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Thread: Toto Drake II tank leak - help me confirm conclusion, please

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member husbus's Avatar
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    Default Toto Drake II tank leak - help me confirm conclusion, please

    I bought my second Toto Drake II to install. The first one has been great. The second one has a slow but persistent leak from the tank. After taking the tank off and putting it back on 3 or 4 times with no luck, I propped it up on some step stools and filled it up with water. There's a slow leak where the plastic meets the porcelain by the large plastic nut around the flush opening. Before my last attempt to install the tank on the bowl, I tried to tighten this same nut, which made the leak slower, but didn't eliminate it. However, it already seemed quite snug, so I don't think I can make it any tighter without breaking something.

    Am I right that the large gasket that goes over the nut is not for stopping leakage between the valve assembly and tank, but only for sealing the connection between the tank and toilet? I.e., am I right in thinking that the store should give me a replacement for this brand new tank?

    Thanks a bunch!

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I'm thinking the "big nut" still isn't tight enough, but hang one for awhile and some of the real pros will chip in with their more experienced advice.



    James Love of Love Plumbing & Remodel snugging up the large nut.
    Last edited by Terry; 02-22-2014 at 04:29 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member husbus's Avatar
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    Thanks, Gary, but that's hard to imagine. I tightened it with some huge tongue-and-groove pliers that provide lots of torque, so I was a lot more worried about over-tightening than not having it tight enough.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If you have large pliers, then the nut off, check the inside of the tank and see if it's smooth or needs some sanding.
    Unless the tank is cracked, you should be able to seal it.

    There is a vinyl seal between the flush valve and the inside of the tank.
    Last edited by Terry; 09-03-2013 at 07:12 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member husbus's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! After Gary's post, I decided to go back in the garage and "feel" the nut with the pliers again, and tightened it a tad more. It's looking better so far. I'll check back in a couple of hours.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Once in awhile, the surface of the unglazed porcelain in the tank ends up being rough and you need some fairly significant pressure to create a seal. Terry's recommendation was to take it out, take some sandpaper and lightly run it over where the gasket seals to take off the surface roughness. It often only takes a few swipes, but it can make a difference. Course, tightening the nut to compress the gasket can do it, too. Dealer's choice.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    You are correct about the purpose of the rubber doughnut that goes over the plastic nut. It is not to seal the flush valve to the inside of the tank.

    The seal between flush valve and tank is on the INSIDE of the tank. It's rubber, and is on the bottom of the flush valve, and gets compressed against the bottom of the tank by tightening the nut on the outside.

    It's just like the seal around your tank-to-bowl bolts. You have a rubber washer inside the tank that is compressed against the tank by the bolt head on the inside and the nut and metal washer on the outside. Same with the fill valve. There is rubber on the bottom of the fill valve that is compressed against the bottom of the tank when you tighten the nut on the outside of the tank.

    That's why, when any of these leak, one alternative is to pull the device out of the hole and sand very lightly around the hole, to make sure that little non-smooth areas of porcelain aren't interfering with the ability of the rubber to make a seal.

    It's also why you don't want to use chlorine in-tank bowl cleaners -- you can see what happens if you degrade/dissolve that rubber inside the tank.

    And the general correct recipe for the big plastic nut is to tighten it as tight as you can by hand, then take that big channel-lock pliers you have and tighten it a half-turn more (1/4 turn past hand-tight for the fill valve). See Item 3 (illustration 4) on the new universal 2-piece toilet installation instructions from Toto: http://www.totousa.com/Portals/0/Pro..._TOILET_IM.pdf
    Last edited by wjcandee; 09-03-2013 at 08:13 PM.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Since everyone's hand strength is different, hand-tight and a 1/4-turn is a general guideline...it might take a bit more, but less if the surface is totally smooth.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    True that, Jim. But "hand-tight" doesn't mean as tight as you absolutely-positively-like-it-was-life-or-death can get it with your bare hands; it really just means twist it on there by hand until it stops moving and you can't turn it any further -- moderately-tight with no leverage. That's still going to be different among people, but less-different than if everyone was trying to twist it to their personal absolute max.

    That said, yep, it's definitely a guideline.

    And it's a half-turn on the flush nut, 1/4 turn on the fill valve nut, at least according to the latest Toto directions. (They now have one set of directions for all the two-piece toilets, and so we now have Type A, Type B and Type C fill valves.)

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    My point being, my 86-year old mother's 'hand-tight' is a lot different than mine, even if she got it as tight as she could, I could easily turn it more without straining.

    Basically, try the guideline, and if it still leaks a little, it won't break anything if you give it a little bit more. The skill is in knowing when to stop!
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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