Can You Replace Just the Toilet Tank? (Only if You Do This)

Can You Buy Just the Toilet Tank

So, you’ve noticed your toilet isn’t running properly.  You’ve tried to fix it, but you finally gave up, and now, you’re worried you need a whole new toilet.  But, if the problem is in the tank, do you have to buy a whole new toilet, or can you buy just the toilet tank?

A toilet tank can be replaced without having to replace other parts of the toilet. However, before you buy a new toilet tank, ensure that it is compatible with the rest of your toilet. If not, you may suffer from leaks and other toilet malfunctions.

Of course, you’ll also need to know the ins and outs of replacing the tank. So in this article, we’ll go over some great tips and tricks to make sure you get your tank replaced as quickly and easily as possible. 

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

If you’re struggling to replace your toilet tank and need a little patchwork help until your actual replacement arrives, we recommend one of these great repair kits!

Which kit you’ll need will depend on your tank flush valve, but the three common ones are:

1. Two-Inch valves – By far the most common.

2. Three-inch valve – The slightly larger version.

3. Four-inch valve – The largest standard model. 

Replacing Just the Tank?

To start out, we will discuss why you should just replace a tank.  We’ll also discuss tank standards and how to tell if you’ve got what you need to replace your toilet tank.  Stay with us!

Can You Replace a Toilet Tank Without Replacing the Whole Toilet?

You can replace a toilet tank without replacing the whole toilet, as long as the toilet tank in question is still being manufactured.  Start by locating the tank’s manufacturer date and model number.  

You’ll need both these numbers in order to search for your replacement tank. If you’re not sure where the numbers are, start by looking at the bottom of the tank. 

If you still can’t find them, they may be located inside the tank itself. 

Can You Put Any Toilet Tank on a Toilet?

You should not just put any toilet tank on your toilet.  If the pipes don’t match correctly, you’ll run into issues with leaks.  Additionally, the interior parts may not line up, which will render your toilet unusable. 

Instead, search for the current unusable tank’s date and product number. Once you have those numbers, finding the correct replacement tank shouldn’t be a problem.

But, of course, you may also need a repair kit to complete the transition from the old tank to the new one!

Are Tanks for Toilets Universal?

Toilet tanks are not universal.  The inside parts are all similar, but they may be configured in different ways, and if the correct tank is not used, you may have issues with leaks or have the inability to flush.

If you have temporarily used a different model tank, you may need to get yourself a wax repair kit or some plumbers putty to stop small leaks until the proper tank is installed. 

I bet a kit costs less than your water bill!

Are Toilet Tanks a Standard Size?

All toilet tanks manufactured after 1992 follow a standard size for flushing and storing water.  All tanks made after this date hold 1.6 gallons.  However, that doesn’t mean every tank is exactly the same. 

The EPA helped set these strict standards in an effort to save water.

Luckily for us, since this is a government standard, we don’t have to worry when we replace a toilet tank that it’s the correct measurement. 

Yay for standard sizes!

How Do You Choose a Toilet Tank?

To choose a toilet tank, start by searching for a match to your current toilet.  Make sure you know the manufacturer’s date and product number.  After that, you can choose your color and style options depending on availability. 

For example, if you check out this Kohlers tank, you can see that this model is available in multiple colors, including black, white, almond, and biscuit! 

This means that you can replace the tank no matter your bathroom aesthetic without worrying about clashing.

The Insides

While making sure the tank matches the bowl is important, it’s vital that the insides of your new tank will work. 

If they don’t line up perfectly, you’ll be risking leaks or improper flushes, something no one wants to deal with fixing.  

What Do You Call the Inside of the Toilet Tank?

Sometimes referred to as the ‘guts of a toilet,’ the insides of your toilet tank are made up of a number of parts. You can replace these parts individually, or you can replace the whole toilet tank if necessary.

The inside of a toilet tank includes:

You can purchase each of these items individually, but you can also purchase a toilet tank repair kit.

Toilet tank repair kits work great if you have multiple parts that need fixing but you don’t want to go through the hassle of replacing your entire tank.

You might also enjoy our post on If a Cracked Toilet Tank Can be Repaired

How Do You Replace the Inside of a Toilet Tank?

You can use a toilet tank repair kit to replace the insides of your toilet tank. First, you’ll need to shut off the water and drain your toilet. Then, remove any damaged or unusable parts and replace them with new ones. 

This may sound overwhelming, but you’ve got all you need as long as you have a repair kit, a wrench, and a screwdriver

Most kits come with step-by-step instructions for replacement.  If you don’t feel comfortable repairing it yourself, you can also contact your local handyperson for help!

