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Can You Replace A Toilet Tank Without Replacing The Bowl?



Toilet tanks are handy and sturdy, though they can’t serve you forever. Most toilet tanks have parts made of plastic, so you’ll likely have to replace them after prolonged wear and tear.


So, can you replace a toilet tank without replacing the bowl? Yes, replacing the toilet tank without switching the bowl is possible. Therefore, if the toilet bowl is still in good shape, you can work on replacing the tank alone.


For example, if the toilet tank isn’t filling with water, and you cannot fix it, the only solution is to replace it. However, you won`t need to switch the bowl or any other usable parts.


Prevalently, you have to know how to replace the tank, and if not, this write-up includes a guide on how to do it.


Here it is:


Replacing a Toilet Tank

Replacing a Toilet Tank

Replacing a toilet tank is among the most effortless DIY projects; even beginners can do it. As opposed to hiring the services of a professional, here is a guide on how to replace a toilet tank. By the time you’re done reading it, you’ll no longer see the need to hire a plumber.


Tools Needed


Here are the tools you’ll need to replace your toilet tank:

  • A flathead screwdriver & pliers
  • An adjustable wrench
  • A new tank matching the old tank’s dimensions
  • New bolts & rubber washers for the tank
  • Dry towels or heavy rug
  • A rubber gasket



Step 1: Seal the Shutoff Valve


The first step to replacing a toilet tank is sealing the shutoff valve. This means shutting off the water supply for a more conducive working environment. Begin by shutting down the shutoff valve; this is the tiny knob on the back wall behind your toilet. On the other hand, the valve is situated next to the tank.

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You can manually seal the supply valve by twisting the knob clockwise. Once it budges, you can shut the valve manually. That said, if it is too rusty, it might not turn. However, you could pour penetrating oil like liquid wrench for better results.


Step 2: Flush the Toilet to Empty the Tank


Once you’re done with the first step, flush your toilet and empty the tank. You’ll achieve this by pressing the flush button or twisting the handle

and holding for several seconds.


This is crucial because you don’t want your bathroom flooding with water, and you’ll remain dry when working. Besides, the tank will be significantly lighter once you drain it.


Step 3: Detach the Water Supply Hose


This is a metallic tube linking the shutoff valve and the tank. It’s several inches long, though it’s unpredictably difficult to disconnect. Most of the time, the threaded nut joining the tank and hose is rusty and rigid.


If this is the case, you can once more spray liquid wrench to the nut, making it lose with time, allowing you to unscrew it easily. Nevertheless, watch out for leaks since there might be water left in the hose.


Step 4: Undo the Tank Bolts


Generally, toilet tanks feature two bolts at the bottom; a screw on the plastic cistern`s either side. It is necessary to unscrew these nuts before replacing the toilet tank. This is where an adjustable wrench will come in handy.


Hold one of the bolts using the pliers, and open the lid to find the part of the bolt inside the tank; you’ll find it next to the extended fill valve. With a flathead screwdriver, unscrew the bolt. Once you’re done with both bolts, remove the rubber washers from both bolts using your fingers. Keep in mind that the rubber washers are slender and stick to the bolts; hence, replacing them is a good idea.


Step 5: Detach the Toilet Tank from the Bowl


This step is not as demanding as the previous ones. All you have to do is grab the ruined tank from beneath and lift it, and if you happened to drain it as indicated in step 1, you’ll appreciate how light it is.

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When you disconnect it, place it on a rag or towel since it might still have some water. If you look back at the space it occupied, you’ll see a rubber gasket atop the bowl. It would be best if you replaced it as well. You can attain this using a putty knife or screwdriver.


Step 6: Purchase a Similar-sized Tank


Remember to purchase a tank of the same dimensions as the one you’ve just removed. With this in mind, it would help if you didn’t randomly pick one from an online store, as it might not fit.


Step 7: Switch the Gasket and Rubber Washers


Replacing the gasket and rubber washers is an excellent idea. That said, numerous tanks don’t come with new rubber washers; therefore, you should purchase them to guarantee everything fits accordingly.


To do this, push the bolt into the washer and turn it using a wrench to fix it in position. Ensure the washers remain in position as you screw the nuts back to prevent leakages from your new toilet tank. Similarly, buy a new rubber gasket and place it atop the bowl. It establishes a tight seal, facilitating smooth flushing of your toilet.


Step 8: Mount the New tank


Once you switch the gasket and washers, the next thing to do is mount the new tank. Reposition it atop the toilet bowl with the bottom part sitting on the gasket. Next, return the bolts you had removed in step 4. With your adjustable wrench, stiffen the threaded nuts and, at the same time, drive in the bolts using the screwdriver. Once you do this, place the tank`s cover.


Step 9: Reconnect the Supply Hose


Having replaced the toilet tank, the only thing left is connecting the water supply. To reconnect the supply, here is what you’ll have to do:

  • Hold the hose and push it against the tank
  • It’s supposed to snap into the fill valve on the tank’s bottom
  • Next, twist the hose nut clockwise to ensure no leakages
  • After this, the supply hose is entirely operable


Step 10: Unseal the Shutoff Valve


To open the shutoff valve, you must twist the knob anti-clockwise to let the water flow via the supply hose. Ensure you turn a complete circle, as it will offer your toilet sufficient pressure to flush efficiently.


It would be best to open or close the valve often, even when you don’t have to fix anything on the toilet. This is because twisting the knob will keep the valve in good condition, reducing the chances of getting stuck.

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Can you Replace your Toilet Tank with Any Toilet Tank?


No. You shouldn’t just purchase any tank for your toilet. If the pipes are of different dimensions, your toilet will have leakages. Moreover, the inner compartments might not be compatible, rendering the toilet useless.


Alternatively, search for your previous tank`s product number and date, making it easier to locate the right tank. Again, you’ll require a complete repair kit to replace the toilet tank.


Are Toilet Tanks Universal?


No. Tanks for toilets aren’t universal. The interior compartments are the same, though they might be structured in varying ways, and if you do not use the right tanks for your toilet, you may experience leakages or be incapable of flushing.


If you’ve been utilizing an incompatible tank for your toilet, it would be best to replace it or buy a plumber’s putty to stop leakages until you buy the right tank.


Do Toilet Tanks Have a Standard Size?


All tanks created after 1992 have a standard water storage and flushing size. For instance, they are designed to hold 1.6 gallons. In an effort to reduce water wastage, EPA helped set these requirements. Nonetheless, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all tanks are made equal.


Are the Bolts Between the Tanks and Bowl Universal?


Many tanks utilize standard-size bolts, though to ensure they correctly fit, it would be best if you choose bolts designed specifically for your toilet. If you have no idea what you need, look for the manufacturer’s number prior to buying. Here you’ll find the manufacturer’s stamp with the date of production and product number on the inside or beneath the tank. This number should be on the receipt you were given when you bought the toilet.


How Do I Restore the Toilet Tank’s Interior?


To restore the interior of your toilet tank, you should use a repair kit. Begin by disconnecting the water and draining the tank. Next, take out all the unusable or damaged components and substitute them for new ones. While this might sound like too much work, you have everything you need in the repair kit. Also, you`ll require a screwdriver and wrench.




In case you have an issue with your tank and need to save some cash, swapping the tank alone is the most inexpensive way to go about it. Provided your toilet isn’t one of those outdated versions, getting a replacement with similar dimensions should be simple. Get the manufacturer number of the tank you intend to replace and find a suitable replacement.


So, can you replace a toilet tank without replacing the bowl? Yes. Follow the ten steps described above for the best results. I hope this piece has helped you better know what you should do when replacing a toilet tank without swapping the toilet bowl.