15. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    With the right blade it works every time. I see through you! You claim to be a DIY but your stating that you can do plumbing jobs.

    I hope your insured like us licensed plumbers, because your gonna get yourself in some trouble when you wreck someones house and get sued out your ass!
  16. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,289
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I don't think he's serious about going into the contacting business. He works in Real Estate, and every so often posts pictures of jobs that "contractors in Atlanta" are doing for him.

    You guys are taking this way too personal.

    The contractors know that we have to register a bond with the state, a minimum of $300,000, and carry insurance for working in peoples homes. The monthly payments on the insurance need to be covered, that's for sure. Here, if they find you aren't a licensed contractor, they can take the truck you are working in, and all of the tools. You also can't legally charge for your work.
    A residential plumbing license requires 6,000 hours working under a journeyman plumber and 8,000 hours for the commercial license.
    Classes need to be taken, and the application and test passed. With all of that, you would expect that you would get better work then what I see in the pictures that Augusta has been posting. It doesn't appear that those workers have had any training. No wonder he's frustrated.
    Remember the tub/shower valve that was redone a few times?
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,032
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    HEre, you can only LEGALLY "swap out water heaters" if you are a licensed, bonded, and insured plumbing contractor. Anyone else can be charged with felony contracting without a license. And, as Terry mentioned, the customer does NOT have to pay for the work done if he does not want to.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  18. augusta

    augusta New Member

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Augusta GA
    No Sir. I'm in your "shoulda, coulda, woulda" land right now, and the forecast says the right cutting blade on a multi cutter would likely damage the porcelain lip on the bottom of the tank and the top of the bowl due to the angle, distance, and horizontal movement of the blade versus the forward-backward movement of a reciprocating blade. If you are going to shoulda, coulda, woulda, something that didn't even happen, then I can too. Pretty silly, huh? Pretty funny how I post a simple video with REASONABLE methods to cut a bolt and I catch this much drama for it. If not holding on to the tank while cutting is out of your comfort zone, then get a bungee, and get a helmet while you're at it.

    You see through me? LOL Let me explain something to you. I'm both a DIY'er AND I do plumbing jobs - legally. All of those homes I've been working on for over a decade are part of a Property Management Business. I'm pretty sure the guy who owns all of those properties doesn't mind that I continue to do the plumbing work. Per se, I'm not getting paid. The details are really none of anyone's business except for the IRS, my CPA, the local Licensing and Inspection Office, and certain disclosure laws because of particular licenses that I possess. And in over a decade of such work, I've not once wrecked a house, gotten sued, or even broken a single toilet, sink, or tub (uh oh, is that bragging? What a terrible, terrible, person I am.) I will admit I did one incredibly crappy tile job before on my first tile floor. Was using the cheap $8 per bag contractor grade mortar mix (non-Polymer) when I should have used Flexbond (mortar with Polymer). Had no business using that stuff when I was new and inexperienced..but had no one to tell me otherwise...and the Internet hadn't taken off like it has now. You can have someone "show" you pretty much anything nowadays, within reason, with a combination of youtube and a site like this one. My first attempt at sweating some copper pipe was a fail as well, while my HVAC guy had to bail me out. But I was wise enough to know it wasn't right, and that I shouldn't just let it go. Most Plumbers let a lot of crazy stuff go, and I've posted plenty of pictures to back that up. You butt-hurt Plumbers can hate all you want. If none of these accusations applied to you, you wouldn't come in here all butt-hurt to begin with.

    Insurance? I've got more to lose than you do, Jerome. I'd wager that I pay out more money in insurance per year than you do, on my Inland Marine, E & O, GL, and P & C policies alone (guessing here, and I bet I'm correct). My insurance underwriter LOVES me. For one, I insure almost everything I have, along with rider policies for extras, and two, my insurance score is so high. Guess why my insurance score is so high? It's because I hardly ever file a claim, nor does anyone file a claim against me (meaning my screw up ratio is very very low). So yeah, I've got my bases covered. Thanks for the tip, and for the concern for my rear end.


    Exactly. At least you get it. And the hot water heater that was redone a second time, because of blatant code violations, taking the Master Plumber 23 days to complete. Whatever happened to that thread about the shower valve? I can find it on Google, but it has dropped from the index on this site (along with a few other classics.) I've got a really good video coming of crazy Plumber jobs that have passed inspection. We'll see if one of those butt-hurt guys finds it and decides to post while defending that nonsense. I didn't know they were bad until I got some schooling from Terry, HJ, Jimbo, others on this site, and reading the IPC. As soon as I get some time to relax I'll put it together and we'll all have a good laugh....except for the haters.

    haters_gonna_hate_plumber4.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2014
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