How to Get Rusty Screws Out of a Toilet Tank


The environment in a bathroom isn't friendly to metal. Toilet tank screws, in particular, have it tough. Not only do they become exposed to the moisture following a shower or bath, but a leak in the bowl above can drip down the screw, rusting it quickly. Getting rusty screws out of a toilet tank is mostly a matter of brute force and trying a few different methods.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pliers
  • Penetrating lubricant
  • Hacksaw
  • Locate the water supply valve on the wall or the floor in the vicinity of the toilet tank; it will be connected to the end of the water inlet pipe. The valve is about 1 inch in size and features a handle on the end. The water supply pipe or valve will be connected to the other end of the valve and lead back to the toilet tank. Turn the knob on the end of the handle to the right to cut the water to the tank.

  • Lift the tank lid up and off the toilet and set it aside. Press the handle to flush the tank. Continue pressing on the handle and allow all the water inside the tank to drain into the bowl. Mop up any excess water with a sponge or towel.

  • Place an old towel on the floor underneath the tank. Unscrew the coupling at the end of the water supply hose or tube.

  • Spray the nuts on the underside of the tank with penetrating lubricant. Allow it to soak in for around 15 minutes to an hour; follow your manufacturer's instructions.

  • Loosen the nut on the underside of the tank holding the screws in place with a wrench. If this doesn't work, grasp the nut with a pair of pliers and try to turn it counterclockwise.

  • Hold a hacksaw blade next to the nut. Remove the blade from the hacksaw, if you need to. Saw at the bolt with the blade. Continue sawing until the blade cuts through the nut. Repeat as needed for as many screws there are holding the tank in place.

  • Pull the screws up through the bottom of the tank once you have cut the rusted nuts off at the bottom.

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