More Toilet Tank Lid Frequently Asked Questions
Q. "How do you measure toilet tank lids? Dimensions?"
A. We measure outside dimensions, from edge to edge; ALL dimensions are approximate.
Some lids are odd shaped. We still measure at the widest points (side to side) and (front to back).
Some lids have 3 dimensions listed. We do this to help you determine if this is the lid you are looking for. Some lids have 3 distinct areas and by listing the dimensions of all three, we believe this will help you determine whether the lid will fit your tank or not.
Q. "How did you get into the unique business of selling toilet tank lids?"
A. Over thirty years ago our founder Vic began saving toilet tank lids. It's his passion.
He loved how unique they all were and was greatly interested in the varied histories of each toilet tank lid.
In 1980 Vic started offering his vast inventory of toilet tank covers in
Northern California. Fifteen years later in 1995 when he started our Internet store he offered/showed his inventory of toilet tank lids on-line.
We were the first on the Net and we still have
the largest selection of toilet tank lids of any supplier on the Internet (by far, no one comes close).
Experience and longevity does make a big difference.
We've heard it said that: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"
and so we look at our competition and feel flattered. Our biggest
toilet tank lids competitor in 2004 wrote to Vic (on Dec 2, 2004) and stated in part
"....I'm the little guy....Just the 'Lord of Lids.'
As I was thinking of you, the King of Lids...." and so it goes. Our
tank lids competition in general have been complimentary and have shown a lot of respect.
We may have a lot of competition these days when it comes to offering toilet tank lids;
however we were the "Kings of Toilet Tank Lids" on the Net in 1995 and continue to be today.
Do you really have over 8,500 toilet tank lids and if so, how do you manage them all?
Because we stock more toilet tank lids than all of our competitors combined on the Net, keeping track of it all could be a nightmare. Fortunately our software and shopping cart was created in-house by our 2 top notch in-house computer specialists so keeping track is a breeze.
Also, we have invested a great deal in our toilet tank lids operation, and have invested over $30,000.00 just for our racking systems to hold our inventory of over 8,500 toilet tank lids.
No one anywhere on the Net comes even close to having invested in - and continues to invest in - as much as we have in our salvaged/used toilet tank lid inventory, and in the management of that inventory.
Q. "In Vic's expert opinion, which is more valuable, a used toilet bowl, toilet tank or toilet tank lid/cover/top?"
A. No question about it, between a NEW toilet bowl, tank, or lid, a tank lid initially costs the least new. BUT, consider how much work it is
changing a bowl or tank. Changing a toilet tank lid is about the easiest thing anyone can do. Changing a bowl or tank can be a real hassle and in those cases we recommend changing the entire toilet instead. If you need just a bowl or tank we recommend
that you buy a whole new toilet. One other thing we'd like to mention: with current and future U.S. water saving laws, it might not be legal everywhere to install or replace water wasting fixtures and in the U.S. it might actually become illegal to sell a used water wasting toilet tank or bowl. (As of right now we aren't aware of the Federal water saving law having been tested anywhere regarding replacement tanks or bowl only.)
Bottom line.....to us it's a no-brainer that a used replacement toilet tank lid is far more valuable than a used toilet bowl or tank.
Q. "Do you really like to buy toilet tank lids?"
A. Absolutely, but not all models and brands. Currently, we are paying over $1,000. for a very old one and our
minimum goal is to never have less than 8,500 toilet tank lids in stock. Visit our page to read more about us buying unique toilet tank lids as well as purchasing them in bulk.
Q. "I see for the model I need that there are 5 of them on your site and they all have different sizes. Will all of them fit since they all have the same model number?"
A. We say that toilet tank lids are like the fenders on a classic car, but actually it's even more complicated than that - unfortunately, toilets aren't like metal bumpers. Stamped metal is an exact size each and every time. Since toilets are made out of fired (in a kiln) porcelain china they shrink during the firing. Not all firings are exactly the same temperature each time nor is the clay 100% consistent from year to year and season to season. Plus, molds are sometimes copied from other molds over time and so there can be large variations in the same model. With some toilet models the tank lids simply will not fit well unless they are the exact same size. With some designs it isn't that critical but with some it makes all the difference. It's best that you order the exact sized replacement if at all possible.
