Toilet Repair: Fixing the Wax Ring in the Toilet

Toilet Repair: Fixing the Wax Ring in the Toilet

Bathroom upgrades can be of two types, including damage control and enhancement. Repairing projects are desperate attempts or forced changes one has to deal with to prevent further deterioration of the area and to bring things back on track. Alternatively, you can enhance its interiors and fixtures for a better experience. Some corrective steps can be part and parcel of this as well. However, it is mainly about graduating to superior alternatives or keeping things from aging. No matter what, each task will have a cost and associated stress level. Enhancement work tends to be more exciting than stressful, though.

You can imagine fitting a suitable bathroom vanity sink bowl, for instance. The existing basin can be doing just fine. But you want to give your tiny bathroom a spacious feel, and that’s why this transition appeals to you. However, replacing the wax ring is more about removing the accumulated water and other unwanted substances around your toilet. A wax ring is a watertight connection between the drain pipe and the toilet’s bottom part that helps maintain sanitation in the bathroom by blocking dirty water from affecting the toilet area. These fixtures live longer in the right environment. Still, these are vulnerable. For example, a poorly installed toilet can damage it prematurely. The main relief is this is familiar territory in bathroom repair projects

If you are a DIYer of intermediate level, you can pull this stunt off well for a small price. The two-hour duty will cost you about USD $20. If the flange also needs help, you would spend around USD $50.

The wax ring replacement process

You should gather a putty knife, wax ring kit, flange ring (if needed), degreaser spray, wrench, screwdriver set, plunger, bucket, pliers, microfiber towels, etc. Before anything, confirm if you need to replace the ring seal. You can also examine the water supply pipe to ensure the problem is with this part. Remember to look at the gasket of the toilet’s tank. If these things are fine, the reason for pooling water in the base can be the wax ring. Also, a wobbly toilet means the floor flange deserves replacement. Let’s proceed with the repair job.

Turn off the water supply

The flush tank should be empty, and only refill the water if you turn the valve on. You can locate the valve by tracking the intertwined steel hose connecting the toilet tank with the wall on one side. After this, you will want to clear the toilet of all the remaining water by pushing it down through the drain pipe. Some water may remain, which you can wipe with a towel.

Disconnect the supply line

Your next target will be separating the water supply pipe from the toilet. You can open it with your hand in most cases. Otherwise, pliers can help. There will be brass or plastic nuts. Turn them counterclockwise to dislodge the pipe. Put the supply line’s open side into the bucket to catch the trapped water.

Loosen the anchor bolts

These two hardware pieces help the toilet to sit firmly on the floor. Check the two sides of your commode for them. The plastic cap would cover them. You can open them with a flat-shaped screwdriver to expose the washer and nut. A wrench can be handy to get rid of the nut. Please don’t worry about losing the bolts because the kits will have them. So, open the nut and the washer.

Dislocate the toilet

Now, you can remove your toilet from its place. Keep some towels handy to cover a few feet around the commode and vertical wall to prevent water leakage. Settle the removed WC against a wall while the towels soak in water. You will bend a little to hitch the toilet out of its flange.

Clean the old gasket and seal off the residue

As mentioned, the wax ring will be between the floor flange and the toilet. Take your putty knife to remove all the wax from the bottom of the commode and the pipe. Apply the degreaser to the toilet’s underside and the line. Please be precise with this process to help fix the new ring.

Install the flange, wax ring, etc.

You can inspect the flange ring for damages or signs of abuse. If you find something, fix this part first. Flange comes in many varieties. Some can be metal plates that go over the old flange to get screwed to the ground. Others can get inside the pipe to connect to the floor through screws. Some hinged options are also available. No matter what, you can read the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation. Your wax ring kit will have a fresh set of flange bolts. Take them out to attach them to the floor flange on either side. Look for plastic washers also that keep the anchor bolts upright and firm. Now, it’s time to handle the wax ring part. 

You can install this component in two ways. Fix the wax ring to the toilet’s downside, a challenging task for one person to manage. Having someone hold the WC a little high for this would be best. Or, you can attach the floor flange to the pipe and keep the toilet on it. Ensure that the flange and commode are in the center and clean. If anything moves to one side more, the seal will be at risk of damage. It can also lead to partially blocked drainage problems.

Put the toilet back in its place

Finally, you will bring the toilet to its position by sliding it down the mounting holes. Please be cautious to avoid damaging the wax ring. After you attach the WC, lower its seat and sit down to press it into the wax ring for a seal. Look for the washers in the kit. These can be paper, nylon, or plastic materials. Connect one nut to every bolt and tighten them to hold the toilet firmly in its location. Avoid over-tightening to protect the porcelain base. Add the plastic caps on the bolts and restore the water supply line. You may need to caulk the toilet’s base also. 

This job is easy but not fun. Also, you must be precise with your DIY skills to reap the benefits.