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#4749322 - 05/06/18 01:21 PM Toilet Leak Question
SWS Offline

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 347
Loc: Tennessee
I have 2 American Standard toilets, both over 25 years old. I maintain them myself, and have been successful replacing every component & gasket over those years. Rather cold, high-clorine city water is not friendly to the internals, so maintenance is to be expected. However, I recently have a drip around the 2 tank hold-down bolts that I have been unable to fix with several new bolt & gasket kits, even with readjustment. Suspected reason -> I recently discovered that someone is leaning on the tank as a backrest. Informal comment from a plumber is that if you crack the seal one time, then it will continue to drip.
-> 'User education' ( i.e. No Leaning! ) is not an option.
-> Inner tank surface is not smooth (years ago, I smoothed-out the porcelin a bit with a Dremel tool.
I just took off the peaks - it helped.
-> Drip is worse when then incoming water gets really cold in the winter (gasket shrinkage).

I wonder if in my next repair attempt that I should add some sealant under the new rubber washer, inside the tank?
If so, what should I use? I'm thinking of something that stays flexible when submerged, can withstand cold water, will not leach-out to discolor the water, is compatible with the seal material, will 'grab' rough porcelin, but can be scrapped off when necessary.
I am thinking just a little flexible sealant on the uneven tank surface will help considerably.

All I know to buy are solid brass bolts with rubber/fiber washers in kits from common sources. A few years ago, solid brass bolts were hard to find, but I think I have a source now. Overall, I am not impressed with quality of the rubber/fiber washers. If you can recommend some better kits or gasket material I can cut myself, then that would be great.

Note: I ensure everything is clean and dry before reassembly. After cleaning, I direct a fan on the inside of the tank for about 2 hours. I also recheck bolt torque, without overtightening. I think my technique is OK, the materials are lacking. ...and of course the blasted 'leaning' stresses everything...!

Thank you for your help!


#4749335 - 05/06/18 01:36 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: SWS]
Reddy45 Offline

Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 3077
Loc: USA
I have the exact same leak during cold weather. It actually corroded the brass bolts so there was a mysterious blue liquid leaking behind the toilet (I don't use those cleaner tabs).

Interested to see what fixes are proposed.

But you gotta train that person to not lean back. They should be leaning forward anyway to improve "passage" due to how the intestines are shaped.

#4749349 - 05/06/18 01:45 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: SWS]
edwardh1 Offline

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 3038
Loc: Coastal South Carolina
dry toilet tank, coat bolt heads and around the heads with silicone sealant
let dry
These products are all new every year?? They are a revolution!!! Razor blades, mens shirts, TVs, wiper blades, gutter guards, hearing aids... according to the ads. But also all new last year

#4749361 - 05/06/18 01:58 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: SWS]
George7941 Offline

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2182
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Just checking, you do not have any metal washers inside the tank, do you? Just the bolt and the rubber washer goes inside the tank.
2006 GMC Sierra 4.3l, NV3500,G80 , Mobil 1 5W30, Dexcool.
1987 BMW R80 - sold
2015 Honda CBR300R

Staying out of the right lane a lot.

#4749364 - 05/06/18 01:59 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: edwardh1]
fordman65 Offline

Registered: 08/08/12
Posts: 130
Loc: Kentucky
97 Mercury Gran Marquis GS
4.6L V-8 250K
Castrol FS Edge or Castrol FS HM 5W or 10W 30
Kendall Semi-Synthetic 5W-20,5W-30 or 10W-30
WIX Oil 51372 or K&N HP 2010 Oil Filter

#4749369 - 05/06/18 02:07 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: SWS]
JamesBond Offline

Registered: 12/13/06
Posts: 891
Loc: midwest
Do you use a nut in the middle? How many washers and rubber gaskets are you using, and where? I would think that leaning on the tank would put stress on the lower nut at the bowl but that the bolt head and nut sandwiching the tank should stay in place. Maybe a new one piece toilet would be a more permanent solution.

#4749372 - 05/06/18 02:08 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: SWS]
rollinpete Online   content

Registered: 03/20/17
Posts: 538
Loc: West Ma.
Get some of this, iv'e tried it pretty good stuff.

97 Ford Expl.Sport 4.0 ohv 4wd 5spddrive183k miles
Last Change;
Penn. Plat. HM. 5w30
Fram xg8a, Fram CA8141

I like my oil (slippery).

#4749397 - 05/06/18 02:36 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: SWS]
bruckus Offline

Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 309
Loc: Minnesota
I did silicone around my bolts at one time. Last winter I decided to replace our old toilets with comfort height,elongated and 1.28 gallon Kohlers. Wish we would of did it sooner. The flush is great and they are way more comfortable.

#4749398 - 05/06/18 02:37 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: SWS]
SWS Offline

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 347
Loc: Tennessee
Thanks for the replies & ideas thus far!

Per question, yes, I use a nut in the middle. No washer inside tank.
The order from inside the tank (just like kit instructions):
Bolt Head
Thin nut

I have priced a one-piece toilet several places, the recommended ones are SO expensive!

#4749405 - 05/06/18 02:59 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: edwardh1]
Char Baby Offline

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10192
Originally Posted By: edwardh1
dry toilet tank, coat bolt heads and around the heads with silicone sealant
let dry

This is what I did as well(RTV) and it's held nicely for several years now.

'06 Mazda 3i 2.0L-FOR SALE NOW!
'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic LX(17K)

#4749406 - 05/06/18 03:03 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: SWS]
mk378 Online   content

Registered: 09/27/15
Posts: 1490
Loc: USA
Shim between the tank and the wall so that if someone leans on the tank, the force is transferred to the wall instead of the tank to bowl joint.

#4749408 - 05/06/18 03:04 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: SWS]
Nukeman7 Offline

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 241
Loc: Virginia, USA
If you cannot teach the offender to stop leaning on the tank, the problem will inevitably return in the future. I'd use RTV silicone sealant as suggested by a few, but I would also address the issue by installing a "brace" between the back of the tank and the wall such as a 2" x 4" to limit the flexing to a minimum. It would be easy to do when you unbolt the tank to reseal it.

#4749428 - 05/06/18 03:31 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: bruckus]
CT8 Offline

Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 11501
Loc: Idaho
Originally Posted By: bruckus
I did silicone around my bolts at one time. Last winter I decided to replace our old toilets with comfort height,elongated and 1.28 gallon Kohlers. Wish we would of did it sooner. The flush is great and they are way more comfortable.
I replaced my toilets 3 years ago with low flush volume toilets and they flush great . If in the budjet I also recommend new toilets.
"Don't let your preconceived notions get in the way of facts."
Geoff Metcalf

#4749470 - 05/06/18 04:34 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: SWS]
bugeye Online   content

Registered: 04/10/15
Posts: 85
Loc: Pennsylvania
Careful with the new low flow toilets. The lack of water flow may not carry the paper through the drain piping. Old cast iron is rough inside as compared to the plastic. Multiple flushes help. Otherwise, plan on snaking the drains.

#4749503 - 05/06/18 05:27 PM Re: Toilet Leak Question [Re: SWS]
walterjay Offline

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 270
Loc: Maryland
If silicone does not work, you probably have a hairline crack in the tank.

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