How To Remove Rusted Toilet Tank Bolts?

How To Remove Rusted Toilet Tank Bolts?

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Are you struggling to tackle the seemingly impossible task of removing rusted toilet tank bolts? This quick guide offers effective tips on how to remove those nasty old bolts with minimal effort and fuss.

Whether you’re a novice DIYer or an experienced plumbing professional, you’ll find simple steps and helpful advice that will get your job done in no time.

Let’s get started and take care of those rusty bolts once and for all.

Preparation For Removal

Before you attempt to remove toilet tank bolts, inspect the area and make sure that all necessary tools are available.


The tools needed will depend on the method you choose to remove your rusted toilet tank bolts but ideally you will have some of the following tools on hand:

If possible, use a piece of rag or cloth to cover your hands while handling the rusty parts.

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Turn Off Water & Drain

Taking the time to turn off your water supply and drain (flush) your toilet bowl of any remaining water is essential for a successful job.

Soak up residual moisture with a sponge or towel in the tank before loosening bolts, as this will help avoid too much runoff when you begin working on it.

Putting down an old rug or towels beneath can also protect against potential spills onto hardwood floors – making clean-up that much simpler.

Removing Rusted Toilet Tank Bolts

Removing rusted bolts can be a challenge, especially if they’ve been exposed to water for an extended period.

Before you start using a screwdriver, make sure it’s ready to tackle what lies ahead – many times when these kinds of screws are opened up their heads turn into dust.

How To Remove Rusted Toilet Tank Bolts?

Fortunately there is still hope as multiple options remain and with enough focus this task can easily be completed.

Methods To Remove Rusty Toilet Tank Bolts

The best way to remove a rusted toilet tank bolt will vary depending on the extent of its corrosion. For this reason, we’ve provided a few different methods below:

Pliers & Lubricants

Apply lubricant such as WD-40 or Liquid Wrench to the bolt head and use a pair of pliers to turn it counter-clockwise until it can be removed. This method works best if the bolt head has not been entirely eaten away by corrosion.

Hammer & Punch

For bolts with a severely corroded head, try using a hammer and punch to break it off then use an adjustable wrench or mini hacksaw to cut it out.

Using Bolt Cutters

If all else fails, you can try using bolt cutters to sever the rusted toilet tank bolt and replace it with a new one. Just be sure to measure the bolt size before cutting so that you get an exact fit.

How To Remove Rusted Toilet Tank Bolts?

For tougher bolts, you may need to employ a reciprocating saw with an appropriately sized blade that can be used to cut off the head of the bolt.

Installing New Toilet Tank Bolts

Once you’ve successfully removed the rusty bolts, it’s time to replace them. Before securing the new toilet tank bolts, make sure they are clean and properly lubricated to prevent future corrosion.

Depending on your preference you can either use brass or stainless steel screws – both will work great. Secure the bolts with a pair of pliers and check to make sure they are tight.

Finally, re-attach the toilet tank lid and turn the water back on.

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After following these simple steps you should now have a functional toilet with brand new bolts.


Removing and replacing rusted toilet tank bolts can be an intimidating task, but with the right tools and a bit of patience it can easily be done.

First, make sure you turn off the water supply and drain the toilet bowl before loosening the screws. Next, choose the right method for removing the bolts based on their level of corrosion; pliers and lubricants work best for screws with a relatively unscathed head whereas a mini hacksaw or reciprocating saw may be necessary for more severely corroded bolts.

Finally, install new toilet tank bolts, secure them tightly and then turn on the water supply.

Overall, removing and replacing rusted toilet tank bolts is not as difficult as it seems; just remember to take the necessary safety precautions and have the right tools on hand for each step of the process.

When done correctly, this job should go smoothly and the result will be well worth it.

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