Q. "I've found a white tank lid that fits my Pink toilet. I've looked for weeks but I can't find a Pink one anywhere. Can I paint the white one?"
A. That is an option, but please recognize that it won't look the same. Even if you could match the exact color, one simply can not duplicate the exact same gloss that porcelain china has. It can get very close, especially if you take it to professional bathroom refinishing services so you might want to call around your area and visit or speak to a professional and ask how close a match they can make for you. You also might want to think in terms of covering the white tank lid with a fabric or cloth type of tank cover that is commercially available in many colors and can be purchased either locally or many places on the Internet.
Q. "I have a lot of scale, stains and mineral buildup inside my toilet bowl.
Is there anything that you recommend to get rid of that? To make my toilet bowl look good as new?"
If you have rust spots, using phosphoric acid generally will help remove them.
If you would like to try the gentlest approach maybe try using some Coke on the rust first.
Yes, we aren't kidding, Coca-Cola contains a trace amount of phosphoric acid.
To try this, drain the toilet bowl to below where the rust marks are. Then pour on some Coke. Wipe with a soft cloth and then more Coke, over and over, etcetera.
If that doesn't do the trick then use Naval Jelly which contains a lot more phosphoric acid (be sure to read the directions and safety warnings).
Naval Jelly is what we here at PlumbingSupply.com® use to get rid of rust stains and it's readily available at most hardware stores.
Most scale and mineral build-up in toilet bowls is caused by hard water. Hard water generally leaves lime and calcium buildup which can become quite unsightly.
First try using non-harsh and non-abrasive vinegar (any kind of white or red vinegar that you normally use in the kitchen).
If that doesn't work then try using non abrasive commercial chemicals specifically designed for that. Most grocery stores carry products of this nature.
Please remember to read the directions of use before buying that product and please don't use anything that is toxic to our environment.
Q. "I see some colors showing in the background of color names like Beige, etc. Are those colors the exact color of the products?"
No. The only reason that we are showing those colors is to draw attention to the names of the colors.
Also please recognize that, even if we were showing an "exact" matched color, your browser might not be set to match our browser and so might
show the color differently than what we are seeing them as. Accuracy of colors is very difficult without having an exact physical sample.
Q. "Wow, what a great selection of lids. How come you charge what you do?"
Our inventory overhead is fairly high, naturally, for having the largest selection of toilet tanklids anywhere on the Internet.
Obsolete toilet tanklids are unlike new products that we can reorder from the manufacturer. Once a tanklid is sold, in many cases,
we can not find an identical lid to replace our inventory.
Unlike selling new products (where we know our source), one of our major overhead costs with used, old, antique toilet tank lids is traveling and
searching and finding rare, and unique, lids that we don't already have.
In order for us to offer the largest selection of tank lids on the World Wide Web, we store many of our lids for countless years and a lot of those toilet lids will never be sold.
View me for a selection of our lower priced and on-sale toilet tank lids.
Q. "My lid arrived without any cracks
or chips, but it was dirty and had drops of paint on it. Why wasn't it cleaned before it was shipped and how can
I safely clean it?"
A. Many of these lids have small scratches and/or
dabs of paint on them. Some lids have more paint than others. We always ship the best lid available at the time the
order is processed. If we were to add the cost of cleaning each lid prior to shipping it,
the cost would be so high that most customers would not be able to afford them. Paint can usually be removed with a razor blade,
utility knife or other scraper. Residual paint after scraping, as-well-as other substances, can generally be
removed with a gentle cleanser or whatever you clean your toilet with. Some may require more work than others.
We do not ship broken, cracked, or chipped lids, nor do we ship lids with stains that cannot be removed such as rust stains,
without letting the customer know first and allowing them to decide if they still want it.
