Summary of Best Toilet Wax Rings
Wax toilet rings are not overly complicated with tons of styles and choices; they are actually one of the simpler repairs to make with your toilet and require only a couple of pieces of information that will ensure you choose the right one for your needs: the size of the drain opening and the thickness you will need.
Thickness is important to know to compensate for the distance if the floor and toilet do not fit flush. The proper wax ring will make up for this distance and prevent leaks and wobbling. The three wax toilet rings that we have reviewed and featured above are from well-known plumbing supply companies that ensure quality and reliability.
Each of these choices will work just fine to replace your existing wax ring. It doesn’t matter why you have to remove the toilet from the drain, it is necessary to purchase a new toilet ring to put it back in place properly. All three of these top rated toilet wax rings are quality products that are easy to install and will secure your toilet against leaks and wobbling for a long time to come.
Toilet Wax Ring Buying Guide
There are several things that it is important to know before you start shopping for a replacement wax ring for your toilet. We have covered these things below so you will know what to expect and what to look for as well.
• Whenever you have to remove your toilet for any reason, replace the wax ring before you re-install the toilet. This will ensure that the seal between the toilet and the closet flange stays tight and no leaks will occur.
• Wax rings are better than non-wax rings because they are mold and bacteria resistant and will last years under normal conditions. They are also inexpensive and easy to install.
• It is important to inspect the bolts that secure the toilet to the floor whenever you are replacing the wax ring. Some rings include bolts but if they don’t make sure that yours are not corroded or rusted. If they are, replace them as a precaution.
When to Replace the Wax Ring (and how often)
Fortunately, there is not usually a reason to just routinely replace the wax ring under your toilet unless you are
1. Replacing the toilet
2. Repairing a leak from under the toilet
3. Removing the toilet from its usual place due to fixing flooring or remodeling
Wax rings do not just deteriorate so unless there is a problem to fix or that you notice you will not have to mess with this particular repair.
How to Measure for the Proper Wax Ring
When you do have to replace the wax ring underneath your toilet it is necessary to measure it so you know what size ring will be the right fit. The easiest way to measure is to remove the toilet from the floor after draining it and turn it over onto its side so the bottom is visible; using a tape measure, figure out the dimensions of the toilet’s elbow neck. The elbow neck is where the old wax ring was located. This measurement will give you the diameter of the wax ring that you will need to purchase.
Not only do you need to figure out the diameter of the wax ring you need, you will also need to consider the thickness. Wax rings come in basically two different thicknesses: standard and extra thick or double thick.
The way to decide which you need is to look at the toilet flange that is located underneath the toilet. If it is below the floor you will need to purchase a wax ring that is double thickness to compensate for the gap between the floor and the flange. If it is level with the floor’s surface a standard thickness wax ring will work just fine.
Installing a New Wax Ring
Replacing the wax ring underneath your toilet is not a particularly difficult job but it may be a lot easier with the help of another person to help lift or reposition the toilet. Four hands are much easier to get the job done than just two.
1. Remove the old wax ring, wearing gloves, and discard it. Wax rings are very sticky and have been underneath your toilet for years so always make sure you use proper gloves and disposal methods. To ensure that any wax that is left around the closet flange as well as the drain on the bottom of the toilet if you are reinstalling the same one, is gone use a mineral spirit soaked rag and a putty knife. Once the excess wax is removed, plug the drain with an old towel large enough to not fall down the drain. This is to prevent any noxious gases from entering the home via the drain pipe.
2. Take the old bolts from the closet flange and check it for cracks and pieces that may be missing. If anything is missing repair those parts that are needed before putting the new mounting bolts in. Make sure the flange is in good shape because if it is not, the toilet can tip over or leak.
3. Still wearing gloves, put the new ring in place around the ring that is raised on the underside of the toilet drain. Press it firmly enough to stay in place but not so firmly that it becomes misshapen.
4. Using your helper, lift the toilet up and place it directly over the floor drain and lower it into place, making sure the screws come up through the base of the toilet properly. Press it down gently and VERY SLIGHTLY rock it to help the wax form a solid seal.
5. Once the toilet’s base is flush against the floor, put the washers and nuts in place and tighten them enough to keep the toilet from rocking even the slightest bit. Once that is done, replace the decorative caps that cover the screws and bolts. Make sure that you stop tightening the nuts once they are firmly in place and stop all rocking. Over-tightening can damage the flange or crack the porcelain of the toilet.
6. Once the toilet has been re-installed, apply new thread tape to the inlet threads and re-attach the water supply line. After an hour or so, check the toilet for any leaks after it has been flushed and re-check it the next day to make sure the new toilet wax ring has formed a proper waterproof seal around the floor drain.
Although wax toilet rings are not super complicated to purchase, there are a couple of things to keep in mind that will make the purchase go smoothly. Measuring the diameter of your drain and assessing how thick the new ring needs to be are the two main things you have to do to ensure a proper replacement ring.
The three wax ring choices we have listed above are all excellent brands and reputable companies that provide quality products for fixing this easy plumbing repair. Go over the reviews and be sure of your specific needs for your toilet and choose one of these quality wax rings for your next repair.
The buying guide above has provided some information about installation as well as what problems can arise that would indicate you need to replace the wax ring. Remember to always replace the wax ring if the toilet has to be removed for any reason even if the problem wasn’t the old ring.
Once the toilet is removed the existing wax ring cannot be used again without there being leaks. Taking care of it at the time you are removing the toilet will prevent you from having to remove the toilet a second time.