Toto tank loose and wobbly after pro install

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by rantfarm, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. rantfarm

    rantfarm New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I just had a Toto Drake installed this morning by a professional plumber, and then left for work. When I got home tonight, I noticed that the tank has about two inches of play -- it wobbles forward and backward. So far, it is not leaking. I have an identical Toto in another bathroom (different installer) and the tank is rock solid. I am concerned that when the plumber gets back to me, he will say "that's normal for a Toto" or similar.

    Has anyone ever had this problem? Is there a likely cause? Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    While they often don't leak, the instructions say to continue to tighten it. If you first ensure it is even side to side, then tighten about 1/2-turn alternately on each side, you'll be able to get it tight. I like to leave a little play, but just barely. You don't want to get it tight and then try to compress it...porcelain is brittle. But, it is plenty strong enough if you tighten it down evenly. For a quick guide, you could stick a thick piece of paper between the tank and bowl and then tighten until it just starts to generate some friction and you can still pull it out.

    Now, whether I'd call the plumber back or not, depends. The instructions do say it should be tighter. It's an easy fix, but if you break it, you've got problems. Shouldn't happen unless it is either defective in the first place, or you overtighten it. As long as there is a gap (you can pull the paper out in my example), it shouldn't hurt the porcelain if you do it evenly side-to-side (put a piece on both sides near the bolts). It's easier to tighten it down if you lean on the tank while doing it.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,760
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Just tighten it.
    Pliers or a small wrench will do it.
    There are just two nuts to turn.
    Sounds way too loose to me.

    I followed up on a Drake tank installed by another plumber that was loose today, 10/22/2008
    The tank nuts were "finger loose",
    I took out a wrench and tightened them "wrench tight"
    No more loose and wobbly tank.

    I then took off the right closet bolt nut, and flipped the flat plastic washer right side up so that the snap on bolt cap would snap on. SNAP

    Then I took a hack saw blade to the uncut left bolt, and did the same there.

    All done.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I would call the plumber back...#1 you paid him to do the job...#2 if the tank is mounted uneven there may be problems...#3 if you break it you have no recourse...
  5. rantfarm

    rantfarm New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Thanks to everyone who replied. I will go ahead and tighten it...very, very gently. The other Toto in the house has almost no space between tank and bowl. This new one has at least a quarter inch. Last question: could the installer have placed the big rubber seal between tank and bowl backwards, if there is a backwards? Could that account for the space?

    Also: Thank you, Terry, for creating and running this site. It is one of the best topical sites of any kind that I have seen...and I write and design websites for a living. I hope it is giving you a lot of satisfaction and making you a good income. Cheers!
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,249
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    toilet

    The tanks that crack over time, are usually the ones that are tight without any movement. The gasket cannot be installed backwards.
  7. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE

    You are absolutely right! Many of us stumble onto this site seeking help with a specific plumbing question, and find it not only a helpful place, but also a really interesting site to visit regularly. Some great non-plumbing conversations here, too, and an amazingly supportive group of pros and DIYers.

    Yes, thanks, Terry! This site is head and shoulders above every other plumbing/home improvement site I've seen.
  8. rantfarm

    rantfarm New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I tightened it up with the advice and courage gained here. It's solid now, but I think I'll back it off a quarter-turn based on the observation above about cracking...makes sense. Thanks again, all. I'll be lurking.
  9. Neotonic

    Neotonic New Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Southern California or Russia
    You should tighten it yourself.
    I recently had to replace the tank bolts because after 11 years the original washers started to fail. and it started to leak lol. Me and my dad repaired my toilet by replacing the bolts...

    Tighten it, but don't overtighten or it will crack the porcelain. Even the Pros Make mistakes
  10. 4thGenerationPlumber

    4thGenerationPlumber New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Do Not Over tighten!!! 1"-2" is way too much wobble but just make sure not to over tighten.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  11. edwardh1

    edwardh1 Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Toto toilet tank loose

    neighbor friend has a new, less than 2 year old toto toilet (I can post a pix).
    the tank, that sits above the bowl wobbles front back , you notice it when you operate the flush lever. I felt under it , seemed to have only two bolts holding the tank to the base.
    is this wobble normal? no leaks, its like it needs a third offset bolt?
  12. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,298
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    The two bolts are all that are necessary. They need to be tightened. There are little nubs that should touch or nearly touch. A business card used as a feeler gauge works pretty well. Just tighten each bolt a little at a time, alternate from one to the other. Toto has made many thousands of toilet tanks that mount with just two bolts.
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,760
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Sounds like he need to finish installing the tank. If it's that loose, tighten it.
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