Q&A

Why toilet bowls crack in winter

By Cottage LifeCottage Life

1 comment


The Question

What could cause a toilet to crack in winter when the plumbing has been drained and any winter use coincides with filling the bowl with plumbing antifreeze?

The Answer

There may be a manufacturing flaw in the tank, as materials used in bathroom fittings are not susceptible to cracking in the cold. In casting vitreous china, the occasional bubble can be trapped. If a water-filled bubble freezes during winter, it could expand enough to crack the tank. It can also be tricky to completely drain all the bits and pieces of the mechanism that empties and fills the tank. It’s possible that, though a tank looks dry and empty, there’s enough water left in the valve assembly to freeze and damage it.


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William Krystie

Dec. 21, 2011

10:44 pm

I cottage during the winter every year. When we leave I empty the water from the toilet. I then put plumbing antifreeze in the tank - maybe 2 or 3 inches. Then I flush so the antifreeze runs through all the waterways. I then add a couplemore inches in the tank and put a liberal amount in the bowl. You want to make sure there is no water anywhere. Again putting the antifreeze in the tank and flushing ensures you're displacing any water that may be in the toilet.


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