Can you remember the last time you opened your toilet tank? It probably has been a while. We easily ignore the toilet tank in our toilets, because we rarely have to open it. This is unlike the toilet bowl and the toilet seat that you regularly use.
If you are wondering what your toilet tank is, it is the tank that holds the water. Once you flush your waste, the tank pushes out water to ensure the waste finds its way into the sewer. Many times, we don’t pay attention to this tank. Other times, we use it as a shelf where we place things such as toilet paper.
However, when your toilet tank stops work, it catches your attention. You will no longer be able to flush, and that will make you uncomfortable. It can also be frustrating as your toilet may start to have some awkward smell.
When this happens, several questions will run through your mind. This includes whether toilet tanks are universal, the cost of replacement, toilet tank bolt sizes, and so on. This article helps you understand how to make the best decision on your toilet tanks.
Read: Toilet Flushes Slowly and Incompletely (This will FIX it!)
Are Toilet Tanks Universal Fit?
The first question that comes to mind is whether toilet tanks are universal. Homeowners ask this question because it lets them know how they can conveniently get a replacement. Because if toilet tanks are universal, then you can get any toilet tank from the next store and call an expert to fix it for you.
However, the answer to the boggling question is not straightforward. Whether or not toilet tanks are universal depends on a few factors. One of the significant factors that determine this is how standardized your unit is. This is why homeowners should ensure they purchase toilet units that are common and standard.
If you use gravity toilets, you stand a high chance of getting a replacement without worries. This is because these toilets have become industry standards and common in homes. So, you are likely to get the universal fits that will match. Most of the inner pieces of your old tank will fit into a new one conveniently.
Second to gravity toilets are dual flush systems. They are also fast becoming standards in the industry. This makes them a good option, and getting a replacement should not be difficult. With these standard toilet systems, you can reach out to the next store and rest assured that you will get a fitting tank.
However, a pressure-assisted unit may take some time more than the two above. They are not as standard as the two and, as such, may require some searching. If you use this toilet, you may have to go from one store to the other. But, if you search carefully, you will get the choice that matches your toilet pieces.
Regardless of your type of toilet, keep the owner’s manual carefully. Also, ensure you read the owner’s manual after your initial purchase. This will give you a grasp of the toilet you are dealing with. It may also include how to deal with faulty tanks and where to get a replacement.
It is also necessary that you maintain a regular maintenance culture. Proper maintenance of your tank will improve the lifetime of the tank. It will also reduce the number of problems the tank faces. You probably wish all tanks are the same and all standard. We wish so too, as that will make getting replacements easy.
However, all tanks are not standard, and getting new ones will depend on your toilet unit. But one thing you should keep dear is your owner’s manual. Read it right from scratch. This will save you from troubles, such that when faults arise, you know what to do. If not what to do, you know where to go.
Since you know replacements depend on your type of tank, we must discuss the various types. This gives you adequate understanding and informs your choices.
Different Types of Toilet Tanks
There are three types of flushing mechanisms you should know. They are:
- Dual Flush mechanism
- Gravity mechanism
- Pressure assisted mechanism
1. Dual Flush Mechanism
As the name suggests, the dual flush system makes use of two flushing models. It has two buttons on the center of the toilet tank. While one of the buttons is for liquid waste, the other is for solid waste. The aim of this is to conserve water, such that you do not use too much water for liquid waste.
Dual flush toilets have a similar structure to gravity toilets. They are also fast becoming standards in the industry.
2. Gravity Mechanism
The flushing power of this mechanism comes from the force of gravity. Most homeowners are familiar with it because it is common in homes. It is also a standard in the industry. You will find its flush lever at the tank’s frontal side. It also has two holes in the bottom; one controls water intake while the other connects to the water outlet.
3. Pressure-assisted Mechanism
This mechanism makes use of pressure to do the job. It has the same holes as gravity for water intake and outlet. However, instead of using gravity, it has a single unit inside the tank for flushing out waste. Once the single unit fills up with water, it pushes the waste into the sewer line.
