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Thread: Use Neoprene instead of a wax ring

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member mikep-sc's Avatar
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    Default Use Neoprene instead of a wax ring

    Hi,

    I'm interested in installing a neoprene seal in place of the classical wax ring. The neoprene seal is attached to the bottom of the toilet discharge through some very sticky rubber glue applied to the seal by the manufacturer. It extends about 3" from the toilet outlet.

    Anyone use these type seals?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    http://www.fernco.com/plumbing/wax-free-toilet-seal
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    Last edited by Terry; 02-17-2013 at 02:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    My question to you is why? Wax seals have been doing a excellent job for years.

    John

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If the toilet rocks in the least, the wax ring will not maintain a good seal. With the type you showed, if the inside of the pipe is not nice and clean and smooth, it will also leak should there be a backup. If the toilet is not set perfectly centered, you can distort the seal, and it might not make good contact all around.

    The toilet must be rock solid once set onto the wax seal, and then, if you follow (most) local codes and also caulk around the front 3/4 of the toilet, it will remain where you put it and not leak. The caulk keeps crud from dripping down or running underneath plus it helps hold the toilet in position which aids the bolts in holding the toilet in one place, protecting the wax ring.
    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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    DIY Junior Member mikep-sc's Avatar
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    Our toilet (wax ring) in the guest bath failed after six years. Our home was new however the toilet was removed by the flooring contractor and reinstalled. It was rock solid however we noticed that the hardwood floors were saturated with water and that's when I lifted the toilet to see a wax ring almost completely disintegrated. Same thing in a friends guest bathroom. In that case the toilet was installed over ceramic tile and was solid. In both cases I put in a new wax ring and the leaks stopped. So at this point I was wondering if a neoprene seal would be a better solution.
    Mike

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    DIY Junior Member mikep-sc's Avatar
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    Jim, as I indicated above, the toilets were rock solid. I have seen (used) toilets that rock and it makes sense that over a period of time they'll lose their seal. I appreciate the tip of putting caulking under the front part of the toilet to provide a better foundation.
    Mike

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There are only a few things that can ruin a wax ring: aggressive plunging can produce a blowout (get a better toilet!), hot water down the drain (it has to be fairly hot to melt the wax and for awhile since there's a lot of mass to the toilet and the flooring), a radiator right next to the toilet that gets it hot. Other than that, a properly installed wax ring will normally last until you decide you want to replace the toilet with a new one, or need to remove it for remodeling or repainting. But, all it takes is a little wobble in the toilet, and it's toast. Someone falling against the toilet and shifting it slightly, will often break the seal. Wax isn't springy...once the seal is made, if the toilet moves for any reason, replace the wax ring with new.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member TeXan's Avatar
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    Default Yes I have used them!

    Quote Originally Posted by mikep-sc View Post
    Hi,

    I'm interested in installing a neoprene seal in place of the classical wax ring. The neoprene seal is attached to the bottom of the toilet discharge through some very sticky rubber glue applied to the seal by the manufacturer. It extends about 3" from the toilet outlet.

    Anyone use these type seals?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    http://www.fernco.com/plumbing/wax-free-toilet-seal
    I have used this model (fernco Waxless) and can report they work great.. However you may want to limit the use to new toilets... The weak link is the glue / adhesive adhesion to the base of the toilet bowl. If wax seal was previously used, the adhesive will not stick unless ALL the wax seal is removed.. I did this once using gasoline Kind of dangerous Make sure it is outside in well vented area.. The Fernco adhers so strongly the toilet can be removed repeatedly and reused.
    Make sure you get the right size.. There are 3 different sizes... one for going inside a 3 inch pipe and one for going inside of a 4 inch pipe.. there is also one for going into a flange put on a 4 inch pipe.. check this out carefully..

    The advantage of this waxless is that they don't leak! Even if the toilet wobbles.. They are also ideal if the flange is not installed on top of the floor (you don't have to install extension rings) Disadvantage .... if the flange is too high you cannot compress them lik a wax ring can.

    I recommend the Fernco brand .. There are other brands that i have no experience with. The fluidmaster and other brands are a seal rather than a plastic pipe (like the Fernco) that extends down the flange.

  8. #8
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    My limited experience with these has been positive. The only suggestion I would make is when installing them, disregard the instructions and the little cardboard box. Put the seal on the bowl first, then lower the bowl and seal onto the flange.

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