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Last Updated on August 2, 2022

A toilet is an intricate working unit consisting of various parts like flanges, wax seal, handle, shut-off valve, float, chain, and flapper. And just like all things, even toilets can stop functioning correctly or cause various problems from time to time. Some problems will require a professional plumber, but some you can handle yourself! Replacing the wax ring on your toilet is one thing that you can do yourself. A faulty ring can result in leakage of dirty water around the base of your toilet in your bathroom.

So it’s essential to know how to replace the wax ring on a toilet to avoid a problem worsening in the future.

If it’s your first time dealing with this problem, here’s some information to help. 

What is the function of a wax ring?

It is also known as a toilet seal because its function is to prevent any leakage between the flange (a circular object which attaches the toilet to the floor and connects it to the general drainage system) and the base. 

Is a wax ring visible from the outside?

You cannot see the ring from the outside because it is situated below the toilet’s base. 

What is the seal made of?

Companies use various materials to make the seal. Some prefer beeswax, while others choose petroleum. 

Does a wax ring require regular maintenance?

Most sealants don’t require maintenance and usually last more than thirty years. However, they sometimes stop working for various reasons and might need replacement, especially in an old house.

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Causes of a leaky wax ring seal

The seal might stop working correctly for various reasons. A loose unit can weaken the seal of the wax ring. A clogged drain might also cause the problem since water can flow back towards the toilet instead of draining away through the pipes. In some cases, poor installation is the reason behind the leakage. Excess space between the base and the flange might prevent the seal from forming a tight grip.

When should you replace the toilet ring?

You can depend on a few signs to know it’s time to replace the seal. One of these is the collection of water around the toilet. Your toilet might also emit a foul smell and you might be forced to update your bathroom before you’re ready.

Brief instruction on replacing the wax ring

Although you can take the help of this information for the replacement, it is advisable to let a professional plumber handle the job.

Drain the water

You should start by turning off the main water supply and draining as much water as possible. Locate the two plastic caps on either side of the toilet’s base, and remove them with a flathead screwdriver. 

Unscrew the nuts and bolts

Once the caps are off, unscrew the nuts and bolts, securing the commode to the floor. Then, gently shake the toilet back and forth when ready to remove it. 

Replace the wax ring

Inspect the flange to detect any damage or crack. If it’s in good condition, remove the existing wax ring from the base and place a new one on top of the flange. 

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Reinstall the toilet

You can reinstall the toilet, but ensure the holes on the base align with the flange’s bolts. Once you have secured that, press the toilet downwards to create a watertight seal. Screw the nuts and bolts on both sides and screw the caps on above them.

Flush to see any leakage 

Restart the main water supply and let the tank fill up with water. Once it does, flush once to check for any leakage. 

Although it helps to know how to replace the wax ring on a toilet, it is advisable to let your plumber handle the procedure. People should only attempt to replace the wax ring by themselves in emergencies. The experts will do all the procedures methodically and precisely to avoid damaging the entire unit, and they can often do it in less time. 

Especially if you have awesome bathroom decor, it’s important you avoid leaks!

Brooks Manley

Brooks Manley

Brooks is a marketer by trade, but has developed quite the passion for home design since becoming a homeowner in New Orleans. He'll be writing about he and his wife's favorite home decor products as well as simple tips and tricks for creating a home you love.

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