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Thread: Replacing toilet, wax ring won't seal

  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?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    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

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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The problem with the horn embedded in the wax is that is it flexible, decreases the amount of wax, and it can become distorted and nearly close off the horn.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8
    DIY Member PeteD's Avatar
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    Default

    The gasket sound interesting. I will have to check that out. You could also try an extra thick wax ring (#10) - it should reach no problem. I agree about not using two rings.

  9. #9
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Non-drying plumbers putty, grab a lb bucket and roll up some in your hand to get it good and warm and then make a donut out of it the diameter of the flange and thick enough to make the connection between the flange and the water closet.

    Section 890.360 Water Closet and Pedestal Urinal

    Fixture connections between drainage pipes and water closets, floor outlet service sinks and pedestal urinals, and earthenware trap standards shall be made by means of brass, copper, hard lead, plastic, or iron flanges; caulked, soldered, screwed or solvent welded to the drainage pipe. Flanges of hard lead, plastic and iron flanges for no-hub or compression joints shall be secured to the floor. The connection shall be bolted, with a gasket, washer or setting compound, between the earthenware and the flange. The floor flange shall be set on an approved firm base. The use of putty or non-drying plumber's putty manufactured specifically for plumbing installation is acceptable

  10. #10
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    Non-drying plumbers putty, grab a lb bucket and roll up some in your hand to get it good and warm and then make a donut out of it the diameter of the flange and thick enough to make the connection between the flange and the water closet.

    Section 890.360 Water Closet and Pedestal Urinal

    Fixture connections between drainage pipes and water closets, floor outlet service sinks and pedestal urinals, and earthenware trap standards shall be made by means of brass, copper, hard lead, plastic, or iron flanges; caulked, soldered, screwed or solvent welded to the drainage pipe. Flanges of hard lead, plastic and iron flanges for no-hub or compression joints shall be secured to the floor. The connection shall be bolted, with a gasket, washer or setting compound, between the earthenware and the flange. The floor flange shall be set on an approved firm base. The use of putty or non-drying plumber's putty manufactured specifically for plumbing installation is acceptable
    I thought that method died with good reason about 50 years ago!

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default seal

    quote; Non-drying plumbers putty, grab a lb bucket and roll up some in your hand to get it good and warm and then make a donut out of it the diameter of the flange and thick enough to make the connection between the flange and the water closet.

    How retro 1950's.

  12. #12
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Hey guys, just because I was an apprentice under a plumber that learned back in the 30's and used terms like " Its colder than a well diggers hip" and such, doesn't mean it doesn't work. I have reset many water closets this way. Old man Delaney (my sponsor) hated wax rings. Heck he still preferred the old fiber rings for the wall hung water closets over the neoprene ones.

    I always beleive the old ways are better than all this new stuff they keep coming out with. PVC pipe pffft... shark bite fittings, pex.. just a lot of junk I say. Good old Copper, galvinized, cast iron, and clay pipes.. Now your talking. You want to cut into a cast iron stack and isntall a clean out tee or a wye branch, do not use ferncos, get your hands on a sission fitting. Also forget about them rubber gaskets for the cast iron pipe, lead and oakum is the only way to do it right.

    *chuckles* But seriously guys I do think some of the new way of doing things is not the better way. Have to get back to our roots. If we still had to wipe lead joints for water and dwv, as well as make our own dwv lead pipes like they did back then, we would still be to busy working instead of BS'ing on forums.

  13. #13
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    damn the guy who invented no hub. Pretty soon they'll have robots do all the plumbing work.
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

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