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View Full Version : How much does a wax ring compress?

rsmith99
12-20-2008, 10:58 PM
When a wax ring is unstalled under a toilet, how much is it compressed? How much is too much?

kingsotall
12-20-2008, 11:02 PM
Too much is not the problem. It's when there is too little.

rsmith99
12-21-2008, 12:06 AM
Is the seal made on the top of the flange or is the wax compressed between the bell on the toilet and the inside of the funnel part of the flange?

theplumber
12-21-2008, 01:11 AM
It's the wax side, the horn is an optional component. It's not always neccessary.

hj
12-21-2008, 07:54 AM
Since many of us do not use the ring with a funnel, we do not have to worry about it. The wax compression ranges from zero when the space it too wide, or infinite when the flange is too high and squeezes all the wax out. Almost anything between the two extremes is adequate. But the funnel introduces another variable because it takes up space and can cause the wax above and below it to be squeezed out if the gap is just adequate for the funnel's ring.

jimbo
12-21-2008, 07:58 AM
The wax fills the void space between the top of the flange, and the bottom of the toilet discharge area. If there is 1/2" space, and the wax is 3/4 thick, then that is what is squeezed.

Plain wax has been used for decades. Today, you can get wax which has a urethane donut embedded in it, for supposedly an even more reliable seal.

hj
12-21-2008, 08:06 AM
That one is usually specified "for wall hung toilets".

jimbo
12-21-2008, 10:11 AM
http://www.wmharvey.com/prod/cat3/noseep/no3.php

SewerRatz
12-21-2008, 10:12 AM
I learned from an old old time plumber that hated wax, he always used plumbers putty. He used to clean off the flange set the W/C (water closet), then draw a line around it. Then he pull the W/C make a donut about an inch and half thick and set it on the flange then make a rope out of the putty about a half inch thick and trace it around the line he drew around the W/C. Then set the W/C rocking the hell out of it to ensure the putty and the bowl are well mated.

Myself I prefer the best wall hung W/C seal out there the Zurn Neo-Seal. I even use it on floor mounts.

http://www.lockeplumbing.com/data/images/ZUR-NEO-SEAL.jpg

bighit
12-21-2008, 10:17 AM
It should be compressed as much as it fits.

rsmith99
12-21-2008, 11:19 AM
The funnel I was talking about is the funnel in the closet flange, not on the was seal.

My question is; I only have about 1/8" gap between the top of the closet flange and the bottom of the stool. Is that enough pace for the was ring to seal properly?

Verdeboy
12-21-2008, 11:26 AM
A little bit of wax is all you need. If a heavy person sets the toilet, it will squish down more than if a light person sets the toilet. The only problem with a thin wax seal is that, in the long run, it will squeeze out to nothing faster than a thicker seal. But that hopefully will take years.

12-21-2008, 09:12 PM
once the toilet is squished down to the floor, the state of the wax is static,regardless of the weight of the user.

kingsotall
12-21-2008, 09:15 PM
And if you really want to be certain, leave the plastic bolt covers off and after a few uses of the toilet check to see if the bolts tighten down anymore. At some point you have to call it good.

Verdeboy
12-21-2008, 09:22 PM
Nothing lasts forever. My contention is that a 1/8" seal will not last as long as a 1/2" seal due to a combination of factors, including natural attrition of the wax. I've pulled many a toilet where the wax was completely worn or squished away.

kingsotall
12-21-2008, 09:30 PM
And you never know how many times that same toilet was pulled and put back without replacing the wax.

rsmith99
12-21-2008, 09:46 PM
For the past few months i have been reading this forum and the John Bridges forum. The main point everyone stressed was that the flange MUST set on top of the finished floor. My flange was too low so i tore it out and installed a new one, setting on top of the tile. The flange is 7/16 thick, as all of themseem to be. The top of the flange is 7/16 above the tile.

Now it seems everyone has changed their minds and i should have set the flange lower somehow. The only way to set it lower is to set it on top of the cement slab instead of the tile. Thats the only way to get a 1/2" space for the wax ring.

This isn't rocket science. All measurements should be standard according to code.

Why is it so hard to get a consistant answer on one the most basic plumbing jobs?

I appreciate everyones help and opinions but i'm about to give up and buy a port-a-potty.

SewerRatz
12-21-2008, 10:02 PM
For the past few months i have been reading this forum and the John Bridges forum. The main point everyone stressed was that the flange MUST set on top of the finished floor. My flange was too low so i tore it out and installed a new one, setting on top of the tile. The flange is 7/16 thick, as all of themseem to be. The top of the flange is 7/16 above the tile.