Which Type Should I Go For?
There is no single answer to this question. Since there are three types, you have different options from which you can choose. You should know that you have to choose between the one-piece style or the two-piece style. The difference between the two is that, with a one-piece type, you will replace the entire unit if the tank spoils. But if you are choosing the two-piece, ensure you inspect the inside properly.
Are Toilet Tank Bolts Sizes Standard?
Toilet tank bolts help to seal your toilet tank such that it does not leak. They are durable and often in the same sizes and lengths. More often, toilet tank bolts are standard and will fit most types of toilet tanks. If you need to replace your toilet tank bolts, you have a high chance of finding it easy. Reach out to a store near you, and you are sure to find the right sizes for your tank.
Suppose you intend to DIY your bolts to tighten your tank, a tip here. Ensure you screw the bolts tightly. Screw the bolts in until you start to feel some resistance. To check if it’s tight enough, try to adjust the toilet bowl slightly. If it doesn’t move, then you are probably good to go.
Tightening your bolt is something you will feel. You will know when it’s tight enough.
Read: How to Fix a Toilet Seat That Keeps Falling? (+ 3 Simple Solutions)
Are Toilet Tank Levers Universal?
One of the toilet problems you can encounter is a broken lever. Toilet tank levers help you to activate the flushing process. You make use of the levers regularly. This makes them prone to breaking or need replacements.
There are several types of toilet tank levers from which you can pick. The primary consideration is the type of lever you use. So, the best thing is to go to the store prepared. Go along with your broken lever, so you can quickly get a fitting a lever that does the job. Alternatively, you can take enough pictures, suppose removing the handle proves difficult.
There is a high chance you can get other levers with toilet tank levers that will fit your tank. You can check out the various brand in a store near you or online. You can also place a call to the customer care of the place you bought your toilet unit. This is another reason why you should hold dear your owner’s manual.
You can also get universal levers for your tank. Regardless of the type of your toilet tank, universal levers will always match. Although you may have to make a few adjustments, the levers will nearly match. You can do these adjustments yourself, or you can call an expert.
If you want to DIY while removing your toilet lever, keep in mind that you have to rotate clockwise. You can only loosen the lever by turning clockwise.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Toilet Tank?
When you want to replace a toilet tank, you should reach out to an expert. Experts have the skills to do a seamless job and not dent your wall. This reduces the number of costs you may incur.
Getting a tank will fall between $50 to $100. This is the price range for the tank itself, excluding the price you will pay for the labor to install it. You can get the service of a professional plumber for a cost ranging from $45 to $300. The plumber will also finalize the job between a time frame of 1 – 2 hours.
Replacing a tank using a professional can be affordable. Your total cost will depend on whether or not there are other internal replacements. If your tank is all you need to replace, the price range may even fall a little below the estimation.
How Far Should a Toilet Tank Be From The Wall?
There is an ideal distance which you exist between your toilet and the wall. The first step you have to take is to measure; you can find a befitting spot for your toilet. The distance should be between the wall and the toilet flange. Measure to the center if you measure for a toilet, which has two bolts on each side.
You may also decide to measure from the lower part of the wall. If you are doing this, you have to consider the thickness of the baseboard. To ensure you get the ideal distance, measure directly from the wall.
You should aim for 12 inches as the standard distance. Generally, most toilet designs are fit for distances ranging from 11 to 13 inches. If you go any more or less than this, you will need a customized design that will precisely fit that purpose.
Measuring distance is essential for determining the best place to fix your toilet. The last thing you want to worry about is flushing your waste, and it clogs. Asides from measuring the apt distance, another thing you may do is to look out for models with high flushing performance. The combination of the two features will give you a seamless toilet experience.
Toilet troubles can be annoying, mostly when it happens so suddenly. This is why you need to pay regular attention to your toilet bank and other toilet units. Having a proper maintenance culture will help you stay ahead and know when there is a need for change. It will also help you to improve the lifespan of each toilet unit.