What is a toilet wax ring and how does it work?

What is a toilet wax ring?

The Toilet wax ring is nothing but the sealant that is incorporated with the toilet flange. Generally, this wax ring is implemented to prevent liquid and solid waste leakage from the toilet and create a watertight seal.

Where is the wax ring located?

The Wax ring is located precisely between the toilet flange and the sewer or drain pipe. It is a durable rubber material with a longer life span of more than 30 years, but if you see any leakage and seepage, you can replace it at any time.

What is the standard toilet wax ring size?

There is an effective way of measuring the correct size of the wax ring. Just flip your toilet upside down and find the toilet outlet. Then measure the outside diameter of the which is also called an elbow neck. After measuring, if you find 3 or 4 lines of diameter, you need exactly that big wax ring. The standard size of the wax ring is mostly between 3 and 4 inches.

Can you use two wax rings on a toilet?

Traditionally you do not need to use two wax rings on a toilet because the right might cause the leakage out of the toilet. But there are some exceptions; if the flange is situated deeper than usual, you need more than one wax ring, or you can use only one super thick wax ring. Generally, a wax ring has a thickness of 3/4 and 1 inch, but in a special case, you need to have a wax ring that is a minimum of 1 inch thicker than the conventional ones.two wax rings on a toilet

Do new toilets come with the wax ring?

With a new toilet package, a wax ring is always compatible with the toilet’s model. In rare cases, the company doesn’t provide any wax ring, and then you need to purchase a  new one for the toilet. But the in-build wax ring is always more compatible than the separately purchased wax ring. 

How long do toilet wax rings last?

There is no proven evidence of how much a wax ring lasts. But by the opinion of the customers and by the expert’s opinion, a wax ring can last over 30 years. But some types of wax rings that dry out too early become fragile and get destroyed after some ages.

How to tell if the toilet wax ring is bad?

A wax ring never dies too soon in a favorable condition, but some reasons wear out the wax ring too soon. We can tell a wax ring is destroyed by seeing some symptoms. Those are, How to tell if the toilet wax ring is bad

  • The base of the toilet always keeps damp and lousy. Water is seen to gather around the toilet base. 
  • An unpleasant odor comes out of the bathroom that lingers through the bathroom ambiance.
  • The bathroom floor turned stinky, stained, rotted, and damp. The floor and ceiling become dull and moist. 

Can plunging a toilet damage the wax ring?

Plunging a toilet means creating excessive force inward and outward of the toilet trapways, and we know the rule of physics that if we put any pressure into some space, then the after effect is felt outside of the toilet. And when you put tremendous pressure on the toilet bowl and plunge, there is a possible chance of cracking out the bowl and the wax ring. So when you are plunging, be sure not to put too much pressure inside the toilet bowl.               

How do you change the wax ring on a toilet?

  • Flush the toilet to blank as much water as possible out of the tank. If you have a wet or dry vacuum, use it to suction up all the water left over. In the meantime, you need to use a combination of plunging, bailing by bare hand, or grappling up with towels to get the bowl and tank fully dry.
  • Then pull off the protective caps that cover the bolts and nuts at the base of the toilet, then unfasten the bolts and washers using a smart adjustable wrench.
  • Take a sharp knife and remove the old wax ring as much as you can. Then place the new wax ring at the bolt holes in the toilet’s baseline up with the holes in the flange. 
  • Replace the mounting bolts and bolt covers, surmount the water supply line to the tank, and reopen the supply line valve, and that’s it. Now you are done with replacing the damaged wax ring. Flush the toilet and check if there is any sign of leakage.

Hi, this is Robert Crossan, the owner of this website, has 17 years of experience in the installation, maintenance, and repair of toilets and plumbing systems. After completing the Level 2 Basic Plumbing course in 2005, I started working in both domestic and commercial buildings as a professional plumber. So I can figure out the core difference between different toilet models and brands. It also helped me monitor their work performance and setbacks.

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