Pesky leak between tank and bowl

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by jrutledge7, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. jrutledge7

    jrutledge7 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ohio
    Bought a Mansfield Waverly two piece HET. There are two tank bolts. I cannot get this thing to stop leaking and wonder if I am tightening too tight?

    Starting from the top of the tank this is the order: bolt head, metal washer, rubber washer, tank bottom, metal washer, nut, toilet bowl, rubber washer, metal washer, wing nut. I tightened the bowl down using alternating turns on the wing nuts until the tank made contact with the bowl.

    There is a consistent drip of 1 tablespoon of water after each flush. I assume it is coming from the tank to bowl gasket. It does not appear to be leaking around the bolts. Are these toilets not supposed to have the tank to bowl gasket completely compressed by tightening the tank to the bowl until the tank contacts the bowl?
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The matal washer you placed inside the tank is, or will be, the leaker. You have contact between too metal, not so smooth surfaces....the top of the washer and the underside of the bolt head. That joint cannot seal out water. Inside the tank should be the head of the bolt, to rubber washer...that's it.

    But the description that it leaks after a flush points to something on the tank-to-bowl gasket. Maybe disassemble and take a look at everything
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,636
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; this is the order: bolt head, metal washer, rubber washer, tank bottom, metal washer, nut, toilet bowl, rubber washer, metal washer, wing nut.

    You didn't even have to list the order of the parts, because I knew what you had done as soon as I read the description of your problem. Remove the "underlined" metal washer it is the cause of the leak.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,980
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Why then, would it only leak when flushed?
  5. mrmedic

    mrmedic Junior Member

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Delaware
    Wouldn't this mean that the larger doughnut seal is not set right?
  6. jrutledge7

    jrutledge7 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ohio
    Thanks all - removing the metal washer in the tank makes sense. Not sure why I can associate the leak with a flush. This is the first toilet I have installed. Believe it or not...the toilet tank bolt set came with six washers and clearly states the order of assembly with one on the inside of the tank in the position I have placed it. Teaches me to not trust directions wrote overseas! I'll post back with the results.
  7. mrmedic

    mrmedic Junior Member

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Delaware
    I would still think you need the metal washer under the bolt head then the rubber washer so the bolt head does not go thru the rubber washer. As you stated in the post above "I assume it is coming from the tank to bowl gasket" This is where it might be coming from if it only happens when you flush. JMO.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,013
    Location:
    New England
    A proper tank bolt has a fairly wide, flat head, sized appropriately to not pull though. You might only notice it leaking when you flush because you might move the tank slightly when you push the flush handle, or were leaning against the tank while sitting there. With a metal washer underneath the bolt head, water can leak between the metal surfaces. Without the washer, the rubber one is compressed all around the hole and the bolt head so it can seal.
  9. jrutledge7

    jrutledge7 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ohio
    still leaking

    OK...I removed the washer inside the tank. The order was bolt head > rubber washer > tank > rubber washer > metal washer > nut > bowl > rubber washer > metal washer > wing nut. Leaked just as bad.

    I then followed a suggestion in the toilet manufacturer's documents that said to go bolt head > rubber washer > tank > bowl > rubber washer > metal washer > wing nut. The leaks ceased for a few days. Now, it is back as bad as before.

    I have checked the doughnut gasket between the tank and bowl and seems fine. I shine a flashlight in and cannot see any noticable leak between the two, although I see wetness. I do notice a modest amount of extra material on one side of the bolt hole inside the tank. I wonder if that is causing the issue and will contact the manufacturer about it.

    Any other suggestions? There are no apparent cracks or other defects. I know this sounds like a hack fix, but what about using silicone sealant and caulking around the bolt holes and doughnut gasket?
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