Q. "I need 3 of the exact same lid.
Do you stock more than one of each toilet tank lid top?
A. Yes, generally because we stock over 8,500 salvaged used porcelain china toilet tank lids
we will have 3 or even 10 or more of the same toilet tank lid.
However, because many of these toilet tank tops are very rare, we may only have one lid in stock for a particular model/size.
Just order however many that you would like and we will ship them. IF we don't have
as many as you need THEN we will let you know within 24 business hours that we don't. At that time we would ask you what you would like done with your order.
"I have looked everywhere and just can't find the tanklid that I am looking for. Can you help me?"
Don't give up hope. We have the largest toilet tank lid inventory in the entire United States and always have
more lids coming in or lids that haven't been categorized yet.
We provide a free tank lid search service and probably can help you locate your antique and unique toilet tank lid
very quickly. Just click here to read all about our free toilet tank lid detective and research service.
Q. "I just purchased an obsolete replacement tank lid and it wobbles a little. Is this normal?"
A. ALL brands of porcelain toilet tanks, during the manufacturing process, shrink while drying and then also the porcelain gets "fired" (heated to a very high temperature) in a kiln. ALL porcelain shrinks during these processes. The shrinkage can never totally be controlled. Because of that, it is rare that you'll ever find a replacement tank lid that fits as well as the original one. Most people live with the slight wobble but if it bothers you, you can always experiment with silicone, adding in areas that need to be raised, etc. Putting a small dab of silicone on top of the tank (or on the lid), allowing it to dry before placing your replacement tank lid on top. Sometimes this will help.
Q. "My toilet tanks and lids in my house aren't 'perfect' and have some blemishes. I see that you
list some tank lids that I have. I am looking for better quality 'perfect' tank lids. Are the ones listed perfect without ANY blemishes?"
A. Toilet lids for tanks are made from porcelain clay. They are molded, glazed and then fired at very high temperatures in a large kiln.
ALL porcelain china has some (small) blemishes. Please understand that new toilets cost very little in relationship to the amount of work, expenses, etc that go into the manufacturing of them.
We don't think that porcelain toilet manufacturers can afford to make near perfect toilets (as far as glazing, etc) for what toilets are and have been selling for.
The main goal of most toilet manufacturers, it seems to us is to have a good flushing toilet that looks good, for a relatively low price, and that has no major obvious blemishes.
There is, by the nature of porcelain, a lot of shrinkage of the porcelain china during the (high) firing in a kiln, the inherent variability in hand finished toilet tank lids (which all toilets
even today still get some hand work done on them). We are not aware of any toilet tank manufacturer that does everything by machinery and automation and who does
not have a percentage of defects, grade b and near defective (with "blemish") toilets. We have yet to see a porcelain toilet tank lid that doesn't have some type of small flaw or blemish
and we don't want our customers to be think that the tank lids that we are offer are flaw and blemish free. They are not. All of the tank lids
that we sell are free of chips and cracks. All do have some small blemishes, as well as possibly some dirt and paint. If a tank lid has a LOT of blemishes or a large blemish we
will indicate that (by the words "obvious blemishes"), and the price will reflect that larger blemish. There might be casting defects on the rim (a small surface hole) on the back side of tank lids (that faces the wall)
but not visible when mounted on the toilet tank. Please recognize that blemishes and flaws are sometimes "in the eye of the beholder." What we are trying to say is that if you are
extremely "picky" then please do not buy one of our tank lids as you might be disappointed. Please note also that at least 95% of all toilet tank lids will have
major blemishes on the back side (facing the back wall). That is perfectly "normal" and to be expected.
Q. "I have a broken toilet tank lid that is 20" x 8" square with no rounded corners and you list what I think
is the same tanklid but your dimensions are 20 1/4" x 7 3/4", is this the same tanklid as what I need?"
