Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

Toilet Wax Ring Problems


Just like any other issues around the house, it is nightmare for the homeowners when the water leak occurs – especially around the toilet bottom. This is different category from the running water at the faucet in the kitchen sink or shower booth. The odors and contaminated waters are becoming dangerous if not promptly addressed after the incident is spotted.

Usually wax ring is the main culprit for this issue when it was supposed to be air tight and water tight. It was designed to seal and prevent the gas and fluid flows from the toilet into the sewer system, however there are times when the seal cracks over many years of usage. This symptom can be detected when you see the toilet start to form puddles around the base on the floor. Sometimes the water can come from the crack somewhere on the tank or toilet base, and it can be checked by wiping out and watching. The other cause could be related to loose bolts that should hold the toilet and the flange. This will make the toilet wobble and then eventually weakens the wax ring after constant movement. If this happens, then the first hand fix is to re-tighten the bolts and set the toilet to the original position.

What if the problem still exists? Should you take off the toilet and replace the wax ring? Or can you just put two wax rings this time?

You may consider this method of using multiple wax rings for the peace of mind, but there could be another risky point that you would introduce by doing that way. When more than one wax rings are used, it might raise the height of the final seal mechanism therefore there will be an increase of distance between the flange to the base of the toilet. To fix this very problem, you would then push down and squeeze the toilet that could lead into overflow of wax on the floor and you are still not sure if the ring is lined up perfectly or if there are still gaps somewhere around the toilet base. Sometimes you would need to re-arrange the position by taking it off multiple times which would cause another mess and frustration after all.

Whenever you poll out the toilet, you’d need to check and make sure the old or even new ring is not cracked before repositioning it back. Breaking the seal apart can happen even though it was not intentional, as the wax won’t stay still. That is another difficult factor for the homeowners who usually don’t deal with it on a daily basis. Also replacing the old wax ring means you have to completely remove any remaining part using putty knife, otherwise the new ring will not sit tight on the flange and it will break soon.

One of the options to address this wax ring problem would be to use new model that is made out of industrial plastic material. Because of it’s innovative wax-free solution, there is a toleration for moving slightly when adjusting the toilet base as well as fitting into any regular size of drain pipe (3 or 4 inches). This is and advantage when the re-positioning happens as it would be worry free method without actually causing any damage onto the ring itself. The added part is called slide-on spacer which can used for lower level flange on the floor, meaning no need to stack multiple wax rings that used to cause an extra issue in old days.

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