Now it seems everyone has changed their minds and i should have set the flange lower somehow. The only way to set it lower is to set it on top of the cement slab instead of the tile. Thats the only way to get a 1/2" space for the wax ring.

This isn't rocket science. All measurements should be standard according to code.

Why is it so hard to get a consistant answer on one the most basic plumbing jobs?

I appreciate everyones help and opinions but i'm about to give up and buy a port-a-potty.

Problem is there is 100 manufactures of closet flanges and each have different thickness. I have always set my flanges flush with the finished floor.

Verdeboy
12-21-2008, 10:02 PM
For the past few months i have been reading this forum and the John Bridges forum. The main point everyone stressed was that the flange MUST set on top of the finished floor. My flange was too low so i tore it out and installed a new one, setting on top of the tile. The flange is 7/16 thick, as all of themseem to be. The top of the flange is 7/16 above the tile.

Now it seems everyone has changed their minds and i should have set the flange lower somehow. The only way to set it lower is to set it on top of the cement slab instead of the tile. Thats the only way to get a 1/2" space for the wax ring.

This isn't rocket science. All measurements should be standard according to code.

Why is it so hard to get a consistant answer on one the most basic plumbing jobs?

I appreciate everyones help and opinions but i'm about to give up and buy a port-a-potty.

You're making this a lot harder than it has to be. The flange sits on top of the finished floor. You put a wax ring over the flange. You set the toilet. If the floor is uneven, you can shim it a bit and caulk it.

Redwood
12-22-2008, 07:26 AM
You're making this a lot harder than it has to be. The flange sits on top of the finished floor. You put a wax ring over the flange. You set the toilet. If the floor is uneven, you can shim it a bit and caulk it.

I would agree 100% with this!
Slap that ring down and set the toilet!
This really isn't something that needs 97 posts in 6 different forums! :D

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2/Redwood39/nike.jpg

gardner
12-22-2008, 07:54 AM
In a separate post you indicated that you had approx 1/8 inch clearance between the flange top and the underside of the toilet when it's down. This is fine.

Stick your wax ring on and set your toilet.

The toilet may still rock a little if your tile, or the toilet is not exactly flat. Use shims, but not wood ones. Personally, I've made little slips of copper from flattened copper tubing for shims. I bend a lip on one side so that the shim can not dissappear completely under the toilet.

http://www.terrylove.com/images/shim_it.jpg
Plastic door shims are best.

SewerRatz
12-22-2008, 08:44 AM
Wow Redwood, that slope in that picture made my balls shrivel up.

Verdeboy
12-22-2008, 11:02 AM
I hope the kid can swim. :eek:

rsmith99
12-23-2008, 10:39 AM
OK. OK. I agree, I can get pretty anal sometimes when I am trying to find out how to do something. Comes from my computer analyst background. I always get as many opinions as I can and then try to figure out which opinion I should go with.

I return the Toto Gwyneth toilet that did not set flat. Got a new one and it was perfect on the bottom. I installed it yesterday and everything went well. The first flush did result in a gush of water shooting out over the side of the bowl that hit the wall and ran on the floor. But after that it behaved a little better. Went through a couple of wax rings because the horn on the bottom of the toilet was bigger than the inside of the wax ring. The first one split before it was seated all the way. Had to ship about 1/16" +_ on one corner where my tile was a little low.

Appears to work good now. No water leaks and nothing coming out from under the toilet. Although that would probably take some time to occurr if it were going to happen.

The only small problem I had was setting the tank level and getting it tightened. I made sure the tank was setting level in relation to the three tabs on the top of the toilet. I then went back and forth between the two tank screws and tightened the tank. I still have about a 1/16" gap on the left front tab, but the tank screw was getting pretty tight and I was afraid I would break it. I will let the gasket settle a little and then try to tighten it a little more.

The wife is happy now. So all is well!

Thanks again for everyones help!
Ron

Terry
12-23-2008, 11:36 AM
If a bowl needs shimming, we do it at the back, making sure the front of the bowl is pinned to the floor. My favorite shims are found in the door department, they are about six inches long with a very gradual taper, made of reprocessed plastics. Very easy to "score" and snap.

With tile, I like using clear PolySeamSeal. It looks much better than trying to match colors.

A rotohammer works nice for putting in 1/4" holes in the concrete to secure the flange.

rsmith99
12-23-2008, 06:00 PM
Thanks again everyone for the help.
The Toto gwyneth works great!