How to Replace Wax Ring on Toilet

The toilet wax ring is something that you don’t see or even notice when you go to the bathroom every day. This is a concealed part of your toilet that you may not know about. But it performs a very important function, nonetheless. Its main job is to connect the toilet to the floor and make sure that water won’t leak as you go about your daily duties inside the bathroom.

Now if you see water leaking on the toilet floor, it may likely be caused by a faulty toilet wax ring. You may need some plumbing experts to have that checked. Once that has been verified, you should get ready to start replacing that part.

This problem can be common in an RV toilet but is also seen in a conventional toilet as well. Now the real question: how do you replace a toilet wax ring in the first place? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.


15 Easy Steps on How to Replace Wax Ring on Toilet

Materials Needed How to Replace Wax Ring on Toilet

Some people would go out and replace the entire toilet if they see that it’s leaking. However, not many know that a simple replacement of the toilet wax ring could do the trick. If you’re ready to do toilet repair on your own, here are the detailed steps on how you can replace toilets wax ring and get rid of the leaks without spending a lot.

15 Easy Steps on :

15 easy steps on how to replace wax ring on toilet

While you may simply turn off the water supply line to the toilet, going to the main plumbing supply line and turning off the water going to the entire house may be the better idea. Either method will work though, just go with the one that is more convenient for you.

Step 1. Disconnect the water supply line.

disconnect the water supply line

Step 2. Drain the toilet.

Draining the toilet means removing the water supply line to it and emptying the tank. Make sure that the toilet is completely free of water before continuing. Otherwise, you will have water flowing all over the bathroom floor uncontrollably. If that happens, you’ll need to get either some drain cleaning or general plumbing services right away.

drain the toilet

Step 3. Empty the toilet tank.

Pressing on the flush valve won’t necessarily empty the toilet tank. Lift the toilet lid to find out if there’s water left inside. If so, use a towel or sponge to take it out. You want to clear the tank of water because you will be removing it later. You can use the wet and dry vacuum cleaner for this step too.

empty the toilet tank

Step 4. Detach the tank.

Carefully lift the tank from the toilet and keep it in a safe place. Keep the bucket handy just in case there will be water coming off the overflow tube. If your toilet doesn’t have a tank or if you are confident that you can remove the entire toilet with the tank still attached to it, you may skip this step.

detach the tank

Step 5. Prepare the toilet for removal.

By now, you should be ready to pull the toilet off the floor. Inspect the floor around the toilet base and look for the toilet flange bolt. Also referred to as the closet bot, the flange bolt is the one that attaches the toilet to the floor.

prepare the toilet for removal

At this point, you should be ready to remove the closet flange. Get ready with the appropriate tools needed, such as a wrench, screwdriver, or pliers. What you need will depend on the setup of your toilet. Use any of these tools as needed.

Step 6. Remove the toilet flange bolt.

Once you found where the toilet flange bolts are and you already have the tools to get them removed, then get ready to do manual work. Remove any cap that may cover the flange bolt if you find one. Using a wrench, be sure to remove every bolt and nut. Follow that up with the washer and then the plastic disc. 

remove the toilet flange bolt

Step 7. Remove the toilet.

As soon as the toilet flange bolts were removed, it should be easy to move the toilet from side to side and finally detach it from the floor. Wiggle slowly until the toilet breaks free. Be careful not to damage the floor, the toilet base, or the toilet bolts. If they do get damaged, keep the replacement parts and floor repair kit handy.

remove the toilet

Step 8. Put the toilet in a safe spot.

put the toilet in a safe spot

Now that the toilet is free, get it to a spot where it is safe and secured. The toilet can be very heavy, so prepare for its weight, which can go more than a hundred pounds. Best to put the toilet upside down on a blanket laid on the floor.

Step 9. Scrape away.

After removing the toilet, the toilet ring will be exposed. You will notice that it has sticky wax around it. You must remove the old wax ring before replacing anything. Use a putty knife to remove the old wax from the ring and where the flange bolt used to be. You will also have to do the same with the old wax residue sticking to the foot of the toilet. This is the reason why you should set the toilet upside down on the floor.

scrape away

Step 10. Replace the wax ring.

Types of Wax Ring

It should be easy from here on to remove the wax ring. These rings are usually attached to the floor with an adhesive, but the installation can be different from yours. Inspect the wax seal and ring carefully and find out how you can remove it from the floor flange. Once it’s clear how to do that, prepare to replace it with a new one.

Step 11. Attach the new wax ring.

Once the old ring has been removed, you should be good with installing the new one. To start, put the new wax ring on over the toilet flange. Center it well and add the necessary wax seal to prevent a leaking toilet.

attach the new wax ring

Toilet wax rings come with installation instructions on their packaging. Be sure to read that well before proceeding. Remember that every manufacturer will have their own way of getting wax seals to work. Always follow religiously manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 12. Put the toilet back.

put the toilet back

With the new toilet wax ring installed, you should be ready to put the toilet back in place. Use the flange bolt as a guide when placing the toilet over the newly installed wax seal. Ensure that the back of the toilet is perfectly parallel to the toilet wall. If not, try to adjust until you get the ideal position of the toilet bowl.

Step 13. Slowly twist the toilet seat to set it in place.

slowly twist the toilet seat

Set the toilet set in place using a slow twisting motion from one side to another. Do so until the toilet bowl rests nicely over the flange and the bathroom floor. Try the toilet seat too. If it feels right, sturdy, and not inclined to either left or right, then the seal should be okay. Once you’re satisfied, you may start bolting the toilet back into its proper place.

Step 14. Check the performance of the newly installed wax ring.

Now that the toilet is back on, check how the new wax ring replacement performs. Don’t forget to place a plumber’s tape on the inlet threads as you reattach the lines to the water supply. This will eliminate the instances of water leaking from these parts. Then fill the tank fully before flushing. Watch if there will be water leaking onto the finished floor. If there is, there might be a need to reapply the seal.

check the performance toilet

Best to wrap some paper towels around the toilet base then flush the tank three to four times. Always check the condition of the paper towel after every flush. If it got moist, then you would have to go through the installation again. Make sure that there is no water leaking out of the toilet base at all.

Step 15. Seal it off.

If there is absolutely no toilet leak, then you’re good to go. The last step would be to apply caulking or any applicable material to seal the toilet base entirely. Doing this will add stability to the toilet bowl and prevent very tiny leaks from going out. You are going to need a watertight seal. Otherwise, you’ll end up with your toilet leaking and you surely don’t want that. 

However, never use a toilet seal or caulking if there’s any visible leak. If you do, you’ll only create a lot of damage to your bathroom floor in the future. This rule also goes for a wax free toilet seal as well. Remember that sewer gas goes out the flange, which is why a tight seal must be added accordingly. Some plumbers use a rubber seal for this. You may also do so if you prefer it more. 

These are the not-so-simple steps that would get you started with a DIY toilet wax ring replacement project in no time. Note that these steps would require some special tools and handyman skills, so be sure that you have them if you decide to take on the job yourself.

If you’re not comfortable with any of the steps described above, you can always call the assistance of a reliable plumbing service provider near you. They can surely complete the project in half the time, and professionally at that. 

Leave a Comment