Installing A Toilet Tank. A Step-By-Step Guide

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Last Updated on August 23, 2022 by acechapman

Two-piece toilets are more likely to need to be replaced than the bowl. If this is the case, then this article will show you a step-by-step guide to installing a toilet tank.

Toilet tanks are attached to the top of the bowl with 2 or 3 bolts. To prevent leakage and wobbling, each bolt is reinforced with rubber and metallic washers.

To prevent toilet bowl leakage, a toilet tank-to-bow gasket is installed outside the flush valve. The tank is connected to the water shutoff valve via a supply line.

You may have to first remove your old tank before installing a toilet tank.

Before you Install the Toilet Tank

  1. The old toilet tank should be emptied
  2. Take out the old toilet tank
  3. Install the new toilet tank
  4. Connect water supply to the toilet

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. New toilet tank
  2. Toilet tank gasket
  3. All parts of the toilet tank
  4. Bolts, nuts, and washers for toilet tank
  5. Adjustable wrench
  6. Flathead screwdriver
  7. Empty Bucket    
  8. Sponge
installing a toilet tank

How To Install A Toilet Tank?

Turn Off The Toilet Water Supply

Locate the shutoff valve on the rear wall of your toilet near the floor to turn off the water supply. It’s usually located on the left hand. Then, turn it clockwise.

Some toilets have a push/pull valve. Pull the handle of the valve outwards in this instance.

Drain The Toilet Tank

  • To ensure that as much water as possible is drained, flush the toilet and also keep the handle down.
  • Then, place the lid on the toilet tank and remove it.
  • You will find water at the bottom of your tank that has not been drained. You can soak the sponge with water and then squeeze it into the bucket.
  • Disconnect the water supply line. The water supply line is a stainless-steel braided water line that runs from the shutoff valve to the tank. It connects to the fill valve underneath the toilet tank. Before you use a wrench, it is best to first loosen the coupling by using your hand.

Remove The Old Toilet Tank

Attach the toilet tank to the bowl by using two or three long bolts. These bolts run through the tank’s interior and are secure from beneath the bowl with nuts and washers. Use the following steps to remove the toilet tank:

  • Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the bolts that attach the tank to the bowl.
  • Spray the nuts with a penetrating oil such as WD-40 if they look corroded or too tight40t. Then, wait 15 minutes before trying again.
  • If the bolt is not swiveling on the other side, you can then use a long screwdriver as a guide to keeping it in place inside the tank. The wrench will loosen the nut below.
  • However, some nuts may get rusty to allow for oil penetration. To remove the nut, you can use a hacksaw blade. Hacksaw blade because the entire hacksaw can’t fit into that small space.
  • The toilet tank will be loose if you remove the nuts.
  • Then, you can dispose of this toilet tank if it is not in use.
installing a toilet tank

Install The New Toilet Tank

It is important to replace all bolts and nuts on the toilet tank when installing a new tank.

  • Place the toilet tank on its side on a flat surface. It is best to not do it on top of the toilet bowl as you could easily break it.
  • Insert a steel washer into the bolt of your toilet tank. Then, insert a rubber washer. Repeat the process for the second bolt.
  • Insert the bolts into the holes in the tank from the inside. This is where you want to make sure that the rubber washer contacts the tank. If you tighten too much, this will prevent it from cracking.
  • Install a rubber washer under the tank. Next, place a bolt and a steel washer. Finally, install a nut. Make sure that the rubber washer contacts the tank’s body.
  • Tighten the nuts on the bolts by hand.
  • Place the screwdriver into the tank. Engage the bolt head with the wrench while tightening the nut at the end of the handle.
  • The valves will be pre-installed with your new toilet tank. Make sure the fill valve lock nuts at the bottom are tight.
  • Slide the toilet tank into the bowl gasket until it fully covers the lock nut.
  • Then, mount the toilet tank on top of your toilet bowl using the 2 holes in the bowl to direct the protruding bolts.
  • After the tank has settled on its side, place a rubber washer on top. Next, add a steel washer to each bolt. Use a wrench to tighten each bolt alternately.
  • To ensure the tank remains level, you need to tighten the bolts alternately. It will lean to one side if you tighten it first. To avoid cracking the bowl, however, don’t overtighten it.

Reconnect The Toilet Water Supply

  • Connect the water supply line to the tank. You should not tighten the coupling to the tank by hand. You might bend it if you use a wrench to tighten it.
  • Then, turn on the water shutoff valve, and allow the water to fill the tank.
  • To check for leaks between the toilet tank & the bowl, flush the toilet several times.
  • Once everything is working properly, cover the tank by putting the lid on.

How To Install A Kohler Toilet Tank?

The new Kohler toilet tanks are different than other toilet tanks. For instance, Kohler Cimarron toilet tanks will not need bolt holes.

Kohler toilet tanks use the DryLock method for installing their toilet tanks. Kohler uses a bracket to install the toilet tank. Instead of drilling holes in the tank’s bottom, Kohler attaches bolts to the bracket.

To complete this method, you will need 3 bolts. Simply remove the bracket bolts and place the tank in the bowl. Once complete, tighten the bolts by using the nuts underneath the bowl. This is faster and prevents the toilet bowl from leaking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to only replace the toilet tank?

Yes, if the toilet bowl is in good condition but the tank has cracks, you can replace it. When ordering a replacement, be sure to note the model number. You can find the model number of your toilet by looking inside the tank that is against the wall.

How tight should a tank for a toilet be?

When tightening a toilet tank you should ensure it is snug enough to stop it from wobbling but not so tight that it cracks. Use rubber washers with steel washers. To prevent cracking, rubber washers should contact the toilet tank body.

Are toilet tanks universal?

No. Before purchasing a new toilet tank, be sure to keep track of the model number. You can find this number on the toilet tank wall or on the manufacturer’s website.

Some Kohler toilet tanks only use 3 bolts, and there are no bolt holes. You can’t install these toilet tanks if your toilet bowl has 2 holes.

Can you mix and match the tank and toilet bowl?

Mixing and matching toilet bowls with tanks is possible, but it is not recommended. The correct toilet tank will make a toilet bowl work optimally. Toilet bowls come in different sizes and must match the right size of the toilet tank flush valve.

Wrapping Up

Replacing the toilet tank alone is the best option if you are looking for a way to save money. It shouldn’t take long to get a new toilet tank as long as it isn’t an old model.

We hope you find this guide to installing a toilet tank helpful in deciding which model and type is best for your bathroom.

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