How to bolt down a Kohler tank with three bolts?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by WorthFlorida, Sep 11, 2014.

  1. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    I replaced a toilet with a Highline Kohler with the "class 5" flush. It has the new three bolt pattern. The instructions are a bit vague. All it mentions to level the tank turning the nuts. I snugged them down with a socket on an extension and turned them buy hand, no wrench. Every thing seems OK and no leaks, but how far or tight should these bolts be. I attached the instruction and the picture shown is how it looks before the tank is on the bowl. tank.jpg It seems like the tank and bowl can never touch each other as in the old two bolt system and this keeps some flex between the two.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    You should have three points of contact or almost-contact. These are often front left, front right, and rear. If you tilt the tank away from a point, and you can slide a piece of paper into the gap, then you should tighten a little more. You can estimate by how much gap remains how much more you will need to turn. You will need a wrench.

    Do not over-tighten.
     
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    That design appears to have a gasket on each bolt between the tank and the bowl. So, you will not get the tank tight against the bowl. Most toilets have molded legs that act as the stops - it does not appear that this design does. As long as you get the tank so it doesn't flop around and doesn't leak, by using a level, you should be able to determine if you've got each bolt at about the same tension. Important note...this assumes that the surface of the bowl is level! It may not be, either because of variations in manufacturing or your floor that it is mounted on.

    Is that gasket somewhat resilient? I'd guess it is probably a hard rubber, or something similar. You should not need a lot of torque.
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I think it calls for more than fingers on a socket extension, which is just a tiny notch above finger tight.
     
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    2 bolt tanks also seldom contacted the bowl, and the ones that did often cracked eventually. If the 3 bolts are tightened properly there is NO WAY the tank can "wiggle, (that is the reason for the third bolt). IF you believe the "engineer's drawing" then you also believe you can tighten the nuts with a Crescent wrench.
     
  7. asktom

    asktom Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    Lean on the tank while you snug the bolts with something other than a crescent wrench.
     
  8. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    I called Kohler and my adjustments and tightening was right on. Below on the Kohler site they now use a new encapsulated bolt. The ones that came with the Highline Classic are similar. The major difference is just under bolt head is the same material and has a circumference larger than the threads but not as large as the head. The bowl gasket three flanges have a rubber washer to each hole of the tank are inside the bowl hole. This provides that other than the threads the bolt head cannot go through the bowl holes, therefore, rubber meets rubber and it forms a very good leak proof seal. The bolts heads do not and can never touch the bottom of the bowl. The rubber material under the bolt head will expand slightly and might just slip into the hole as in my case but that is OK. Tighten buy hand is preferred until the tank just stops to wiggle. The tank and bowl will never touch and this gives some flex to minimize the tank from cracking should it ever be leaned on. I do not have a picture of the actual bolts but the installation picture is accurate.

    encapsulated bolt.jpg Bowl gasket.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Interesting system. It looks like it might be easier to install correctly, although the directions could use some improvement. Did you discuss the wrench shown in the directions?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  10. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    I did mentioned how I tighten them by hand with an extension & socket. He did say that is OK as long as the tank is steady. There really is not much torque needed to compress these rubber like parts. I'm a big guy with big hands so it is easy for me to turn things. I think they show a wrench since it a very common tool that gets the message across with a picture. Actually, it would be very difficult to turn the rear middle nut since it is close to the wall with an adjustable wrench and it is a bit recessed. The bolts do not extend down as much as the old two bolt system where you would need a deep socket. This system is nearly bullet proof but the instructions do need more clarity.

    Tonight, I was actually was going to the house where I installed this unit and take pictures but I had to go to a co-worker's home to flush out and replace part of the condensation drain for their A/C. It was plugged up and the Safety Switch was bad, therefore, not turning off the compressor. They had a lot of water overflowing inside the air handler system and onto the floor inside the home. It happens quite a lot in South Florida homes. With our high humidity and daily use the drain system need continuous maintenance. It's all in the 3/4" PVC drain lines.
     
Similar Threads: bolt down
Forum Title Date
Toilet Forum discussions Help! Broken flange that was resting on crumbling mortar, bolt down drain!! Sep 15, 2016
Toilet Forum discussions Cast iron flange replacement? Not level, not bolted down Jul 10, 2015
Toilet Forum discussions Toilet not bolted down Jul 13, 2011
Toilet Forum discussions Bolt Down Lid? Aug 14, 2007
Toilet Forum discussions Dropped a Flange Bolt Down the Toilet Connection Drain Sep 17, 2006

Share This Page