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How to Fix a Leaky Toilet Tank

Fixing a leaky toilet tank is a common plumbing repair that you can do yourself. Leaking toilet tanks can be repaired by changing out the rubber gaskets around the tank bolts and the spud washer, which can deteriorate and fail due to hard water and minerals.

For this project you'll need the following tools: a screwdriver, adjustable wrench, small wire brush, sponge, white vinegar, and rags. In addition, you'll want to pick up replacement tank bolt gaskets and a new spud washer.

1

Turn off the water at the shutoff valve below the tank.

Turn the shutoff valve clockwise.

2

Drain the tank completely.

Flush the toilet, and use a sponge to soak up any remaining water in the tank.

3

Hold one of the tank bolt nuts.

You have to use the adjustable wrench to hold the nut located on the underside of the tank bolt.

4

Unscrew the tank bolts with the screwdriver.

Use the screwdriver to loosen the tank bolt inside the tank. Repeat the process to remove the second bolt.

5

Remove the tank from the bowl and lay it down.

You might want a helper for this step.

6

Remove the old spud washer.

If the washer won't budge, try using an adjustable wrench to get it turning.

7

Insert the new spud washer.

Tighten the new spud washer over the spud nut.

8

Remove the bolts and gaskets, and then clean around the holes on the tank.

Use the wire brush to scrape off any of the old bolt gasket that may remain stuck to either the inside or the outside of the tank. You need a clean surface for the new gasket to seat and seal properly.

9

Place the new gasket onto each bolt.

Be sure that the gaskets are firmly seated onto the bolts.

10

Insert each bolt through the holes in the inside bottom of the tank and reinstall the nuts.

On the underside of the tank, reinstall the nuts onto the bolts and gently tighten them by hand until they’re snug.

11

Replace the tank on the bowl.

Alternating side to side, tighten the bolts and nuts (using the screwdriver and adjustable wrench) until the gaskets look like they’re seated.

Remember: When reattaching the tank to the bowl, just remember not to over tighten the bolts that secure the tank to the toilet base or you can easily crack the tank.

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