toilet anchor bolts spinning

Why Are Toilet Anchor Bolts Spinning (3 Reasons)

A toilet anchor bolt serves the essential purpose of keeping the toilet seat firmly on the ground, so it is quite problematic if it comes loose or spins. However, toilet anchor bolts spinning should not come as a surprise, especially if you have an old toilet. 

Toilet anchor bolts spinning occurs for different reasons, such as rust, debris, and tiny bolt holes. Fortunately, you can fix this problem using a few tools easily found at home or a local store. These include an adjustable wrench, washer, and nuts.

Continue reading this post for steps to stop toilet anchor bolts from spinning.

Toilet Anchor Bolts Spinning (Further Explanation)

Toilet anchor bolts are small but play a significant role in keeping the toilet in place. They connect the toilet seat to the floor toilet flange and grip the seat to the floor. 

With that in mind, you should fix the toilet anchor bolts immediately after you notice they are loose to avoid additional costs resulting from damage to other parts of the toilet. It is a common phenomenon in older toilets and arises because of debris or moisture around the holes, rusted bolts, or bolts smaller than the recommended size. 

Reasons Why Toilet Anchor Bolts Spinning

After knowing the role of toilet anchor bolts in securing your toilet, let’s look at why they become loose. 

1. Moisture And Debris Around The Holes

Moisture and debris buildup around holes is among the leading reasons your toilet anchor bolts are spinning. It is difficult to stop moisture from getting in direct contact with the bolts, especially in a house where the toilet and the shower are in the same room. 

Even though the moisture takes time to mix with debris, the resultant product will mess up your toilet. Once the two components mix, they form a lubricant that will make your toilet anchor bolts spin when you apply pressure to the toilet seat. 

2. Rusted Bolts

As stated earlier, it is difficult to shield toilet anchor bolts from moisture. Continued exposure of the bolts to water and oxygen leads to rust and decay. 

In addition to that, tile flaws also contribute to rust problems. When toilet anchor bolts rust and decay, they lose their initial power to secure the toilet seat, and this will cause them to spin. 

3. Smaller Holes

Apart from rusted bolts and the lubricant resulting from the mixture between debris and water, smaller holes are also culprits of toilet anchor bolts spinning. Experts recommend drilling perfect-sized holes to insert bolts because smaller ones will be a nuisance. 

Drilling smaller holes than the recommended size will cause the anchor bolts to spin and expose them to rust. Additional causes of toilet anchor bolts spinning include:

  • Changes in temperature
  • Bent or faulty toilet flange
  • Toilet anchor bolts loosening after tightening

How To Fix Toilet Anchor Bolts From Spinning

After looking at why your toilet anchor bolts spin, it is expedient to know how to curb the problem and protect your fixture from further damage, such as bolts cracking and ruining your toilet seat. Experts advise fixing the flaw as soon as you discover it. 

Thankfully, you can save yourself the stress by following the simple procedure outlined below:

Step 1

Gather the tools you’ll need for the task, i.e., hand gloves, an adjustable wrench, pliers, a washer, spray lubricant, nuts, a plastic cap, nuts, a cap holder, and toilet bolts. 

Step 2

Start by removing the existing toilet anchor bolts holding your toilet to the floor using a plier or adjustable wrench. Thread a screwdriver to narrow the bolt holes and ensure the bolts maintain a fixed position. 

Do this because it is challenging to take off the bolts while they’re spinning. Use an adjustable wrench or a plier to hold the anchor bolts, then pull them out alongside the screwdriver. 

Step 3

Take a keen look at the holes, checking for debris and rust. If they are, use a piece of cloth to wipe them off. 

After that, examine the size of the hole and compare it to the diameter of the bolts. If they don’t match, it means you have to adjust the size of the hole. 

Step 4

Since spinning can stem from a mismatch between the size of the holes and the diameter of the anchor bolts, this step is critical. Make sure you adjust the holes according to the size of the bolts. If the holes were smaller, make them bigger, but if they were bigger, try to shrink them. 

Add penetrating oil to the holes and leave it for 15 minutes before inserting the toilet anchor bolts.

Step 5

Check the condition of the bolts before inserting them into the holes. If rusty, use a lubricant or alcohol spray to clean them up. 

If the toilet anchor bolts are damaged, swap them with new ones. Once you have the bolts, thread them in the holes you prepared and tighten them.

Step 6

First, use your hands to tighten the bolts, then get an adjustable wrench or pliers to tighten them, making quarter turns on each of them until the toilet stops wobbling.

However, avoid over-tightening the anchor bolts since doing so will fracture or break the toilet flange. Tightening one bolt more than the other will have the same effect. 

FAQs on Toilet Anchor Bolts Spinning

What Happens When You Over-tighten Toilet Anchor Bolts?

Over-tightening toilet anchor bolts makes the toilet tank and the bowl vulnerable to cracking and breaking. It is because toilets embody rigid porcelain or ceramic materials that crack from over-tightening. 

Why Is My New Toilet Moving Back And Forth?

When your new toilet keeps moving back and forth after installation, it signifies the flange bolts responsible for securing the unit to the floor are loose. Sewage leakage, floor damage, and misaligned flange can also make the toilet move back and forth. 

How Tight Should The Anchor Bolts Be On A Toilet?

Bolts provide the recommended seal between the toilet bowl and the tank. Therefore, you need to ensure they are tight.

Start tightening them by hand, then get a wrench to make them tighter. A quarter-turn on each nut will equalize the pressure between them.

However, avoid over-tightening them since doing so will create additional problems, such as fracturing the toilet flange. 

Why Does My Toilet Keep Spinning?

If you incorrectly install the bolt on the adjustable float, your toilet will spin continuously. Setting the float above the recommended level results in water spilling (because of an overflow), while setting it low generates weak flushes. 

Should The Anchor Be Bigger Than The Screw?

Home improvement experts advise buying the anchors and screws together to avoid mismatched parts. While at the store, ensure you get equal sizes of anchors and screws since smaller screws (in comparison to the anchors) cannot spread the anchor. 

On the other hand, larger screws will make the anchor loose. 

How Do You Prevent Toilet Bolts From Rusting?

Use stainless steel or brass bolts. Alternatively, applying nail polish on the toilet bolt heads will keep them from rusting. 

Final Remarks On Toilet Anchor Bolts Spinning

From the post, toilet anchor bolts spinning stems from smaller holes, rusty bolts, and a lubricant formed from a mixture of moisture and debris. Fortunately, the solution to the problem is a simple DIY process outlined in the post above. 

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