Home Plumbing How To Replace Toilet Wax Ring

How To Replace Toilet Wax Ring


A toilet wax ring creates a seal between your toilet bowl and the outflow opening in your floor. If you experience any leakage from the bottom of your toilet, you will need to replace your toilet wax ring. A good quality wax ring will last you for 7-10 years. Leaks from beneath your toilet can be due to a variety of reasons. These include a broken flange, damage to flooring underneath your toilet, or improper installation of the wax ring.

The wax rings are an essential part of your toilet assembly. It prevents leakage of water and waste by creating a seal between your toilet and the outflow drain. Additionally, it restricts the entry of harmful sewer gases into your home. Hence, if you notice any leakage from your toilet, you should fix it promptly.

I had the unfortunate expereince of having a leaking toilet a few months back. Always treat a malfunctioning toilet as an emergency and never try to plunge your toilet when its leaking. Plunging forces the waste towards your outlet pipe. If you plunge while having a damaged flanged or wax ring, you will aggrevate the problem.

As mentioned before, leaks from beneath your toilet can be for a multitude of reasons. The only way to properly diagnose the problem is to dismantle your toilet and inspect your flange and wax ring. If you have a cracked flange, you will need to replace it. Additonally, you will need to install a new wax ring as well.

There are certain factors you need to take into consideration while buying a wax ring –

Type –

Seal rings come in two variants, the popularly known “wax rings,” which, as the name suggests, is made from wax. Additionally, you can also purchase wax-free seal rings, made of rubber.

Ease of Installation –

Wax rings has a small margin for error during installation. Each time you remove your toilet, you need to install a new wax ring. Hence, if you do buy a new wax ring and mess up your toilet installation, you will need to buy a new one. However, this is not the case for wax-free rings; they are easier to install and can be adjusted after installation. But, improper installation can damage these rings too.

Flange Height –

Typically, flanges are thin circular plates that stay level with your floor. But, sometimes, they can be elevated if you have low flooring. Conversely, flanges can also be a few inches below floor level. You’ll need to buy thick wax rings for these flanges.

Warranty –

As mentioned before, a good wax ring will serve you well for almost a decade. We advise buying rings from manufacturers who provide a warranty for their products for 7-10 years.

Average Cost To Replace Toilet Wax Ring

Depending on your flooring type and flange, select the best type of toilet wax ring to replace the old one.

Time Required

It can take you between 1-2 hours to replace your toilet wax ring.

Tools & Material

Removing Your Wax Ring

How to replace toilet wax ring the right way
  • Removing your toilet will expose the wax ring.
  • Avoiding pulling on the wax ring by hand as it is sticky and will make it challenging to pull. Rather using a putty knife, scrape around the bottom of the wax ring until you have removed all of it.
  • Being old, the wax ring might break into pieces, or some parts may remain stick to your flange.
  • Patiently scrape as much of the old wax ring as you can. Your flange will be the base to attach your ring, and it needs to be as level as possible.
  • After removing the wax ring, immediately plug your drain with a cloth. An open-drain will allow harmful sewer gases to enter.
  • With the drain plugged, inspect the condition of your flange. If the nuts or plates are cracked, damaged, or corroded, you’ll need to replace them.

IMPORTANT TIP – You do not need to replace the entire flange each time. Depending on the component that is damaged, use a flange replacement kit to rectify it.

Attaching Your New Wax Ring

How to replace toilet wax ring properly
  • Place your wax ring under warm water for a minute to soften it. Do not use hot water as it can damage the ring.
  • Once the ring is soft, place it gently on top of your flange.

IMPORTANT TIP – Once the ring is soft, do not press or pull on it as it can deform the ring and cause difficulty in installation.

  • Gently tap the wax ring to set it in place on your flange.
  • Next, you’ll need to attach your toilet bowl to the wax ring.
  • The two closet bolts from your flange are the main indicators for aligning your toilet bowl.
  • Align the closet bolts exactly below the openings on the sides of your toilet bowl.
  • Gently lower your toilet bowl onto the wax ring until it is firmly in place.
  • Additionally, attach washers to your closet bolts and set them in place using the nuts provided.
  • Tighten your nuts and inspect your toilet for stability. Your toilet should be stationary and allow no wobbling or shaking. If you notice any movement, you will need to restart the installation process.

Re-Assembling Your Toilet

With your toilet bowl attached to your wax ring, proceed to install your toilet tank.

Additionally, wrap the opening of your water supply lines with Teflon tape before attaching to your toilet tank. The tape will improve your supply lines’ durability.

Let your toilet re-fill and flush multiple times to check all your toilet connections are correct.

Lastly, inspect the bottom of your toilet bowl for any leaks. Additionally, inspect your toilet’s drainage. Water should smoothly drain from the bowl once your flush. Any obstruction in the flow points towards a faulty installation, which you should address immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions: How To Replace Toilet Wax Ring

Can I re-use a wax ring?

Never re-use a wax ring. Even if you purchase a new one and mess up the installation, buy a new one.

What type of toilet seal ring is better?

Both wax and non-wax seal rings are good options. We advise using a non-wax ring if you do not have experience repairing your toilet.


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