A. All of the measurements are made by humans and many times it is difficult to decide where to measure as no tank lid is a totally
square, totally flat product. We call our measurements "rough" and "approximate" and that's what they are. If we show 20" x 8" and no other wording it doesn't
mean that the tank lid is totally square. It means that the maximum length is "approximately" 20" and the maximum width is
approx. 8" and that the tank lid might have many more measurements and might have rounded corners, square corners, 45 degree corners, it might have many different buttresses/shapes.
When we list a measurement it means that the longest measurement of that tank lid is approximately that length. Please don't assume that your tank lid
is what we list unless the measurement, brand and model number are all 3 identical. When in doubt it is best to ask us before ordering a tank lid.
Q. "I just received my tank lid. It has the same numbers on it but the tank lid doesn't fit at all?"
A. In the past, many porcelain manufacturers kept the same lid number when they changed shapes. This is frustrating for all concerned. We highly recommend that when you place your tank lid order, that you write the dimensions of the outside of the tank (and also the o.d. of the tank lid) for/to us. When you place your order, after you have provided your personal information, you will see a place for you to provide this information (notes) to us. If you do not write anything there, we will assume that you know that the tank lid numbers that you are ordering will fit your tank. If you provide us with both measurements, we can/will confirm them before shipping your porcelain toilet tank lid to you.
Q. "I really need a tank lid right away and am concerned about freight damage?"
A. Not to worry. During these many years of us being the largest toilet tank lid supplier in America,
we are quite experienced in shipping them. It is true that in the past, when we first started shipping porcelain, that the percentage of damage was not as good as we would have liked it to be.
Today, with our vast experience of shipping toilet tank lids these many years, we now buy boxes specifically sized for tank lids.
We also use an average of 25 feet of bubble wrap as well as special protective corners (made out of foam) and our employees are well trained on how to package your obsolete toilet tank lid. The odds of your lid getting broken during shipping to you is very slim.
Q. "You have the tank lid brand and model number that I have but I see that you have cautions and notes about
variances by toilet tank manufacturers. How can I be assured that the tank lid that I'm ordering is the correct one??"
A. It's impossible to be 100% certain and you should be mentally prepared to possibly have to return the tank lid
(which will cost you time and money). When ordering it is best to mention the outside dimensions to us (on our order page you will see a space for comments).
We cannot guarantee that the above lids will fit exactly as each tank lid varies from manufacturer to manufacturer as well as sometimes manufacturers used the same part
number for different sized tank lids. Also, please note, old colored tank lids will NOT match exactly to your toilet's color (it might be close but probably won't match perfectly).
"I get leaking from my toilet tank. Is there anything that I can do to stop that?"
A. First you need to determine the cause. Dry all around the toilet tank as well as the floor below.
To see where the leak is coming from, simply place some food coloring (we like the color blue but other colors will work) into the tank.
Then wait for an hour or so. Look if any of the color has seeped through the tank (crack) or around a fitting, etc. If you do not see any of the coloring anywhere, then flush the toilet (best to have a flashlight on).
If you still do not see any coloring then there is a good possibility that your tank is sweating. It also could be that your flush valve ("ball cock") is shooting water up against the tank lid, and then some of the water drips down along the side of the toilet tank. Replace or repair the ball cock (flush valve) in that case. Do NOT
seal around the tank lid and the tank with silicone, etc., as with most tanks and lids there needs to be some air space going into the tank.
Q. "I have an old broken toilet that I want to dispose of. Where can I take it?"
A. It would be best to contact your local garbage company and ask if you are allowed to dispose of your toilet into your normal garbage. Because toilets are made of porcelain china and therefore won't decompose, many areas will no longer allow you to just dump your toilet. Some areas will insist that you take it to a local recycling center or approved toilet disposal location where your toilet will be ground up and used for road materials, etc. Please check to see if your toilet tank lid is on our wanted list because if it is we will buy it from you. If it's not on the list but you would still like to rescue your tank lid from going to the dump please feel free to ship it to us by sending it to: PlumbingSupply.com®, 994 E. 20th Street, Chico, CA 95928.
