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How To Fix A Leaking Toilet Tank with Rusted Tank Bolts

Imagine one morning you went to your bathroom and suddenly saw your toilet tank was empty. That would be a really embarrassing situation, right?

But what can you even do then? 

So, how to fix a leaking toilet tank with rusted tank bolts?

There can be several reasons when your tank is leaking with rusted bolts. To fix it you need to cut off the toilet’s water supply first. Then flush the toilet, cut off the water line, and get rid of the tank bolts. After that remove the toilet tank from the bowl, inspect it well and fix it.

Follow the article to know the in-depth process!

Why Your Toilet Tank Leaks When the Bolts Are Rusted?

Bolts that are too loose are the primary reason for leaking toilet tanks. Even though this may sometimes be remedied by moderate tightening. But loose bolts are typically brought on by worn-out or corroded rubber or metal washers. 

A worn-out rubber washer might result in leaks since rubber degrades with time. Your toilet tank may also start to sway as a result:

  • Toilet tank fasteners are loose.
  • A watertight seal is no longer provided by old toilet washers.
  • Old and leaking are the gaskets that seal the tank to the bowl.
  • The toilet tank has a crack.

The rubber gasket in your toilet tank might also be the source of the leak. That joins the bowl and toilet tank. This gasket might be broken, toughened, squeezed, or old. The water in the tank may then leak as a result.

Last but not least, if the bolts in your toilet tank were ever overtightened, issues may arise. It may cause the tank of your toilet to fracture. A cracked toilet tank is prone to leaks.

You can get rid of your old bathroom exhaust fan which destroys your impression in front of guests. 

10 Easy Steps to Fix the Toilet Tank with Rusted Bolts

If water is dripping from the toilet tank bolts that is a problem. The rubber washers holding the bolts in place are probably rusted. 

To fix this, turn off the water supply to your toilet. Then flush the tank to clear it, and then take the tank out. 

The rubber gasket on the base of the tank has to be replaced. once the toilet bowl and tank have been separated.

The toilet tank may then be reinstalled after that. A fresh set of bolts and washers should be used, and they should be tightened with care. The leak will be stopped if your tank is not fractured.

By the way, while innovating your bathroom you can also install vinyl plank flooring in your bathroom. That makes your bathroom more good-looking. 

It could appear to be an expensive issue to solve if the bolts in your toilet tank are leaking. Any DIYer may, however, complete this work. To entirely stop toilet leaks, just adhere to our straightforward recommendations.

Cut off the toilet’s water supply

Find the water line that leads from the floor to the tank of your toilet. On this line, there needs to be an oval handle. Turn it all the way to the right for a snug fit (clockwise).

In order to securely empty and remove the tank, turn off the water supply to your toilet. This procedure doesn’t require a wrench. To stop the flow of water, you need only turn the valve handle manually.

Flush the Toilet

There will still be water in the toilet tank even if the water supply to it is shut off. To gain a clear view, remove the toilet tank cover. Then flush the toilet until the tank is empty.

It can need two or three flushes to complete. Your tank won’t refill if the water pipe is shut off. The tank bolts will now be simple to find and reach.

Cut off the water line

Find the location where the water line joins the bottom of the toilet tank before continuing. Usually, a plastic nut is used to secure it in place. To release and remove it, rotate this left (counterclockwise). 

Make careful to complete this action after flushing the toilet. If you don’t disconnect the water line, water will spill out of the tank and onto your floor.

Get rid of the tank bolts

To find the bolts anchoring your toilet tank to the bowl, look both inside the tank and under it. There are variants of toilets with two tank bolts and others with three. When all of the bolts have been located, remove the nuts with an adjustable wrench. 

Please refer to our tutorial on removing rusty toilet tank bolts. If your toilet tank bolts are hard to remove. The bolt heads spin instead of releasing, or the bolts are corroded.

Remove the Toilet Tank From the Bowl

Lift the toilet tank off the bowl gently by lifting it straight up. As soon as the old tank bolts have been removed. Place a towel or bath mat on the floor, and then place the tank on top of it. 

