Cracked toilet bowl

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by mazze1, May 23, 2009.

  1. May 23, 2009 #1

    mazze1

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    I've read about cracked toilet bowls being a catasrophe waiting to happen and I can appreciate this, but I seek expert opinion based on my case. There is a crack across the top of the bowl that I have. It seems superficial but it goes from the inside, over the rim and down the outside so I am concerned over this. I can't find a toilet to match the color from the seventies (and don't want to do a 15,000 dollar redo)and I'm also not that happy with the new toilets as they don't seem to flush as well and make banging noises.
    My neighbor was renovating her bathroom and her toilet was in perfect shape, so her contractor took out her bowl and left it on my front porch. Cleaned it up and it sparkles like new.... Only problem is that when he was loosening the bolts it made a hairline crack on the base, near the bolts... My contractor said that that is acceptable because he puts a double seal and where the bolt is is just cosmetic.. that no water will come from the flush. He also says that is not a problem the same way the crack across the top of the bowl is. Can this be repaired or reinforced with an epoxy? And which do you think is better, the original with a crack across the rim or the one with the crack by the floor bolts?
    I doubt if he would put it in if it was totally wrong thing to do, but then I read things that contradict this... Can you support what we plan to do. I don't know what to think. Thanks.
     
  2. May 23, 2009 #2

    majakdragon

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    Either crack may be superficial, but it could also be all the way through. Leaking is not the real problem. It is the fact that the whole bowl could let go, and of course this would happen while you are away. Not sure what toilets you have been looking at that make noises and don't flush well. I have been installing a lot of $100 American Standard Cadets and have never had this complaint. I am sure the more expensive toilets are even better.
     
  3. May 23, 2009 #3

    Redwood

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    There is no doubt in my mind that it is time for a new toilet.
     
  4. May 23, 2009 #4

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    I

    I think you're talking about toilet tanks. I'd never trust a hairline crack in a toilet tank because when ice cold water comes rushing into a relatively warm toilet tank, you can have thermal stresses the might cause the tank to break, and that can result in a lot of water damage. Nowadays, insulation on the inside of the tanks greatly reduces condensation on the toilet tanks, but it also reduces thermal shocking to the tanks as well.

    I don't see any problem at all using the toilet bowl with the hairline crack in the base near the bolts. When you flush a toilet, the water going through it has generally had some time to warm up, it's only in the toilet passage ways for a few seconds, and the area near the bolts is so far removed from the water that it wouldn't change temperature at all.

    I'd be much more concerned about using the bowl with the hairline crack down one side as you described.

    I'm not aware of any way to successfully repair cracked porcelain. If I had to try, I'd see if Crazy Glue wicks into the crack by capillary pressure, but that would be a "Hail Mary" play. A better way to find out would be to Google the words Porcelain and Museum together and see if people that restore priceless porcelain artifacts know of any way to repair hairline cracks in it, and hope that the method is feasible for a toilet tank.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2009
  5. May 23, 2009 #5

    Redwood

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    Of course the new floor required after the leaking toilet destroys it after years of being damp from a slow leak through the crack would offset any savings from not replacing the toilet by a wide margin...

    I'll stand by my original post the toilet is toast!
     
  6. May 23, 2009 #6

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    It's just a hairline crack, Redwood. There's no reason to believe there's any water leaking out of it. The crack might just be in the glazed surface and not even extend into the porcelain. And, if we're talking about the toilet bowl with a hairline crack near the flange-to-bowl bolts, then there's a real good liklihood that the wax from the wax seal is gonna plug up that crack where it matters most anyhow.


    Masse1: Tape a small piece of paper towel over that hairline crack in the base of the toilet once it's installed. Use a paper towel that's had an embossed pattern pressed into it when it was made. If any water leaks out of that hairline crack, it will get the paper towel wet, and the embossed pattern pressed into it will relax so that the paper dries flat. Even if the leak stops and the paper dries, you'll be able to tell the paper was once wet because the paper won't have the same pattern pressed into it where it was wet. If you ever detect water coming out of that hairline crack, then I'd agree with Redwood that you need a new toilet bowl. Unless there's evidence of water coming out of that hairline crack, I wouldn't warn you away from using your neighbor's toilet bowl.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2009
  7. May 24, 2009 #7

    mazze1

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    Appreciate the conversation. Today I spread a thin layer of JB weld on the hairline crack. It does seem superficial to me as I examined it today.
    I also found this site (porcrepair porcelain repairs for toilet bowls, toilet tanks & sinks) (I can't post the link cause I'm too new here)
    It shows cracks that are repairable (single lines) and cracks that are not (ones with many branches).. One pic has a crack in the base near the bolt and it says that repairable. My crack is way smaller than that one too.
    I know I must sound really resistant to change and that may be part of it However I did go looking for toilets today. I know they don't clog but I really hate the weak fast flush of them. Guess I'm leaning toward using the cleaned up toilet, and I'll be super vigilent....if there is any indication that it is wobbling or cracking more.. then I have no choice but to do the renovation....Hope that link about the porcelin repair works... the only part of it I won't be able to do is the dremel tool hole at the end of the crack... hoping the epoxy will do the trick..
    Grateful for your inputs and your time. Evelyn
     
  8. May 24, 2009 #8

    majakdragon

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    mazze1, I hope it works for you. I would not be worried about leaking as much as the chance the bowl could break while someone is sitting on it. The cracks near the mounting holes were probably caused by overtightning of the closet bolts. They may, or may not be surface cracks.
     
  9. May 26, 2009 #9

    inspectorD

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    Change the toilet......the damage that can be done is much worse than the probability it may happen.Always when you are not at home, just after the morning constitutional.

    I can see the new listing for sale sign now...LOOK, indoor pool.
     
  10. May 31, 2009 #10

    Redwood

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    My thoughts exactly...

    Drink from the cup of knowledge....:agree:
     
  11. Jun 9, 2009 #11

    DUNBAR

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    Long time no see majak!

    I agree with your sentiment on this. Are those the AS Cadet 3's you're speaking of? I've installed a few and much success.

    My thinking on this one is a risk taken by the thread starter that's concern for aesthetics instead of safety.

    It's something I wouldn't do to me or my family, knowing the risks involved. To each their own who sit on thy cracked throne.
     
  12. Jul 2, 2009 #12

    DaringDamsel

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    Although I am not familiar with plumbing, your remark about the repair advising a drill hole at the end of the crack reminded me of a repair that I planned for an acrylic fish tank. I am fairly certain that the drill hole is intended to relieve any stresses in the material, in order to prevent future propagation of the crack. Using epoxy may seal the existing crack, but it will not relieve any stresses that are already in the material.

    So if the repair instructions say to drill a hole at the end of the crack, I would do so, even if it meant buying a new tool.

    (In the case of my aquarium repair, The cracks were above where the water would be. I never did repair the aquarium, it is still in my basement:)

    DD
     

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