How do I remove rusted toilet seat hardware?
May 17, 2007 9:49 AM   Subscribe

So I have an OLD toilet seat with hardware that is pretty much completely rusted/broken down. I cannot get the nut down the plastic screw with ANY type of wrench/screwdriver/plier combination. How do I remove the seat hardware without breaking the toilet???

I believe it is inadvisable to Google any phrase involving "toilet" and "screw" at work. I shudder to think of the results...
posted by lattiboy to Home & Garden (18 answers total)
Drill it out? Should be trivial with a plastic bolt.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:57 AM on May 17, 2007

Cut the plastic screw?
posted by orangemiles at 9:57 AM on May 17, 2007

Also, your google search would be immeasurably more difficult had your problem involved the ballcock.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:59 AM on May 17, 2007 [2 favorites]

Wire saw. Camping suppliers have them. Put a sheet of cardboard there to take the friction on the bowl. Maybe a coping saw but hard to decide absent any picture.
posted by Freedomboy at 9:59 AM on May 17, 2007

Just a thought: if the bolt is plastic and the nut is metal, try heating it with a hairdryer for a minute. The different expansion properties of the 2 materials may make it easier to loosed the bolt. It may even soften the plastic enough to bend/ tear.
posted by cosmicbandito at 10:26 AM on May 17, 2007

you worry too much. all of the links on the first google page for "toilet screw" appear to be safe for work.
posted by bruce at 10:37 AM on May 17, 2007

We had this problem in our upstairs bathroom, and my dad fixed it by drilling the rusted bolt out. It only took a minute, and the toilet didn't get damaged at all. If you're careful, you can probably do the same pretty easily.
posted by tracert at 10:55 AM on May 17, 2007

Can you borrow a Dremel tool with the cutting wheel? I recently used one to cut off the tank bolts on an old toilet. Went through about 3 cutting wheels (they're cheap and the bolts were brass) but the job was done in minutes.
Not sure if there is clearance for the seat bolts, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:12 AM on May 17, 2007

Second a dremel with a fiber reinforced abrasive cut off wheel. It's the dream tool for practically any "i don't care if I destroy the fastner I just need this bloody thing off" situation.

If you can work from underneath just in case you slip it won't be able to be seen. Otherwise you might want to protect the tank and bowl with some cardboard and masking tape. Even a layer of tape will protect the finish from a minor oops.
posted by Mitheral at 1:06 PM on May 17, 2007

Thank you sweet and merciful hivemind! Thank you all so very much. I will attempt blowdryer, then garden shears (to cut the bolt), and finally I will give in and borrow a dremel.
posted by lattiboy at 1:50 PM on May 17, 2007

if you use the dremel (which works great in this situation), wear safety glasses of some sort, high rpms and breaking cutting don't want that in your eyes...
posted by HuronBob at 2:00 PM on May 17, 2007

Practice with the dremel on aa safe test of some sort if you are a newbie, they can fly sideways and cut things all on their own.
posted by Freedomboy at 2:50 PM on May 17, 2007

Also consider a hacksaw. It's a good general purpose tool to keep on hand. The Dremel seems more sexy, but sometimes the hacksaw is quicker and easier.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:41 PM on May 17, 2007

Buy a hacksaw blade. Put a glove on one hand, grab the blade with that hand (or just put duct tape around one end of the blade), and saw the plastic bolt right between the porcelain and the toilet seat hinge. That's your cheapest/easiest option. Shouldn't take more than 30 seconds.
posted by bricoleur at 3:44 PM on May 17, 2007

Dang it.
posted by bricoleur at 3:44 PM on May 17, 2007

With what shall I dang it, O wise one?
posted by flabdablet at 6:52 PM on May 17, 2007

Aah, I meant Rhomboid beat me to it.
posted by bricoleur at 7:04 PM on May 17, 2007

I've had this exact problem and I did what Rhomboid/bricoleur suggested.
posted by crocomancer at 1:21 AM on May 18, 2007

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