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Thread: Replacing toilet, wax ring won't seal

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  1. #1

    Default Replacing toilet, wax ring won't seal

    Hi All,

    After almost every possible leak a toilet can have being repaired, I finally gave up because I couldn't find a proper gasket to go between the tank and bowl of this toilet that is ~30 years old.

    Bought a new toilet, took the old one out, tried to put the new one in, and it wouldn't stick.. Aligned the bolt holes and set the new wax ring on the bottom of the toilet but it never makes contact with the flange.

    Problem I think, is the flange is level with the tile floor, or maybe sitting underneath it by 1/4 to 1/2". When I set the toilet down and move it around I can just hear/feel it hitting the tile and not compressing the ring like it should. See pictures..

    The bottom of the old toilet looks like the older ring was a LOT wider than this one, is that normal? This is the 1st time I've replaced a toilet and expected it to be easier..

    Can anybody give me some advice on how to make this new toilet fit properly?

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  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    200 miles south of Little Rock


    Quote Originally Posted by bridge View Post
    Problem I think, is the flange is level with the tile floor, or maybe sitting underneath it by 1/4 to 1/2" ...
    I have seen thicker wax rings for your kind of situation, or maybe you can just get another regular one (without the plastic bell) and stack the two together.

  3. #3


    You need to fix the actual flange. It should be on top of the finished floor. Since that is impossible without replacing the floor and pipe at this point, your best option is flange extenders. Silicone them together and screw them and your existing flange tight to the subfloor. Get rid of the wax ring with the plastic horn on it too.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Flange extenders...or, stack two wax rings together. As noted, the 'proper' place for the flange is on TOP of the finished floor, anchored through it, with no gaps between the floor and the flange. A flange is normally in the 1/4" thick range (plus or minus a little). That should help you decide which extender(s) you need to raise the flange unless you go for just stacking a couple of wax rings.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    I would opt for the extenders rather than double wax rings. Although that is sometimes done successfully, that much wax has a tendency to leak after a time. Just bring the level of the flange up to slightly about the level of the floor, use a regular wax ring, no plastic funnel, and you should be fine. Those plastic funnels are a joke. The usually cause problems and never fix one.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member ttmatsu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    San Diego, CA

    Default fluidmaster gasket

    I would try the fluidmaster gasket that Terry uses. He uses it so it can be reused as he changes toilets for testing and avoid the mess of the wax but I use it because my flange is too low. I use it on 2 toilets and I haven't had a problem in 3 years using this product. They have two o-rings in the package, 1 for 3 inch and another for 4 inch waste lines.

    You can see it on the home depot website under toilet maintenance & repair. You don't compress or rock the toilet because there is no wax. A very simple fix compared to working on the flange.

    I can also vouch for what Gary wrote about double stacking wax eventually leaking. This is why I went to the fluidmaster - it is a plastic funnel that Gary seems to deride but it does work - at least in my situation. I also tried the one where there is very flimsy plastic with the wax - very similar to what the op shows in the picture. That one IS a joke. I tried it before the fluidmaster and it didn't work. The fluidmaster is sturdy plastic.
    Last edited by ttmatsu; 01-22-2009 at 05:12 PM. Reason: adding comments


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