Are Toilet Tank to Bowl Bolts Universal?

Most toilet tanks use a standard size bolt, but to ensure you have the correct fit and minimize leaks, you should only use bolts fitted for your toilet.  If you’re not sure what you need, check out the manufacturer numbers before purchasing.

You can find the manufacturer’s stamp with the product number and date of manufacturing stamped either on the underside or inside the tank. 

You should also have this number on your receipt from when you purchased the toilet.

Are Toilet Flappers Universal?

Toilet flappers are not universal.  Flappers vary in size, but most are between two and four inches across.  Make sure you know what size you need before purchasing a replacement. 

The good news is that Fluidmaster replacement kits are designed to fit in multiple sizes.

So while technically not a universal fit, odds are these replacement kits will have everything you need to replace your flapper.

How Much Do Toilet Guts Cost?

You can purchase a toilet tank repair kit, including a fill valve, flapper, lever, bolts, and gaskets, for about 20 dollars. So if you have a problem with part of the system but your toilet tank is in good shape, this can be an affordable fix. 

While there will be occasions where the toilet tank itself is cracked or otherwise damaged and needs replacement, if your current problem is just the plumbing inside, you’re in luck. 

Purchasing a repair kit and replacing the problem yourself will cost you about 20 bucks and an hour of your time.

How Often Should You Replace Toilet Fill Valves?

You should replace your toilet fill valves about every five years.  Of course, this number depends on a few factors. For example, if you have an older model toilet, you may need to replace it sooner. 

Other factors include:

  • Quality of the existing valve
  • Exposure to water
  • Hard water build-up
  • Clogs or leaks
  • Water quality
  • Amount of use

You might also enjoy our post on If You Can Replace a Toilet Tank


Now that we’ve discussed the fact that you can replace just your toilet tank if necessary let’s get into the important stuff. 

How much is it gonna cost you to replace your tank?  We’ve done the research. Check it out!

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Toilet Tank?

Replacing your toilet tank will cost you between $150 and $350, depending on a few factors. Of course, the biggest difference will be the brand. If your toilet was more expensive to begin with, the replacement might cost more. 

Additionally, if your toilet is an older or discontinued model, finding a replacement tank may run you extra. 

Of course, depending on the model number, you may be able to find a similar but less expensive replacement online.

How Much Does a Standard Toilet Tank Rebuild Kit Cost?

Purchasing a toilet tank rebuild kit complete with flapper, valves, bolts, and o-rings will cost you around $20.  Of course, you need to be able to install it yourself, or you’ll have to hire someone to come in and do the repair.  Plumbers typically cost at least $75 an hour. 

You can pick yourself up a toilet tank rebuild kit from Amazon. 

They contain everything you need to do the rebuild yourself, and it costs considerably less than replacing your tank, as long as the tank itself is in good shape.

What Is a Toilet Rebuild Kit?

A toilet rebuild kit contains everything you need to replace a toilet tank’s inside ‘guts.’  These typically include fill valves, o-rings, and other important parts.  You can grab one from Amazon for about $20 and install it yourself if you’re handy. 

If you’re unsure if the toilet rebuild kit has everything you need, you may need to consult a professional. 

Just be aware that plumbing is a specialty these days, and just having a plumber come take a look will probably run you around $75. 

How Do You Install a Toilet Tank Repair Kit?

You can install a toilet tank repair kit by first shutting off the water to your toilet and draining the tank and bowl.  Then, remove any broken or unusable pieces. After that, you should only need a wrench and a screwdriver.  Then, replace the old pieces with the new ones provided in the repair kit.

The great thing about toilet repair kits is they come with everything you need to replace the insides of a tank, except for a wrench, and a screwdriver, which you can easily buy online.

They also include instructions, and you should be able to complete the project in only an hour or so!

How Much Is a Toilet Assembly?

A toilet assembly kit, or a toilet repair kit, usually costs about $20 if you buy one from Amazon.  They come with all the parts you need to replace the inside of your toilet tank.  You can also purchase kits that replace the flush valves, but they run a little higher in price, around $30.

Of course, if you’re looking to upgrade your flush game, you can grab yourself an automatic motion sensor flusher

While they cost more than your typical replacement kit, it’s way more sanitary!

Brands and Sizes

Now that we’ve discussed that you can replace just a toilet tank and how much tanks and repair kits will cost let’s talk brands. 

What exactly you need to fix your toilet will depend on a few important factors, namely the brand of your toilet and the size of the interior So let’s talk about it!

What Does a Toilet Tank Come With?

A toilet tank will typically come with all the hardware and internal parts necessary to hook the tank to the toilet bowl.  This includes a flapper, o-rings, a handle, and bolts, just to name a few. 

