Although manufacturers and plumbers agree that the average toilet lasts as many as 50 years, toilet bowls and tanks are prone to cracking, which may necessitate replacements. The good news is that you don’t have to do a replacement if you know how to fix a cracked toilet tank. Fixing a cracked toilet tank doesn’t have to be hard or as risky as some people may have you think. You can even fix the cracks yourself in just a few minutes and avoid replacing the entire toilet!
To fix a cracked toilet tank, you have to clean the repair area thoroughly by draining the water, drying the tank, and sanding the affected area. Then, apply a waterproof epoxy or sealant, wait for it to cure, and finally refill the tank to see if the leak is fixed.
The crack repair process is simple, and here’s the long version of it in a few easy steps that you’ll enjoy doing despite the water removal step! But first, first things first.
What Would Cause a Toilet Tank To Crack?
A toilet tank may crack because of several reasons, including the ones discussed below.
Botched-up DIY projects: It’s not always a given that your little toilet or bathroom DIY project will go well. Sometimes even tightening a tank bolt or cleaning the tank might lead to a crack if done by accident or if done wrongly.
Accidents: You might be doing something in the bathroom, and a heavy object drops on the toilet tank. Other times, you might drop the toilet tank lid when replacing it, causing the tank to break.
Old age: Despite the 50-year durability guarantee on most toilets, age usually weakens them and may lead to a cracked toilet bowl or tank if you disturb the toilet excessively.
Can a Crack in a Toilet Tank be Repaired?
You can repair any hairline crack in a toilet tank once you find it, have the right tools, materials, and the necessary technical know-how. You don’t even have to be a plumber to do a simple toilet tank repair. Nor do you need to call in a plumber.
Fixing a Cracked Toilet Tank
Moving away from the basics on how toilet tank cracks happen and if you can repair them, consider this. How do you fix a broken toilet tank? As mentioned, the process is simple, and you can complete it in a few minutes.
What You Will Need to Fix Cracked Porcelain Toilet Tank
Here’s what you’ll need for the project:
- Putty knife
- Towel, Chamois cloths, or sponges
- Electric hair dryer (optional)
- Caulking gun (optional)
- Waterproof plumbing epoxy, plumber’s putty, or silicone porcelain sealant.
Steps to Follow to Fix a Cracked Toilet Tank
Follow the steps below to repair your broken toilet tank in a few minutes and start reusing the toilet in 24 hours.
Step 1: Locate all the Cracks
While it’s apparent that you have identified a crack in your toilet bowl (probably caused by hitting the bowl hard with a toilet flange plunger), there might be other cracks you haven’t spotted yet.
Other than an openly visible crack, a toilet leak or mysterious water loss in the tank indicates cracks.
A leaky toilet fails to retain enough water for flushing the toilet even when it is connected to the water supply line all the time.
Another way to tell if you have a leaking toilet tank is to check the bathroom floor. Cover the floor drain trap so that it does not allow water through it. If you notice water collecting on the floor and cannot explain where it came from, you probably have a cracked tank.
Step 2: Turn Off the Water
Once you note the crack locations, cut the tank’s water supply by closing the shutoff valve behind the toilet. It only takes a minute to do this, but you save yourself the menace of continued leaks, wet bathroom floor, and water incompatibility with the porcelain sealer or epoxy.
If you have a hard time accessing the valve, you can use an adjustable wrench to cut out the water from the main supply line to the house.
Step 3: Dry Both on the Inside and Outside of the Tank
Applying the silicone sealant or epoxy requires that the tank be dry on the inside and outside. For best results, you should apply the sealant on both sides of the toilet crack.
It might not be fun drying the water, but it is a step you don’t want to skip. The towels, sponges, or chamois cloths will come in handy at this point. To take it up a notch, you can use an electric hair dryer to dry the area completely.
Step 4: Apply the Waterproof Epoxy to the Cracked Area
As mentioned, you can seal off the cracks with waterproof epoxy, silicone sealant, or plumber’s putty. The epoxy, silicone porcelain sealant, and putty should be of high quality. Feel free to ask your plumber for the best recommendations.
You can apply the sealant using a putty knife rather than the fingers. A caulking gun is also an option, depending on the type of sealer you are using.
Step 5: Smooth Out the Sealer
Use the putty knife to evenly spread out the sealant over the crack and the close-by regions to reduce the chances of future cracking on the other parts.
Step 6: Leave the Epoxy or Sealant to Cure
Allow the applied epoxy or sealer to rest for 24-30 hours until it is completely dry. Then, use soft sandpaper to sand the surface lightly to smooth and remove any excess sealant.
Step 7: Refill the Tank with Clean Water and Check for Leaks
Restore the toilet’s water supply by opening the shutoff valve you closed earlier. If the tank is still leaky, you might have missed a crack or repaired the present ones incorrectly. Drain the water again and repeat the tank repair procedure.
Alternatives for Waterproof Epoxy or Porcelain Sealer
Sometimes you’ll be pressed for time and require a quick remedy for fixing a toilet crack.
In such cases, you can use adhesive tape or super glue after draining all the water and drying the interior and exterior toilet surfaces. However, these solutions only last a short while since water weakens the bond between the glue or tape and the tank surface.
Will Flex Seal Work on a Cracked Toilet Tank?
Flex seal is another suitable alternative to porcelain sealer and waterproof epoxy. It even acts as a water-resistant rubber-like seal to keep the water away from the crack.
If you have the right tools, materials, and the necessary know-how, you can easily fix a cracked toilet tank in your home without calling in a plumber. Though not always fun, repairing the toilet yourself saves you time and the money you would have spent on the plumber.