"Why such differences in prices and can't I find an exact fit tank cover cheaper someplace else?"
A. Purchasing ceramic porcelain toilet tank lids from
local salvage companies most likely will charge less than our price, as they got the lids for free (randomly). But we'll put it in a box and send it to your doorstep, and with no time wasted on your part.
Think of the convenience! Also know that when you purchase one of our toilet tank lids that any profits we make are dedicated to charity and so you are helping to make this a better world.
If we have a lot of demand and little supply (some lids are nearly impossible to find) for a certain model then we will charge
accordingly. Look at any "collectibles," from baseball cards to porcelain dolls. Pricing obsolete antique porcelain toilet tank lids is an art, not a science.
In order for us to continue to provide this valuable service, we need to be rewarded for gambling in purchasing, collecting, categorizing,
storing, displaying and offering you many thousands of toilet tank covers (the largest selection of toilet tank tops in the entire world).
Bottom line? It's basically a "supply and demand" issue. If we show a green lid #12345 lid for $180. and the same model in yellow (or whatever color) #12345 lid for $500 we recognize that customers
who need the green lower priced model will probably be happy at our price. What can happen is that customers that need that much more expensive other color will probably view us as "ripping" them off.
Not much can be done about that except that we do need to be sensitive to the person that needs the more unique, or harder to get, other colored tank lid.
WE are sorry if some pricing doesn't make sense. Please realize that some rare porcelain dolls or bowls sell for over one million dollars. We offer the
largest selection of toilet tank lids on the Internet. Porcelain toilet tank lids are all so very unique. In Old House Journal Magazine they referenced PlumbingSupply.com® and wrote:
"Like the fenders on a classic car, the moldings, color, size, and shape of toilet tank lids are
distinctive to each manufacturer and era.....". EVERY toilet tank lid is unique and there isn't any other in the world exactly the same because porcelain tank lids shrink a lot and all warp slightly while being fired in a kiln at high temperatures.
For the most common toilet tank lids we do charge less than most. Just click here to go to that page.
Q. "I can't afford to pay what you show for a 'used' toilet tank lid. Will you take less money for it?"
If you really can't afford it then we certainly want to help you and we suggest that you look at our toilet tank lid sale page or going to
our "how to save money on toilet tank lids" page.
Some would argue that our many thousands of toilet tank lids are used and therefore "not worth much."
But antique cars/dolls/coins are worth thousands of dollars and everyone accepts that. We see toilet tank lids as "obsolete" and therefore very valuable.
What we show for price is what we sell them for - nothing less - and over time, prices will go up (unless we get too many of a model and no demand, in which case we lower the price), but never
will we (or do we) lower the price if someone asks (when someone asks for a price there appears to us to be more "demand"). Our prices are firm. Please recognize that these obsolete
tank lids are unlike any of our other tens of thousands of plumbing products. When you buy one of these obsolete tank lids we no longer can (in many cases) locate another one, and buying these isn't as easy for us as simply ordering more from the factory.
Offering these lids is a lot more time and labor intensive than any of our other products that we offer.
In 1995, when we first offered obsolete used porcelain toilet tank lids our prices on these products were
significantly lower. Over time we recognized our true costs, which are much greater for obsolete used products than
simply purchasing and then selling new products. Yes, we sometimes feel that these lids are "too" expensive as well, but if we wish to continue
to offer them, we must make a profit on them for charities or it isn't "worth" it for us. In the year 2000, we raised
our prices on these products to cover our extra labor, time, etc. so that we can make a profit on these lids. In 2007
our profits on these toilet tank lids started going to charity.
Let us just say, "it's not as easy as it looks," offering toilet tank lids on the Internet.
