Most toilets in a home or single toilet bathroom have a connected water tank that provides the flushing water needed to flush the toilet. Some toilets have a tank fused to the bowl in one piece while others, like brass toilets, have the tank bolted onto the top rear of the bowl housing.
If water is leaking from around the tank bolts, the tank is cracked, repair a toilet or you need to remove the brass toilet; you’ll need to remove tank bolts first. Over time these bolts can become bent or rusted making removal tricky.
The first thing to do is find the toilet water supply line shut off valve. This is usually found under the toilet tank off to one side. Turn off the valve and flush the toilet twice to fully drain the tank.
Put some old towels or rags around the base of the toilet and under the tank itself because some water may leak out.
Find the bolts on the underside of the tank. Note that some brass toilets have multiple bolts and some may be hidden behind where the tank meets the center of the rear of the bowl.
Use your fingers and loosen the bolt nuts. You can also use a slip joint style pair of pliers to turn the nuts. If the brass toilet has been there a while the bolts may be rusted or stuck.
Use some penetrating oil or lubricant oil and apply it where the bolt meets the nut. Wait a few minutes for it to set in and then try loosening the bolts again. If the nuts remain stuck take the tip of a flat head screwdriver and stick it in the bolt head where the bolt touches the tank.
Use the pliers to loosen the nut while holding the screwdriver in place. You may want to have another person helping so they can hold the tank steady as it may suddenly fall or slide off the bowl housing. You’ll also want to remove the tank top cover before fully loosening the bolts.
Once the nuts are out, slide the bolts out. Lift the tank straight up off the bowl housing to complete the removal.
Keep in mind that brass toilets are susceptible to damage from sharp impacts. Use care with the screwdriver and other tools so you do not scratch the brass finish.