The question of should my toilet tank wobble is frequently posed, and the answer is no. Besides this, if you find water gathering around the base of your toilet, it’s likely a leaking wax ring, but it can be the tank bolts are leaking.
Unfortunately, such leaks can cause rotted wood, hence the wobbly toilet.
Two or three bolts connect your toilet tank to the bowl, and rubber washers are usually placed with the bolts from the interior of the tank to prevent leaks.
However, toilet tank bolts can loosen, corrode, or the rubber washers or rubber gasket wear with time and cause the toilet tank to leak.
If this happens, you’ll need to replace the toilet tank to bowl gasket simultaneously as replacing toilet tank bolts. Usually, the gasket is outside the flush valve, where the tank rests on the toilet flange bowl. (Read Unclogging A Toilet With Baking Soda)
How Tight Should Toilet Tank Bolts Be?
Because toilets are made of vitreous china, putting too much stress on them can cause them to crack when you tighten toilet tank bolts too much.
The ideal way is to hand-tighten your nuts on the tank bolts and quarter-turn each nut using an adjustable wrench. Alternate tightening, so you tighten level rather than one side and then the other.
Fix your toilet tank bolts with a screwdriver and an adjustable wrench. Concerned about people busting toilet tanks during home installations? Using the suggestions below will ensure a functional, crack-free toilet.
The toilet tank bolts must be tightened by sight and feel. Your toilet’s tight connection may not be the same as your neighbors’ tight mounting bolts.
Check if the tank wobbles or leaks after. You can then tighten the bolts a little each time if your tank appears loose or doesn’t seal the water.
After your tank sits snug, monitor it for 24 hours. If it leaks, then tighten the bolts until you stop the toilet leaking from tank bolts. (Read Bolt Sizes Chart)
If you tighten toilet tank bolts too much, you can crack the toilet tank or the bowl.
Use a suitably sized wrench as a large wrench; you can easily place too much torque on the toilet bolts.
Top Tips of How to Tighten Toilet Tank Bolts
Most toilet tank bolt kits sold include rubber washers, but you may need extras to ensure your tank sits level.
Wherever metal or a plastic washer is sitting against porcelain, use a rubber washer to separate your porcelain and metal washer once the bolt is tightened.
Inside your toilet tank, you’ll need a rubber washer against the bottom of the toilet tank and a metal flat washer on top, followed by the bolt head.
On the outside of your toilet tank, you’ll have a rubber washer against the porcelain and a metal washer secured by a nut.
This system needs rubber washers on the inside of your toilet tank and the underside of the bowl flange, where your tank connects to the bowl.
The rubber washers protect the toilet tank while tightening as they flex and absorb strain and stress to avoid cracking.
You can slide a replacement gasket between the flange and the tank and make sure it is sitting flush against the front edge.
Quarter-Turn and Hand-Tighten
- Thread the nuts onto the toilet tank bolts after the washers. Tighten the nuts using your fingertips.
- Hand-thread the nut on the tank bolts.
- Tighten the nut.
- Adjust all tank bolts before continuing.
- After finger-tightening the nuts, quarter turn each nut with a wrench.
- After hand tightening the nut counterclockwise, use a small wrench or socket wrench to tighten each nut a quarter turn.
- To achieve a quarter turn, tighten the nut and turn it 90 degrees.
- Hand-tightening and a quarter-turn are sometimes enough.
- Remember, a toilet tank isn’t designed to support heavy loads, and the tank-to-bowl fasteners are just there to provide the rubber seal and make them leak-proof.
- Check for wobbling in the tank because a loose tank and toilet can cause issues in the sewer line.
Tighten Bolts Equally
Tightening toilet tank bolts requires modest increments and equal tension on each bolt. After slightly tightening one screw, tighten the other bolts to the same degree. Slowly tighten each bolt so it results in a level toilet tank that can’t wobble.
Inspect Rubber Washers
As you tighten the bolts, watch the rubber washers inside and outside the toilet tank. Stop tightening when the rubber washers on each side flatten, crush, or distort under pressure. Torquing the bolts any farther can crack your toilet.
Fix a Loose Toilet Tank
- Under the bowl are the tank bolt nuts.
- Tighten with an adjustable wrench.
- If they spin instead of tightening, get inside the tank.
- Turn off the toilet’s water. The shut-off valve is behind the toilet.
- Flush the WC.
- With one hand, hold the loose bolt head in the tank while tightening nuts underneath the bowl.
- Examine your tank for leaks.
1. Empty Your Tank
- Turn off the toilet’s water. You must turn the shut-off valve clockwise or pull it entirely out if it is a push/pull valve.
- Flush the toilet while holding the handle down.
- Remove the toilet tank cover.
- Soak up any remaining water from the tank’s bottom with a sponge and squeeze it into the bowl.
- Disconnect the tank’s water supply pipe. Unless the supply coupling is tight, use a wrench to separate it.
2. Remove Your Toilet Tank
- Loosen the tank bolts with the wrench. This is done from under the bowl, near the nuts.
- If the bolts are spinning instead of loosening, use a screwdriver.
- With one hand, engage the toilet bolt head while loosening the nut with the wrench.
- If the toilet tank bolts are rusty or overly tight, remove the nuts. Because the space is limited, use a hacksaw blade to cut the nuts.
- Remove the toilet tank and lay it on a cloth or rag on your bathroom floor.
- To connect your tank bolts to the tank, use another pair of nuts and washers. Disconnect them with a screwdriver and a wrench.
Examine the toilet flange gasket for damage. It can be reused if it is in good shape, else it must be replaced.
3. Replace Toilet Tank Bolts
Tank bolts include rubber and metal washers. Ensure that the rubber washers are in touch with the tank’s body before replacing them. This creates a watertight seal and absorbs shock when tightening the bolts, preventing breaking. (Learn How To Replace Hose Bib)
- Put a metal washer on each bolt and push them through the holes from the inside.
- The bolts protrude from the tank’s bottom. Insert a rubber washer, a metal washer, and a nut, then hand tighten on each bolt.
- Tighten the toilet bolts with a wrench, but not too much, or the porcelain may break.
- Assemble the toilet tank to the bowl gasket and ensure the bowl is secure in the drain pipe.
4. Install Your Toilet Tank
- Lift the toilet tank and slide the bolts through the mounting holes in the toilet bowl.
- On each bolt, put a rubber washer, then a metal washer, and a nut.
- Bolt equally to tighten the bolts one bolt at a time with even pressure. To keep the tank level on the bowl, tighten the bolts. It is a good practice to use a torpedo level on the top of your tank.
5. Connect the Water
- Reconnect the toilet’s water supply line. Remember to keep this connection hand tight. Using the wrench may oval the coupling.
- Open the shut-off valve and fill the tank.
- Examine the snug toilet tank for leaks.
- If the toilet’s floor and tank are dry, you can replace the lid.
To summarize, replace toilet tank bolts. Leaking toilet tank bolts should be repaired immediately. Aside from wasting water and cluttering your bathroom, a long-standing issue may cause deterioration of the floor or subfloor.