Locknuts are used to hold fixtures securely in place, and in every toilet tank, there are plastic locknuts. These locknuts are used to secure the fill valve is above where the water supply hose attaches to. If you want to remove the plastic nuts in your toilet tank, you will get wet unless removing all of the water from the toilet tank.
This means that the first step in removing a plastic nut from your toilet tank involves draining the water. After draining the water from your toilet tank, to remove the plastic nuts you will need to use pliers or an adjustable wrench to turn it counterclockwise, then screw it off.
Although removing a plastic nut from your toilet tank should be simple, it does not always work out to be that way. There are a few methods of removing these nuts as well as other situations that may require you to remove the plastic nuts from your toilet tank.
How to Remove Plastic Nuts from Your Toilet Tank
Unless you want to dip your hands into a wet tank, shutting off the water supply for the toilet is very important. To find the supply valve, simply follow the water supply hose where it meets the valve that supplies the water. This valve is on the wall. You should turn the handle on the supply valve all the way to the right. This will cut the water supply.
Now lift off the lid of the toilet tank. Place it aside. Now you will need to drain the tank. Do this by pressing down on the handle to flush the toilet. Continue doing this until all of the water in the toilet has drained. If there is any water remaining you can use a towel or sponge to soak it up.
Take another towel and place it on the floor under the tank. Unscrew the plastic piece that connects the water supply hose to the underpart of the toilet tank.
At this point, you will need to locate the lock nut. Look for a large plastic nut. It will be right above where the coupling was connected to.
Remove the plastic nut by turning it counterclockwise. You can use many different items to remove it, either a pair of pliers, an adjustable wrench, or even a tool called a spud wrench (this is made for removing hex nuts).
If The Locknut is Stuck
If you have gone through the steps above to find that you cannot remove the plastic locknut from under the tank, you may need to take other action.
- You will need to lubricate the nut in an attempt to loosen it. Hot wet rag or towel to lubricate it.
- Using either a strap wrench, pipe wrench, or basin wrench, attempt to remove the locknut.
If this does not work, you can use regular pliers.
- Use the pliers on the wide setting
- Open them to slightly wider than the nut
- Hold the pliers open and come from the bottom while you hold the pliers against the nut. (From the top or bottom, not from the side).
- Use both hands to rotate the pliers and spin the nut. Be aware that they will hit the tangs on the nut.
Draining Your Toilet By Siphoning
If you cannot drain the toilet water in other methods, then you can attempt to do so by siphoning. You may get dirty with this method so be prepared.
Bein by getting a short and flexible hose. You should wear a pair of rubber gloves since you will be touching the toilet bowl. Only use this method if you have tried other methods of draining the toilet bowl, and there is nothing stuck in the toilet.
- Fill the hose with water. This can be done in your bathtub or a sink. Block both openings of the pipe with your fingers and make sure the water inside of the hose will not leak out. If water gets out, then air will move into the hose and break the siphon.
- Keep blocking the openings and put one of the ends into either the bowl or the tank (depending on which one you are emptying).
- Put the other end of the hose in a bucket.
- Take your fingers away from the hose openings. You will see water will begin to train from the toilet. Keep the end in the bucket lower than the toilet, and inside the bucket at all times.
How to Remove Rusted Screws and Wingnuts from Toilet Tank
If you have attempted to remove the wingnuts from your toilet tank but realize the screws they were attached to were rusted, you might be worried to accidentally break something.
No need to panic in this situation, but there are a few steps you can take to handle this situation.
Although penetrating oil such as WD-40 may sound like a good idea, it can also take a long amount of time. Avoid cutting, grinding, or breaking the nut. This can damage the toilet. When attempting to remove a corroded nut or bolt you should always use heat. This might be a torch or simply hot water.
How to Unscrew Toilet Water Supply Hose
If your toilet water supply hose, but it is stuck to the bottom of the tank you will need to take a few steps.
If the whole assembly isn’t rotating while turning the external nut then you need to look inside the tank. Is it hitting something that prevents it from turning? If so, hold the interior piece that is preventing it from turning.
You can also choose to use more force. Use a stronger wrench or cheater pipe. Be careful to avoid breaking things. If it is already damaged from cross threading then do not try to reuse it. Replace it.
Wrap the entire piece in a wet rag that has been boiled in water. Wear gloves, hold it on the piece, and turn it after soaking it for 20 seconds. Tap the plastic with a mallet or a hammer. This can help to loosen it and eventually remove it.
If you decide that you need to cut off the white connector, then you can choose to saw it off. Be very careful to avoid damaging things. As long as the stud or threads on the remaining piece aren’t damaged when doing this, you should be fine to replace it.
If I do not want to use my hands and a sponge to dry the toilet tank, is there another method?
Yes, there is another method. You can try using a wet vacuum instead. After flushing the toilet to get the residual water out of the tank, you can take a wet shop vac and remove anything that’s left. This can help you if you feel uncomfortable to be touching the toilet tank.
Do I need to turn off the water in order to remove nuts inside my toilet tank?
You definitely need to drain your toilet to remove the nuts inside the tank. In order to do this, you will also need to cut off the water supply. This is important because your toilet will not drain if the water is still on. This can also cause a leak.