Of course, you’ll want to check before you purchase your new tank to ensure it comes with all necessary parts. 

For example, this American Standard toilet tank states it comes with a flush valve and all necessary parts for installation. 

How Much Do Toilet Tanks Weigh?

Without the bowl attached, Toilet tanks weigh between 25 and 40 pounds.  Of course, this weight can differ by brand and materials used in manufacturing.  While this may sound heavy for something that only holds a couple of gallons, it’s due to the heavy material it’s made from. 

Toilet tanks are typically made from porcelain, a very heavy, clay-based material.

It’s the usual choice because it’s durable no matter what the conditions are and is less susceptible to cracking and leaks when compared to cheaper, lighter materials. 

Are Kohler Tanks Interchangeable?

Kohler toilet tanks are not universally interchangeable. Therefore, you will need to know the model of your current tank when buying just a new tank to ensure that the new one fits correctly and will not leak. Also, it is not recommended to put a Kohler tank on a non-Kohler base.

To make sure you purchase the correct replacement tank, check your current tank for a manufacturer’s number. 

Then, search this number to confirm you are purchasing the correct new tank.  

Will Any Kohler Tank Fit Any Kohler Toilet?

Not every Kohler tank will fit every Kohler toilet.  Kohler does have several toilet sets, in which every piece in the set is interchangeable. However, these sets cannot be mixed and matched. 

If you’re unsure whether your current Kohler toilet tank has a replacement available, we recommend retrieving the manufacturer’s number from underneath or inside the tank and purchasing an exact replacement.

Are Crane Toilet Tanks Interchangeable?

Crane toilet tanks are not interchangeable with other brands. So if you have a Crane brand toilet bowl, you’ll only be able to replace the tank with the exact same model.  This prevents leaks and other issues stemming from poorly fitting replacements.

If you’re unsure what model you’ll need, start by locating the manufactures numbers from the toilet tank. 

Typically, this number is found on the underside of the outside of the tank, though it can also sometimes be found stamped on the inside of the tank.

You might also enjoy our post on If Toilets Should be Against the Wall

Can You Mix Toilet Tanks and Bowls?

You cannot freely mix toilet tanks and bowls.  You need to know the make and model of your current toilet tank to replace it.  The same thing goes for a bowl.  While some models may be similar, you may have to deal with leaks if you do not purchase the correct replacement.

Some brands, such as Kohler, have multiple pieces in a set that you can mix and match. 

This allows you to choose different sizes and colors so that your new tank or bowl will match your current bathroom aesthetic. 

Do Toilet Repair Kits Come In Different Sizes?

Toilet repair kits come in different sizes.  Typically, you’ll see the difference in the size of the flush valve, which is somewhere between two and four inches, depending on your toilet model. 

Most repair kits start with a two-inch flush valve, but you can also purchase a three-inch version and even a four-inch if necessary.

To avoid leaks and headaches, be sure to purchase the correct one for your tank!

Related Questions

Can You Fix a Cracked Toilet Tank?

You can fix a cracked toilet tank.  If it’s only a hairline crack, all you should need is some epoxy.  If the crack is larger, a patch should hold it for a while, but eventually, you may need to replace the tank. 

If you don’t have the funds to purchase a new tank right now, you may want to consider getting a crack repair kit

They contain a sealant as well as gloves and instructions for how to mix and properly seal your cracked tank.

Which Is Better a One-Piece or Two-Piece Toilet?

According to most users, a one-piece toilet offers a water-efficient, sleek design without compromising flushing power.  As such, one-piece toilets are typically considered better than their two-piece counterparts. 

Of course, the downside to one-piece toilets is that you have to replace the entire toilet versus only replacing a specific part of a two-piece toilet if something breaks. 

Still, reports say that one-piece toilets win out the day.

Can I Replace a Toilet Bowl Only?

You can replace just a toilet bowl, just as you can replace just a tank. First, check the manufacturer number on the tank and search for the corresponding bowl to ensure you get the correct replacement. 

Of course, replacing the bowl is a slightly more complicated matter than just replacing the tank. 

You’ll have to turn off your water and completely empty the tank and bowl before even starting.  If you’re unsure how to complete such a repair, we recommend contacting a professional.

Final Thoughts

If you have a problem with your toilet tank but need to save some money, replacing just the tank is the most affordable option. 

As long as your toilet isn’t an outdated model, getting a new tank should be as easy as getting the manufacturer’s number of the current one and finding a replacement. 

We hope this article helps you figure out what model and type work best for you and your bathroom.

Our goal is that you can get your toilet fixed quickly so that you can get back to more important matters!

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