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Thread: Reusing wax ring.

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member kozak's Avatar
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    Default Reusing wax ring.

    So basically I had a very bad clog in my toilet, the plunger and the plumbers snake both failed to resolve the issue and I was forced to lift the toilet and attempt to clear it from the other end. I succeeded in clearing the clog and put the toilet back in its place. However since this was the first time I have done this I had no idea that the wax ring generally needs to be changed after lifting the toilet, so of course i never replaced it. Now although everything seems to be working fine and I see neither leaks nor dampness around the toilet, and I don't really want to buy a wax ring and lift it again in fear that I will screw up the installation and create a leak where there is not one now. On the other hand I don't want any secret leaks to create issues for my neighbors downstairs.

    So I guess I am wondering if it is possible for a toilet to be leaking around the wax ring without any noticeable moisture around the toilet, and if so how likely is such a scenario?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Because the horn on the outlet of the toilet is usually a fair amount smaller than the ID of the toilet flange, unless there's a clog, it just acts like a funnel, and you may never notice a water leak until the line clogs again. BUT, because the trap of a toilet is internal to the toilet, it CAN leak sewer gasses. So, yes, you should buy a new wax ring. Now, to complicate things a little, there are a few reusable toilet seals - from a closed-cell foam ring to funnels with O-rings that could be used and reused. Wax is a lot cheaper, and works well, but only once!
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member kozak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Because the horn on the outlet of the toilet is usually a fair amount smaller than the ID of the toilet flange, unless there's a clog, it just acts like a funnel, and you may never notice a water leak until the line clogs again. BUT, because the trap of a toilet is internal to the toilet, it CAN leak sewer gasses. So, yes, you should buy a new wax ring. Now, to complicate things a little, there are a few reusable toilet seals - from a closed-cell foam ring to funnels with O-rings that could be used and reused. Wax is a lot cheaper, and works well, but only once!
    I see, so unless there is a clog and I see water leaking, I can reasonably assume that I am not "drowning" my neighbors, but I can expect some odor. I kind of figured that replacement is likely inevitable but would it be safer to say that its not urgent?

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Personally, it would bother me enough that I would just pull the toilet and fix it. Having recently done an install, your skills are still fresh, and I'm sure you could knock it out pretty quickly...

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