We do not price our tank lids with a low markup like all of our other new merchandise, so please do not judge our high prices on these tank lids with the rest of our low-priced items. The prices
for these tank lids are high and do not reflect the rest of our the products on our site. One last thought: ALL of our profits made on toilet tank lids go to charity, so the "high" prices for our toilet tank lids
might not hurt as much for you, and you can be sure that when you purchase a toilet tank lid from us you are helping mankind. We hope that you will understand/recognize that our heart is with you, but we feel that we must continue to charge what we do and give the profits to non-profit secular charities.
Q. "My toilet tank top has a big crack. Do you think I can fix it by gluing it?"
A. For safety reasons (it's porcelain china which can cut you badly should it crack further) we absolutely do not recommend gluing your tank lid.
Q. "I don't see my tank lid listed. Do you have others in stock as I love my antique toilet?"
A. If the tank lid that you are looking for isn't listed
on any of our many toilet tank lids inventory pages then either keep coming back to these pages every few days (as we are continuously updating them)
or send us a cut-out (or template) of your tank lid (just follow the instructions on our free search page) and we can find it for you.
If you are in an extreme hurry, and can't wait to mail us the information that we need to find the lid for you, then
we suggest that you spend a day or two going to any and all salvage yards in your area.
Q. "I don't see the tank lid that I'm looking for and I need one right away. What do you suggest/recommend that I do?"
A. Either buy the plastic "last resort" tank lid (if your tank lid isn't larger than 20 1/2" x 7 5/8"),
or maybe make a wooden tank lid out of a solid piece of wood (be sure to use top quality marine type varnish or finish, we have found that using plywood
or pressed wood makes for a short lived tank top). You can always also try spending some time calling local master plumbers, etc,
in your area to see if they have toilet tank lids in stock. Also, click here for more ideas. You might also want to consider purchasing a whole new water saving toilet as well.
Q. "How do you find so many toilet tank lids?"
A. Many years
of being focused on toilet tank tops has helped make us the best and largest Internet replacement toilet tank top supplier in the World.
For over fifteen years we invested in a "wanted - toilet tank lids" ad in a national plumbing trade magazine (imagine what that cost us!).
We've advertised a lot in local newspapers as well.
Word travels and many plumbers, plumbing manufacturer Reps, apartment maintenance workers, some home centers, antique dealers,
and even junk salvage dealers know about our toilet tank top collection through these many years of us being "the" place
for old antique toilet tank tops. Old bottle caps or old bottles, or even stamp collecting isn't what makes our Vic happy, but
finding over 50 unique and distinctive toilet tank lids all at once can make his day.
For fun, Vic will drive hundreds of miles to follow up on a tank lid lead; for example, he drove over 1,200 miles to check out one specific "hot tip". If he hears of a
good toilet tank lid source he'll do whatever it takes to see those tank lids.
Lucas also loves to discover new finds and drove over 2,000 miles to get some unique toilet tank lids in Seattle.
It was Lucas who negotiated over a 3 month period to purchase over 5,000 toilet tank lids from one source.
It's just who we are and what we like to do for fun.
If you have a lot of toilet tank lids that you would like to sell please let us know.
Q. "I see my toilet tank top listed, but unlike the others it doesn't have a price showing next to it - how come?"
A. Although rare, that does happen. What has occurred is that we just sold the tank lid and are checking to see if we have another one.
Basically that specific toilet tank lid is in "limbo" at the moment and so it's best to simply email us and ask if we have found another one yet. Should you e-mail us regarding one that is listed but
has no price next to it we will certainly make that a priority at that point.
Q. "Who does recycling of old vitreous china porcelain toilet bowls, toilet tanks and lids?"
A. Architectural salvage can be found on the Web and many of those suppliers have unique porcelain toilet tank lids, antique toilet bowls and tanks.
Usually architectural salvage companies tend to charge more than building salvage companies but you never know unless you contact them. If you need to dispose of broken vitreous china toilet tank lid many
salvage yards will take them as they will grind up the porcelain for road base. We were told by one employee at Urban Ore in Berkeley, California that they grind up their old vitreous china toilets, fixtures, etc. for artificial coral reef manufacturers.