How A Plumber Installs A New Wax Ring To Repair A Leaky Toilet

The toilet in your home gets a lot of use, and parts of it are bound to wear out eventually. You may be able to do a few simple things such as replace the flapper valve, but when it comes to changing the wax ring under the toilet, you'll probably have to call in a plumber. The wax ring needs to be replaced if water leaks out from the base of the toilet. Here's an overview of how it's done.

Clean And Dry The Toilet

The first step is to empty the water in the toilet. Shut off the water supply and give the toilet a flush. This empties water from the tank. There will be a little water in the bowl that should be removed with a sponge. When you sponge out the toilet, it's a good time to clean and disinfect it so it is more pleasant to work with. When the toilet is dry, it is ready to repair. However, there will still be water below the bowl you won't be able to remove. For that reason, the plumber tries to hold the toilet level when lifting it off the floor to replace the wax ring.

Remove The Toilet And Old Ring

One reason it is difficult to replace a wax ring is that it can be extremely hard to get an old toilet off the floor. Wax rings can last for many years. Over that time, the bolts holding the toilet in place can corrode due to humidity and moisture in the bathroom. Getting the bolts loose is often a tough job that requires experience and the right tools. Once the toilet is unbolted and lifted away from the drain hole in the floor, it's time to scrape away the old wax ring. One final step is to check the flange on the floor. This is the piece bolted to the floor that holds the toilet in place and keeps it from rocking. Your plumber may want to replace it along with the wax ring, especially if it shows signs of wear.

Put In The New Ring And Replace The Toilet

Placing the new wax ring under the toilet is the easiest part of the job. When your plumber moves the toilet from the floor to get it out of the way, he or she will probably place it on wood blocks. This keeps it lifted off the floor so the wax ring can be put on easily. The ring is simply pushed into the groove on the bottom of the toilet. The difficult part comes in positioning the toilet over the drain and lining it up with the bolt holes. Your plumber may remove the tank to make handling the toilet easier. The toilet is somewhat difficult to handle due to the weight, but the big problem is often the tight space in small bathrooms. Once the toilet is lined up correctly, it is pressed into place so a good seal is made with the wax. The bolts are tightened and the water is connected. The leak stops and the toilet is ready to use right away.

Most repairs you'll need on a toilet involve clogs or leaks. Both of these can turn into serious situations that result in water damage to your bathroom. Don't put off calling a plumber for repairs when you're facing a plumbing problem (like a bad wax ring) you don't know how to fix yourself. Click here to learn more about toilet repair.