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Thread: Toasted tank seal 110 year old toilet. Hairline crack = cannot replace seal.

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member CanOfWorms's Avatar
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    Default Toasted tank seal 110 year old toilet. Hairline crack = cannot replace seal.

    I know the right way to do. Replace the seal. That will mean.
    1. cut rusty screws off wall.
    2. repair crumbly concrete wall.
    3. tank falls apart because of hairline crack.
    4. Pipe leading from tank to bowl breaks.
    5. Part of toilet where pipe connects breaks.
    6. Replacing bowl reveals flange is corroded beyond use.
    7. Wood around flange needs to be replaced.
    8. lead flange breaks off in concrete floor.
    9. Remove floor, joists to repair floor.
    10. Put it all back with new toilet.

    The seal between the valve seat and the tank got toasted when I tried to sweat the fill pipe in after it snapped off.
    I know it was stupid.
    Now it leaks and the seal is brittle and crumbly.
    I filled it and let it sit a week thinking it might swell and stop leaking. It did not.
    I drained the tank and it has been dry over a month now.
    Please don't tell me to replace the toilet.

    I was thinking that a PVC pipe rubber cement would be viscous or thin enough to seep into the seal and the gaps in the seal. Two or three applications of this with a baby medicine syringe to get it where I want it.
    I would then silicone it over that.


    I have some options.
    1. Silicone. Too thick to saturate the dry seal.
    2. PVC pipe cement. Thin enough to saturate seal.
    3. Contact cement. Not the right stuff.
    4. Epoxy. Too brittle tank moves a little.


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  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Or you may want to check and see if there are any old tanks around. I throw out the wall attached tanks every so often. I'm sure they do in NJ too.

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    DIY Senior Member CanOfWorms's Avatar
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    my big fear is that everything I try and remove or replace on that toilet will break right down to the pipe on the floor. so far everything else in the house has been like that since my username . example I want to sand a wall and a chunk of concrete fell out that was an old flu patch in the chimney

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    DIY Senior Member CanOfWorms's Avatar
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    is it crazy to think that the TVC glue will seep through the seal?

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I assume you meant "PVC" glue. There is a basic misunderstanding about PVC glue. This is not really glue as we generally thing of glue. It is a solvent that when connecting PVC pipe to a PVC fitting actually liquifies the top layers of both the pipe and fitting. When the pieces are slid together, the liquified surfaces blend together and form a chemically weld, not unlike welding steel where heat melts the steel and the molten steel blends. OK, now the chemistry lesson is over, here's my suggestion on what you likely need to do. First, keep in mind that although this is a forum for helping DIY plumbing jobs, not every plumbing job is a DIY project. You are dealing with a very antiquated toilet, and there just isn't much you can do to repair it other than to try to hack something and hope it works. I suggest it's time to face reality that this toilet has served it's purpose well, and it's time to be retired. I would urge you to consider doing that and getting a new up to date replacement. What may be required is a new flange connection to the drain which would best be done by a licensed plumber. Most of us on this forum prefer the Toto line of toilets, many models now require only 1.28 gallons of water per flush, and some only 1gallon or less! These are not the low flow models of 20 years ago that clogged frequently and were very unsatisfactory.

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    DIY Senior Member CanOfWorms's Avatar
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    Gary, thank you for pointing out that pvc cement is a solvent not a cement.
    Last edited by Terry; 02-17-2013 at 11:34 PM.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If things are that tough, it may be better to call around and offer to pick up a toilet that is otherwise being thrown away.

    I must chuck a dozen toilets in better shape than yours every week.

    Toilets in the last fifty years don't need a wall for support.
    You will be able to find inexpensive parts for them.
    they should work with your floor flange, even if it is lead.

    If you touch what you have, it may crumble, that is the chrome bend between bowl and tank.
    Normally a good repair is to pull the parts off, and find a new gasket. With care, that may even work here.
    The cracked tank is a problem though.

    I'm still thinking a few calls about throw away toilet may be a good idea.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member CanOfWorms's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the good advice. I need to try a quick fix first. I just don't have the time and money. If it were just a tank, no problem, just a seal, no problem, just a new toilet. No problem. But the 4" flange turns it into a big job. I just want to fix the toilet so my 4 year old stops peeing in his pants becuase he can't make it to the bathroom upstairs.
    I replaced the toilet up stairs, it had a4" in lead flange and you had to lean to one side because it was too close to the wall. I had to drill out the lead wool on that insert some sort of long.barbed rubber bushing so the 4" cast would accept the 3"flange and move the hole, patch the old hole. So I may not be plumber, but I know the drill. I'm gonna try gasket maker before I go down that road. I also like the old toilet.

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    DIY Senior Member CanOfWorms's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I just can't get into that project right now. I bought some contact cement and triple coated the burnt seal. This stuff dried hard, not like the rubber cement that they use in arts and crafts. I let it dry 24 hours and gave it whirl.

    Doesn't leak from there. Don't know how permanent, but I don't see why it wouldn't last a few years.

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