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Thread: Tank seal started leaking, no seals seem to fit

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member DoIt's Avatar
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    Default Tank seal started leaking, no seals seem to fit

    I bought a fixer upper house (again) and I am generally handy enough to get just about anything done. But sometimes just not knowing the details is a killer. Searing for info I stumbled onto this site and thought I would give it a shot.

    In this case, my first problem is I can't tell what type of toilet this is. Looks pretty decent and has "Made in USA" cast into the inside of the tank along with Jun 18 of '84. But no other identifying (to me) markings I could find. There is something under the bowl lip where the tank bolts down, but darn if I can read it. Looks like maybe RR mirrored over/under on once side, the other looks like maybe 4 or 5 half formed letters or so, doesn't look like "Delta" or anything that registers for me.

    The seal socket in the bowl looks like it takes a seal a bit over 1/2" thick and 3.25 diameter. So I got the Fluidmaster 10065 "kit". Everything looks about right, but the old gasket must have been softer as the hex retaining collar/nut pressed in and deformed the now leaking seal. The new seal looks just about perfect, but is too hard to deform for the hex collar without likely (I think?) breaking the tank. There were also what appeared to be 2 lead-like stripe on each side that kept the tank from rocking. These were maybe 1/8 thick or less, and I would need something at least 3/8" thick for this new seal to work without some heavy bolt clamping that seems unreasonable. And the "kit" didn't come with spacers, so not sure what to do about that.

    Hopefully some of this rings a bell. I bought one of everything the local larger Home Depot had in stock that looked close, and none looks even close to right except this one. I can try to find a plumbing supply, but being a "made in USA" tank, I expected to find readily available parts.

    One final note, if nothing else works out, I guess I'll replace the whole discharge tube. But the gasket inside looks pretty bad, so maybe that's the right course anyway.

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A lot happens in nearly 30-years! Manufacturers are only 'required' to keep parts around for 10-years on certain things, although the design may be common, and they may keep things. Any rubber parts could be expected to be toast in that timeframe. Are you talking about the seal between the bottom of the tank and the bowl? On many toilets, at first, it seems like they are too thick, and you could never get the tank tightened down enough to make it come in contact with the bowl. Usually, though, you can. First, it often works best if you use four nuts on the tank/bowl anchors. Under the head of the bolt, use one rubber washer in the tank, then on the bottom of the tank, use one metal washer and a nut. Tighten that up firmly so the that it creates a good seal in the tank. Then, use a second nut and washer to anchor it to the bowl. WHen tightening, keep the bowl square and plumb while tightening the two nuts evenly, a little bit on each side while alternating from side-to-side. If the proper gasket is used, normally, the tank will be able to come into contact with the bowl and be stable. If you don't feel comfortable doing that (or the gasket really is incorrect) and it doesn't leak, you may need something there to keep it from wobbling. Many of the newer toilets have little spacers or legs on the tank that are supposed to make contact with the bowl to keep thing stable. If the use of a second nut and washer on the tank would raise the thing too high so those (if they exist) can't make contact, then you need something else in there to take their place. Be creative...it doesn't really matter.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Don't imagine this will really answer your question, but maybe give you some direction. First, if you could post some photos of this beast, probably some of the pros like HJ could ID it. Second of all, your 1984 toilet is an obsolete water hog. In your location, this is something you should give serious consideration to replacing it with a decent low flow toilet such as a Toto Drake. BTW Big Box Stores don't sell them.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member DoIt's Avatar
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    Wow, that was quicker than expected. Thanks!

    On modern replacement, I agree. But this is in the "guest bathroom" and hardly ever used. I may wind up there, but seemed impractical at this point. The main is and master bathroom will be updated with remodel.

    On tightening down, ok, I'll give it a try. As stated, quality or not, it's old, and if it breaks, maybe good excuse for a new toilet.

    Otherwise, I've got information on a real plumbing supply with good service on this side of town (still learning) that I'll hit up tomorrow. Either for a different gasket, a complete down tube assembly, or a new toilet as the case may be...

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member DoIt's Avatar
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    Well, I guess I was just too timid. It pulled down pretty nice to a point, then got very stiff, long before the inner nuts came down to the bowl surface. Still got a 1/4" gap in there (nuts are thin, came in kit), but so far no leaks, and it REALLY doesn't want to go any further. However, if the tank didn't back right against the wall, it would be completely unacceptable with the wobble. I'm taking the old washer to a real plumbing shop tomorrow to see what they say and have, may come back apart then...

    Thanks for the help, I'll be saving this forum for the future!

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