To make the subsequent stages easier to execute there is a trick. Turning the tank upside-down or on its side is a smart idea.

Verify the tank for cracks.

Take a closer look now that your tank is entirely detached from the rest of the toilet. Look for any porcelain fractures in the tanks inside and outside. Using a flashlight to get a good look is a smart idea. 

Cracks are typically visible close to the bolt holes. When a tank bolt is overtightened, this occurs. 

A tank with a crack is likely to leak and cannot be fixed; it must be replaced. You can go to the following stage as long as your tank doesn’t have any cracks.

Switch out the tank gasket

Replace the rubber gasket on the underside of the tank with the gasket from this all-purpose kit. You must begin your toilet maintenance program for leak prevention. Get rid of the old gasket by removing it. 

Your leak may have been caused by rubber that was brittle, damaged, or hard. A fresh gasket will help create a tighter seal and stop tank leaks. 

Make sure the new gasket fits tightly by pressing it firmly into place

Set the Toilet Tank in Its Proper Position

Reposition your toilet tank so that it sits on top of the bowl. After carefully lifting it to install your new toilet tank gasket. It’s a good idea to enlist assistance while removing or replacing a toilet tank. 

They might support lifting, balancing, and directing the tank. Line align the bolt holes in the tank after it is in place. In the toilet bowl, put them in the correct holes.

While doing this don’t forget to put your toilet float in the proper position

Put on Fresh Tank Bolts.

You are now prepared to install a new set of toilet tank bolts, complete with washers. Brass bolts are always preferable to stainless steel ones. Steel will move quickly, but brass won’t. 

Use a package of tank bolts that also includes premium rubber washers. This collection of brass toilet tank bolts is suggested. 

To appropriately tighten toilet tank bolts without breaking them or harming your toilet. Then slot the bolts into position and follow our precise instructions.

Let me suggest to you some new bolts for your convenience:

Tank Bolts
KOHLER 1024390 Accessory Pack- Tank, WhiteCheck Current Price
Fluidmaster Tank To Bowl Bolt & Gasket Kit 6102Check Current Price
American Standard AS738756-0070A Champion 4 Tank to Bowl GasketCheck Current Price

You can do all these gasket setups without any hesitation. 

Restart the Water Supply

Simply rejoin the water line to the toilet tank’s bottom. Once your new tank gasket and bolts are in place. To restart the flow of water into the tank, turn the water line valve to the left. Which is (counterclockwise). 

Allow the tank to full, and run a few test flushes. And check for leaks throughout the course of the following 24 hours. 

If there are any leaks, slowly tighten the tank bolts one-quarter turn at a time. Do it until the leak is stopped. 

So you are done with your job now. But if you are thinking of caulking around the bottom of your toilet will that be good? 


How do you fix a rusted toilet bolt?

Spray penetrating oil on the rusty bolts’ undersides and let it sit for 15 minutes to absorb. Try to loosen the toilet tank bolt nuts by using a tool. Cut the rusty bolts if they will not come loose. The bolts should be cut using a hacksaw, oscillating tool, or reciprocating saw.

Why do toilet anchor bolts rust?

The anchor bolts might rust from moisture surrounding the toilet’s base. In basements close to the sea, this moisture may occur from condensation or inadequate drainage. Or it may be the consequence of water leaking from the toilet due to an insufficient seal.

How tight should toilet tank bolts be?

No need for extremely tight bolts. In certain circumstances, hand tightening and a quarter-turn will do. It’s crucial to bear in mind that the toilet tank isn’t made to support heavy objects. To make sure the rubber seal between the tank and bowl is tight, the tank-to-bowl bolts are only present.


Hope you have got all steps on how to fix a leaking toilet tank with rusted tank bolts. So, don’t forget to maintain the steps well. If you maintain this well then you can get done with it very easily. 

If you have any more queries drop them in the comment section. I’ll try to reach you soon.

Till then stay happy!