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Thread: Installing new toilet, two wax rings?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Bearcats's Avatar
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    Default Installing new toilet, two wax rings?

    I am purchasing a new Toto Drake based on the recommendations here. However I was a tad confused about the requirement of using two wax rings based on flange height.

    Currently my bathroom tile is cut to run right up flush to the flange. The construction was done before me, I just removed the old junk toilet. The flange might (I cant tell for sure) be a MM or two below the tile top surface. I read on another thread here that you have to use two wax rings in this situation to insure a good seal. My concern is how do you make sure when you stack two wax rings that you dont have "gunk" squeeze into the waste flow path?

    I want to make sure I do this correct as its on an upper floor and while I dont leave in Wa, its seems like good sense to leave the caulk off the back side of toilet foot to allow leaks to show up.

    Could someone give me a tad more guidance in this matter?

    Thanks!
    -Bearcats

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    In a perfect world, the flange would set on top of the finished floor. In the real world, this often is not the case. Yours description indicates that your flange is just a tad lower, perhaps 1/8", than we would prefer, but it's still reasonably close. There are at least 2 ways this can be handled. First, you could use a waxless seal. These work very well and will make up the slight difference in height. The second way to to use a thick wax ring instead of the standard thickness ring. Do not use a ring with a plastic horn or funnel. I think 2 standard rings would be too much. As far as the caulk is concerned, my guess is that if you did have a leak, it would likely show on the ceiling below before you noticed anything from the back of the toilet, but leave the back open for your own peace of mind.

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    DIY Junior Member Bearcats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    In a perfect world, the flange would set on top of the finished floor. In the real world, this often is not the case. Yours description indicates that your flange is just a tad lower, perhaps 1/8", than we would prefer, but it's still reasonably close. There are at least 2 ways this can be handled. First, you could use a waxless seal. These work very well and will make up the slight difference in height. The second way to to use a thick wax ring instead of the standard thickness ring. Do not use a ring with a plastic horn or funnel. I think 2 standard rings would be too much. As far as the caulk is concerned, my guess is that if you did have a leak, it would likely show on the ceiling below before you noticed anything from the back of the toilet, but leave the back open for your own peace of mind.
    Thank you for the reply. I used a wax ring with a plastic horn on another toilet replacement and now that you mention that it hasn't worked the same since.

    I have seen thicker rings at the orange box store so I might give that a go. Could you give more information on the waxless solution as what to look for?

    Thanks!
    -Bearcats

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The waxless rings can be found in the plumbing department. There are a couple of brands but either would work OK. If you get one of these, do not follow the instructions that come with it. Just put the ring on the toilet's horn then put the toilet on the flange. These rings are reusable if it is necessary to pull the toilet. Wax can not be reused. The plastic horned rings seem like a good idea, but in reality the can cause problems. In case where two rings are needed, a plain ring on top of the flange and the horned ring on top seems to work. Terry provides both rings when he sells a toilet "to go".

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You have at least two options and, while I would not normally use rings with the plastic funnel, these two options do use them. First a regular wax ring with one with the funnel set on top of it will keep the wax out of the drain opening. Second, use a #10 extra thick wax ring which also comes with the funnel. Either way is acceptable in your situation.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Junior Member Bearcats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    You have at least two options and, while I would not normally use rings with the plastic funnel, these two options do use them. First a regular wax ring with one with the funnel set on top of it will keep the wax out of the drain opening. Second, use a #10 extra thick wax ring which also comes with the funnel. Either way is acceptable in your situation.
    Is there a #10 extra thick available with no plastic horn? If so, would I be opening myself up for trouble?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Measure the depth (or height, depending on your viewpoint) of the well around the horn. IF the wax is thicker than the depth of that well PLUS the distance the flange is beneath the floor's surface, it should be okay. You DO want the wax to smush or squeeze between those two surfaces when you set the toilet down to account for any variations to generate the seal. You just don't want to be squeezing out most of the wax...first, it might get squeezed out into the drain opening (but the horn helps prevent that for the most part), or, it just becomes that much harder to squish it out to get the toilet to sit down on the floor. It's also harder in the winter because the wax gets harder in the cold.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Drop a regular wax down on the flange, then drop a wax with horn on top of that.
    Squish the bowl down on that, and pour yourself a beer. It's that easy.

    Tighten the washers and nuts down before you have the beer though. After the beer is drunk, you will want a working toilet.

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    DIY Member JMingrone's Avatar
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    Fwiw, I had a similar situation in my bathroom, where the tile I installed 10 years ago ended up flush with the new finished floor. I tried the thicker wax rings and double wax rings, but every couple of years, I'd start to smell sewer gases and have to redo it. On my current renovation, I bit the bullet and had the plumbers raise the whole thing up to be ON TOP OF the new tile floor. I had easy access to the stack in the basement so it wasn't that bad. Just wanted to be done with it.

    Jay

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    That would be the "ideal" situation, but not everyone's installation lends itself to that process. IF the wax seal is failing, then it is a problem with the toilet, NOT the wax seal. Usually movement of the bowl with breaks the seal between the wax and the bowl. Wax is NOT resilient, and once it is depressed, it stays depreseed even if the bowl "rebounds" to its original location.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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