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Replacing a Toilet Wax Ring

by Insidespaces on May 7, 2012

Wax rings are used to seal a toilet to the flange. It is used to seal the water and sewer gas into the soil stack. If there is moisture or water on the floor around the toilet, you probably need a new wax ring. One note: Find a helper for this task. Not only are toilets heavy, but you will need help aligning the flange bolts when you set the toilet back in place. Please note that some localities require a plumber to perform this activity so please check in advance.

Step 1

Turn off the water to the toilet and flush it. Remove the water line from the tank. Next, empty the bowl. There are two ways: 1) Use a cup to empty the toilet bowl. Get as much water as possible out. 2) pour a bucket-full of water (at least a gallon) into the bowl. Pour it in all at once.

Step 2

The next step is to remove the nuts that secure the toilet to the flange. The flange bolts have tabs on them so they should not turn when you turn the nuts. If the bolts turn when you turn the nuts, you will need to saw the nuts off. If you have to do this, read the in-depth how-to.

Step 3

Locate the spot where you want to put the toilet when you lift it from the flange. Remember that the toilet still has some water left in the trap and some of it may leak. A good spot to put the toilet is a tub or tile floor. Put down something to protect the surface. Lift the toilet up and gently place it on its side.

Step 4

Remove the old wax ring from the bottom of the toilet. Scrape off all of the old ring. Clean the bottom completely. Next, clean the flange and the area of the floor under the toilet. If the subfloor has been damaged by the leak, stop now and call a professional immediately.

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