Rusting tank bolts on toilet

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Terry, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    When you have a standard two-piece toilet, one of the repairs that may be needed is to replace rusting tank to bowl bolts. Some brands, like to use a bolt that will rust out fairly soon. These pictures are from some Crane toilets that we removed. The one bowl showing rust had completly severed, and the tank was just resting on the bowl. When we went to pick it up, the tank fell off.
    The home was built in 2000.

    [​IMG]

    Here you can see rust that has formed on top of the bolts.

    [​IMG]

    This is the bowl where the bolts had rusted through.

    [​IMG]

    These had not rusted all the way through yet, but you can see the bolts are not made from brass.

    [​IMG]

    And here is one headed to the recycle to me crushed and made into road surface.
     
  2. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

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    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
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    Georgia
    Give 'em hell, Terry. Is there any huge price difference in providing brass bolts rather than steel? The bean-counters stick it to everyone again.
     
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  4. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Nasty rusty bolts. Terry makes an excellent point, echoed several years ago by one of our professional plumber members who says that when he installs a toilet he always tosses the tank-to-bowl hardware that comes with it and instead uses a Wolverine Brass set, all brass with a big bolt head and nice heavy brass washers. Once it's in, he isn't going to have to come back. As we say repeatedly on here, you also want two brass washers, two rubber washers, and two nuts for each bolt, so you can double-nut the thing. Wolverine Brass only sells to plumbers, but you can find similar sets out there. To give you an idea, here's a photo of a good (if expensive) LASCO set [Model: 04-3675] that will set you back about $15, and I have linked to the manufacturer's product page below. There are doubtless less-expensive but high-quality sets out there.

    http://www.lasco.net/index.php?main_page=popup_image&pID=6234

    http://www.lasco.net/tank-bolts-c-2937_323_373/38-brass-close-coupled-bolts-p-6234.html#.VALmmfldVXp
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
    asktom likes this.
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    Rocket Scientist
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    Houston, TX
    I have a toilet with Rusted Bolt problems.

    I could not remove them to install new ones.

    Why they did not at least use Stainless bolts seems a bit silly to me.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2016
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]

    More rusting tank bolts. American Standard Cadet

    [​IMG]

    This is a pretty new bowl too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  7. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

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    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California



    Rusted bolts? don't try to remove them, cut the off instead (w/hacksaw - but don't damage the ceramic).
     
  8. flapper

    flapper Member

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    California
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    I would not use plastic as they tend to get brittle when they age, and could catastrophically fail...they are under some tension in order to be able to create the seal. Brass or SS is the only way to go IMHO.
     
  10. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

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    Location:
    California
    That's right, you never use plastic bolts or brass plated bolts on tank-to-bowl. Use only brass bolts.

    For the toilet seat, plastic bolts are fine.
     
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Plumber
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    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]

    Crane toilet. This one had a fair amount of rust too.
     
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    As an automobile magazine editor said many years ago when bumper jacks were common, "the only reason they are using fifty cent jacks is because they ran out of 25 cent ones". In other words, regardless of how little the difference between good and bad, when you spread it over a production run of many thousands, it becomes an issue.
     
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]

    This is quite a bit of rust on top of the bolt. Ever wonder why you have rust streaks going down the bowl?

    [​IMG]

    And looking a little better.
     
  14. plumber69

    plumber69 In the Trades

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    Jun 20, 2014
    Location:
    Prince Rupert, British Columbia
    Does everyone here use a hacksaw to get the rusted bolts off? Has anyone tried removing the fill valve and drilling the bolts out with a metal drill bit
     
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