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Thread: Minimum wax ring thickness

  1. #1
    DIY Member Freddie's Avatar
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    Default Minimum wax ring thickness

    Got a question concerning the installation of the AS Studio toilet. The toilet flange is mounted on top of the finished floor and the flange is 7/16" thick or 7/16 above the floor. When I measured the toilet, it has only 5/8" space underneath for this flange and the wax gasket. This means only about 3/16" of space for the wax gasket once compressed.

    Is that enough room for the wax or is there another way to install this?

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Use a single wax without horn.

  3. #3
    DIY Member Freddie's Avatar
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    Thanks Terry,

    Doesn't the horn help prevent the wax from oozing into the drain pipe or am I a bit confused? Given the amount of compression on the wax I'd think I would want some protection from oozing into the pipe.

  4. #4
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If you only have 3/16" of space between the porcelain and the flange, the horn will only cause problems.

  5. #5
    DIY Member Freddie's Avatar
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    Terry,

    How do you then stop the wax from getting into the drain?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The horn of the toilet helps to contain it. The funnel in the wax ring can create more problems than it is designed to fix, especially if you have a smaller flange on a 3" pipe...sometimes, the wide part of the funnel is too big once pushed into that opening, and it literally causes it to close up. The opening of the toilet horn is typically in the order of a bit over 2", and the opening into the pipe is nominally at least 3"...there's room, and in your case, little chance of wax being an issue...stay away from the funnels except in unusual circumstances.
    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 JimfromNJ's Avatar
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    Always thought the horn was a plus so it's interesting to learn it's not. Just pulled a toilet that's been installed for 10-15 years and I was surprised to find it's been leaking for some time. Maybe since first installed. Plywood subfloor will have to be replaced. There has never been any external signs of a leak and the water had apparently gone underneath the vinyl flooring.

    Like your install my flange is raised above the subfloor. Probably a good 1/4 inch above the subfloor and when I scraped off the wax it was no more than 3/16 inch thick. The wax seal did have one of those funnels on it so after coming across this thread I'm wondering if that didn't have something to do with the leaking.

    I was going to install another funnel style seal instead of the single wax that came with the toilet but now I think I'll just go with the single wax as Terry suggested. It's just a temporary install pending a bathroom remodel so I'll have a chance to see how it holds up.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Many millions of toilets are installed without leaks with just wax. Plastic hasn't been around forever, and certainly less than wax for this application.

    If you're worried (unnecessarily!) about wax, there are a few waxless seals you can use, and they're reusable, should you need or want to remove the toilet (say to paint behind it) sometime in the future.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    One of the high rise buildings in Bellevue was using Sterling toilets on a high flange. The original plumbers installed wax rings with horns. We found going back, that the horn was preventing the bowls from settling down to the floor properly.
    We were in there installing TOTO toilets at the time.

    I like to set a bowl over the flange with nothing sometimes to see how flat the floor is.
    Then if I set the bowl down, and I can't get it to drop all the way down, I know the horn, if used, is causing a prolem.
    I've done it enough times, that it it looks tight, I skip the horn.
    Some plumbers never use a wax with horn, and that works too.

  10. #10
    DIY Member Freddie's Avatar
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    Jim,

    How good are these waxless seals? At Lowe's near me they have one made by Fernco.

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It depends on how clean and smooth the inside of the pipe is for those that fit inside the pipe (they seal with an oversized O-ring). There's one shaped like a normal wax ring made out of a closed cell foam that is used pretty much like a wax seal. I've used the one made by Fluidmaster, but not the Fernco one. THe wax ring emulator seems to work from responses here...I've not seen or used one.

    In reality, you can't beat an inexpensive wax ring, though. The waxless are reusable, which can be handy during remodeling.
    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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