Archive for Monday, November 26, 2012


Fix-It Chick: Replace a tank-to-bowl gasket

November 26, 2012


When a running toilet “ghost flushes” at intervals greater than 15 minutes apart, chances are the tank-to-bowl gasket needs to be replaced.

Replacing the tank-to-bowl gasket is usually done in conjunction with replacement of the flush valve. If the flush valve is functioning properly, replacing just the tank-to-bowl gasket should fix the problem.

Step 1: Turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush the toilet to remove most of the water in the tank.

Step 2: Place a towel beneath the toilet tank and unscrew the supply line from the fill valve.

Step 3: Remove the tank lid and place it in a safe place.

Step 4: Use a screwdriver and a closed-end box wrench to remove the nuts from the tank bolts on the underside of the tank and stool.

Step 5: Lift the tank from the stool and dump out the excess water inside the tank.

Step 6: Lay the tank on its side and use a large pair of groove joint pliers to remove the flush valve nut holding the tank-to-bowl gasket in place. If a large pair of groove joint pliers is not available, remove the nut by positioning a flathead screwdriver on one of the corner edges of the flush valve nut and hit the end of the screwdriver with a hammer to loosen the nut.

Step 7: Remove the old tank-to-bowl gasket and replace it with a new gasket.

Step 8: Place a paper gasket atop the tank-to-bowl gasket and hand tighten the flush valve nut into place.

Step 9: Once the nut is secure, use groove joint pliers or a hammer-screwdriver combination to tighten the nut at least another quarter of a turn. Overtightening the nut could crack the porcelain tank, but a loose nut will cause water to continue to seep out of the tank and into the stool.

Step 10: Position the tank onto the back of the stool and hand tighten the nuts onto the tank bolts.

Step 11: Place a level across the tank to assure the tank is level as the nuts are tightened. Continue to tighten the nuts with a closed-end box wrench, alternating between nuts until the tank is secure.

Step 12: Reattach the supply line, turn the water supply on and check for leaks. Give the toilet a quick flush to assure everything is working properly.

— Linda Cottin can be reached at


FlintlockRifle 5 years, 7 months ago

Do you make house calls, Miss Fix It Chick??? Good advice each week,

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