Toto Drake II - tank moves easily when you touch it

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by wideglidejohnny, May 28, 2012.

  1. wideglidejohnny

    wideglidejohnny New Member

    Mar 4, 2012
    Central PA
    Hey everyone,

    I just had a Drake II installed and the installer pointed out that the tank swayed a little when you touched it.

    He thought that it was OK for it to do that and explained to me that it would take a little time for that rubber gasket to seat properly.

    There are no leaks anywhere and the toilet works great, but I'm half afraid to lean back on the tank because of this issue.

    Question? Is this swaying back and forth really normal? If so, any idea how long, if at all, this movement will stop?

  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Jan 5, 2008
    Test, Don't Guess!
    Land of Cheese
    He probably didn't tighten it down enough as he was afraid he would break it. Sometimes people try to tighten them down and they do break.

    IMO, one should never "lean back" on a toilet tank. Doing so puts stress on the connection point which could break the tank, even if it is installed properly.
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  4. wideglidejohnny

    wideglidejohnny New Member

    Mar 4, 2012
    Central PA
    Thanks CC,

    I don't know if he tightened it down enough or not, I just know it doesn't appear to be leaking anywhere.

    When I said about leaning back against the tank I didn't mean hard enough to put any stress on it. I guess you're probably right though about leaning back at all.

    Good advice.

    So, as long as I see no leaks should I just live with the movement or should I actually try to tighten the tank down some more?

    I'd hate to over tighten it and break something.

    Thanks again.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    The instructions say to tighten it so it makes contact. Now, I like to stick some pieces of thick paper under there and stop when I can just take them out. The key to doing this is to do it maybe 1/2-turn on each bolt, alternating sides so that it comes down evenly. Porcelain isn't springy, so if you get it tighter while it is in contact, it will break. But, you can get it tight enough so it won't perceptably move and not risk breaking anything. It's your choice, but if it is really loose, it might start to leak.

    I'm not sure if Toto includes 4 nuts with the tank bolts, but the best way to put the bolts in the tank is to use one on the bottom of the tank with a washer in between...tighten the nut so that the rubber gasket inside under the head of the bolt now is making a good seal, then set the tank on the bowl and use another nut and washer underneath to then hold the tank to the bowl. If you don't use one on the bottom of the tank, then you're relying on the tank/bowl tension to keep that sealed, which in the long term, may have problems. The tank/bowl big donut like gasket is fairly stiff, and that's the one that is holding the tank up off the WILL compress enough to get the tank in contact with the bowl, but as I said, I like to use pieces of paper as a feeler gauge and stop while I can still pull them out. This leaves only a few thousandths of an inch gap, but there's no obvious motion. If you were a pro and installed them every day, you'd know when to stop, but for a DIY'er, the paper as feeler gauges works great.
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  6. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Apr 27, 2012
    New York, NY
    TOTO uses a "three points of contact" approach on the Drake, but I don't know about the II. Because you are looking for contact in 3 places, it's easy enough to see on the Drake when you have it sitting correctly and have tightened enough. And when it's done so, the tank is firmly in place. One possibility is that the installer may not have put the sponge gasket on the bottom of the tank down squarely over the flush hole when starting to tighten, so that your tank may be actually pulling in a little at an angle. I have seen that on a toilet I fixed, and when I removed that tank and when replacing it started with the tank perfectly vertical, and then tightened slowly and alternatingly, pulling the tank straight down, the fit was amazingly better. The previous guy had even shimmed it to reduce wobble. In fact, just me installing it CORRECTLY resulted in no wobble with no need for tricks or fixes.

    Bottom line is that the tank shouldn't wobble, and Toto's china is consistent enough that it isn't a manufacturing tolerance defect. He just didn't do it right. You paid to have it put in by someone, and presumably you did that so it would be put in right. It wasn't, so call the company that sent him and have them send someone else to fix it right. You will be impressed when you see how well it works when it is done right.

    That "takes time to seat right" also sounds wrong to me. While maybe true in some cosmic sense, the flush nut sponge gasket is "seated" when it is properly positioned and then compressed into place by tightening the bolts. Given that the tank isn't supposed to move, I don't know what he thinks is going to cause it to seat better in the future in the sense of reducing wobble.

    Also, just because no water is coming out between the tank and the bowl doesn't mean that it has been tightened enough or angled correctly. That sponge gasket is firm but pliable, and it can block leakage today without being sufficiently-compressed for the long haul that's intended, or for the tank to be properly secured.

    Maybe he could have gotten some guidance by actually reading the directions. Maybe you would do well to print the installation instructions out (they are available online) and read them, so you know what the process should have been. Although it ain't that hard, the result isn't what it should have been. so it's likely that some aspect of the process wasn't what it should have been.

    EDIT: I went back and looked at the install instructions for the Drake II. It uses the same booklet as for the original Drake (i.e. one booklet for multiple model #s, including Drake II). So the three points of contact instruction goes for the Drake II as well, which makes it easier to see whether the tank is installed incorrectly.

    As to Jim's question, Toto does indeed instruct that you put a washer and nut on the bottom outside of the tank opposite the rubber washer and bolt head on the inside, then mount the tank on the bowl and put another washer and nut on the bolt to attach the tank to the bowl.

    FWIW, because I'm not persuaded that the tank is being pulled down level against the bowl, I wouldn't try just tightening it more; if it is already pressing against one or more of the points of contact but not the others, you could crack it. I would try to make sure that it starts off level, and is drawn down towards the bowl level through even tightening of the nuts. Again, I'm not a pro, but that's how I have gotten every one of my tanks, on new toilets and rehabbed ones, nice and level and wobble-free.
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
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