Need confidence to replace Toto toilet tank

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Old 12-18-19, 05:05 PM
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Need confidence to replace Toto toilet tank

It's a sad tale of woe.

All the rubber parts (2 washers & tank-to-bowl gasket) in my 3 Toto 2-piece toilet tanks were disintegrating. First visible sign was black rubber in one toilet bowl. Turns out the rubber parts in the other 2 were disintegrating, too.

I've rarely had good luck with this kind of work. I usually end up with a tiny drip or just water seepage I don't know how to cure.

So this time, I didn't touch anything and called in the pros at $150/hour. 2 guys showed up. One seemed more experienced than the other.

Visit 1: they replaced the tank-to-bowl kits (nuts, bolts, washers) and swapped 1 flapper for a tower.
Result: 1 toilet leaked water on the floor after 2 days. Another had seepage. 3rd toilet OK. Guess which guy worked on the 2 toilets that failed.

Visit2: they removed & re-seated the tanks on the 2 leaking toilets.
Result: 1 toilet still seeped at one bolt. Other 2 now OK.

Me: tired of these guys, tried gentle tightening of the bottom nut on the one seeping toilet tank.
Result: I cracked the tank. Luckily, I'd drained the water.

Remember, this was all due to preventive maintenance to simply replace worn rubber. Sigh.

Today, I bought a replacement tank, which, pleasant surprise, includes all the innards: flush valve, drain valve, gasket, etc. So all nice fresh parts.

The installation instructions seem simple and detailed enough, including how much to tighten all the nuts. I feel like I could do it at least as well (ha) as the pros. But I'm an amateur and I'm nervous.

Anyone have any pro tips for me so I can get this seemingly simple job done right? Is this a 1-person job, or will I need a helper?

Toto toilet model CST743E.
 
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Old 12-19-19, 03:30 AM
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tried gentle tightening of the bottom nut on the one seeping toilet tank.
Result: I cracked the tank
So you are now aware that there are torque limits so that was a lesson learned.

So I would assume you used some type of tool which allowed you to apply too much torque, next time start with just finger tightening, assess the situation, and if needed just make small incremental adjustments.

There is that sweet spot for everything, just need to slowly find it!
 
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Old 12-19-19, 04:07 AM
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I like to use tank hold down bolts that have a rubber gasket on both sides of the tank and a nut just to tighten the bolt together onto the tank. Then a separate nut to hold the tank on the bowl. They are easier to get to seal with less chance to crack the tank.
 
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Old 12-19-19, 04:10 AM
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Working on a toilet is typically a 1-person job, in part because there's usually not a lot of room for two.

In terms of advice, first make certain everything is aligned when you start. Second, use a rubber washer so the fitting need not be very tight. Third, hand tighten each side a little at a time to make certain the unit remains aligned as you go forward. Fourth, add a cup or so of water to make certain it's tight and tighten more side to side as needed. Keep in mind that the bowl only need be tight enough to not leak. Fifth, put a little toilet paper between the tank and toilet and check it from time to time for a day or so.
 
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Old 12-19-19, 11:39 AM
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Thanks for the replies!

So I would assume you used some type of tool which allowed you to apply too much torque, next time start with just finger tightening, assess the situation, and if needed just make small incremental adjustments.
The tool was a screwdriver on the bolt while I held the nut in my fingers. My incremental adjustment just wasn't small enough.

I like to use tank hold down bolts that have a rubber gasket on both sides of the tank
That sounds like a good idea. I assume you still put the metal washer under the rubber one and the added height of the rubber washer doesn't hurt anything? The Toto kit just has a metal washer for under the tank, but I have spare rubber ones.

Second, use a rubber washer so the fitting need not be very tight.
There's a rubber washer inside the tank. Do you also use one under the tank as Pilot Dane said?
 
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Old 12-19-19, 12:58 PM
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The images are small but I hope they clarify things.



 
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Old 12-19-19, 02:16 PM
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Thanks for all the help. The job is done! Now to see whether it stays dry.
 
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Old 12-19-19, 02:22 PM
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There's a rubber washer inside the tank. Do you also use one under the tank as Pilot Dane said?
I've done it without one but you can consider it insurance. In other words ...

Sometimes you use a belt. Sometimes you use suspenders. But when you want to make certain your pants stay up use a belt and suspenders.
 
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Old 12-20-19, 06:17 AM
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This is why the last time I bought a toilet, I bought a 1-piece! It was more difficult to install due to the extra weight, but worth it to avoid future aggravation.
 
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Old 12-20-19, 10:31 AM
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Hooray, it's still dry the morning after! Woot!

This is why the last time I bought a toilet, I bought a 1-piece! It was more difficult to install due to the extra weight, but worth it to avoid future aggravation.
Shortly after moving in to my house, I replaced an old 5 gallon monster with a more modern 1.6 gal toilet. I felt very sorry for the guy who had to carry that big heavy 1-piece down the 90-degree turn in the stairs. But I agree a 1-piece is easier to maintain for an amateur like me.
 
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