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How and When to Replace Your Toilet Wax Ring or Install Toilet Wax Ring

When and How to Replace Your Toilet Wax Ring

A wax ring is a seal between the toilet and the sewer pipe. It prevents water leakage from the joint and keeps the sewer odor out of your home. These seals usually last a long time. Of course, like everything else, when they go bad they must be replaced quickly.

A wax ring is a ring of sticky wax.  These seals dry out over time, crumble and fail. When this happens, water starts leaking from around the base of the toilet. As the seal gets loose, so does the joint between the toilet and the sewer pipe. You will notice the toilet becoming wobbly too. The first thing most people notice is a sewer odor. Once these symptoms appear, things get worse with time.

You can find these wax rings at most hardware stores as cheap as $10. Only a few common tools are required to replace them.

Tools:

  • an adjustable wrench
  • a putty knife
  • a bucket
  • some towels/rags or paper towels
  • a wet/dry shop vacuum (optional, to make the job cleaner)

Prepare to Replace a Toilet Wax Ring or Install Toilet Wax Ring

toilet wax ring - install toilet wax ring - how long does a wax ring last

  • Close the water supply to the toilet located behind and below the toilet. The valve can be closed by hand. If you find it difficult to turn, use a rag to hold it firmly. Apply force gently to avoid breaking it.
  • Flush the toilet. Get the bucket handy near the flush tank and disconnect the water supply line from the bottom of the flush tank. Use the bucket to collect the little water that is left in the line.
  • Empty and dry the bowl. It will be easier if you have a wet/dry shop vac. If you don’t have one, then use rags and towels to get the remaining water out of the bowl. The bowl and tank have to be totally dry.

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Removing the Toilet

Now you are ready to remove the toilet. If there are protective caps covering the bolts at the base of the toilet, remove them first.  Then use an adjustable wrench to remove the bolts and washers.

With the bolts removed, there is nothing that holds the toilet in place except the stickiness of the wax ring. You can now gently rock the toilet a bit to loosen it. Next, get a good grip near the center by keeping the weight of the bowl and the tank distributed evenly. Pull straight up and lift with the knees. Put it aside gently.

Cleaning up the Joint

clean old wax ringThe replacement job begins here. You can now see the pipe-fitting in the floor which is called the toilet flange. Remove as much of the old wax ring as possible from the bottom of the toilet. Use a putty knife. Also clean and dry the flange thoroughly before preparing it to install the new wax ring. Make sure that the flange is in good shape and not dented or damaged. If in doubt, get it examined by R&R Plumber at (951) 492-8609 before proceeding.

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New Wax Ring

New Wax RingRead the instructions on the packaging before you affix the ring. Some wax rings have adhesive. Different brands may be slightly different in design. You can either affix the new wax ring to the bottom of the toilet or to the top of the flange. You can do whichever way you find easier. With the new wax ring in place, lower the toilet carefully onto the flange. While doing that, align the bolt holes on the toilet’s base with the holes on the flange. Replace the nuts on the bolts.  Finally, applied a thin bead of caulking between the toilet and the floor to prevent lateral movement of the toilet. You are 99% finished with replacing a toilet was ring or install a toilet wax ring.

Press the Toilet in Place

After putting the toilet on the flange, close the lid and sit down on the toilet to push the toilet down and to compress the new wax ring. Shift your weight around equally in all directions to press down the toilet by evenly compressing the ring. This will help to get the base of the toilet flush with the floor.

Finishing the Job

Replace the mounting bolts and bolt covers. Attach the water supply line back to the tank and open the water valve. Test your job by doing a few flushes. Inspect around the joint for any signs of leaks. It is as simple as that.

If you discover any damage to the toilet or the flange or if you are in doubt at any point, during the job, give a call to your local R & R Plumber at (951) 492-8609 for expert emergency service.

FAQ ABOUT WAX RINGS

How to Stop Your Toilet From Leaking Around the Base2022-01-08T20:38:37+00:00
  1. Check For Condensation.
  2. Tighten the Tee Bolts.
  3. Disconnect and Remove the Toilet.
  4. Remove the Wax Ring, and Install a New One.
  5. Reinstall the Toilet.
  6. Connect the Water Line.

If you fail to fix it, call R&R Murrieta Plumber to fix your toilet keeps running.

What does it mean when your toilet is leaking from the bottom?2022-01-08T17:34:28+00:00

toilet leaking from the bottomThe leak is typically from the seal under the toilet failing. Wait until a new puddle appears on the floor. Check to make sure the water is seeping out from under the toilet. Make sure it is not leaking from a loose supply tube, faulty shutoff valve, cracked tank, or sweaty bowl.

How long should a toilet wax ring last?2022-01-08T17:38:18+00:00

toilet wax ringWax seals are designed to last as long as a toilet does. You can expect a life of up to 30 years or more! Normally, you will never find trouble from wax seal failure. When they do fail, if the issue is not addressed quickly, you will face a still expense for repair.

What are the Signs of a Bad Wax Ring?2022-01-08T17:37:33+00:00

toilet wax ring - bad wax ringWhen a wax ring fails, it is easy to identify. Water leaks out from around the base of the toilet. Sometimes, you will also notice the toilet feeling wobbly when the wax ring comes loose.

Why replace a toilet wax ring?2021-11-18T17:34:43+00:00

toilet wax ringA toilet’s wax ring is used to create an airtight seal to prevent water and sewer gas from escaping from the toilet. When the wax ring goes bad, it needs to be replace quickly to prevent leaks. By knowing the signs of a bad wax ring, you can avoid seriously expensive repairs.

2021-12-21T21:04:07+00:00
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