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Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: evilrobot
Date: April 14, 2018 11:44AM
I a very small amount of water coming from beneath a toilet. Not continuous, but only after a flush. Knowing these things don't get better, should I reseat it on a new wax ring or hire a plumber?

I've never done this before (looks straightforward) but also don't want it to turn into a 6 hour project. Opinions? Thanks!
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: space-time
Date: April 14, 2018 11:49AM
If the leak is there the poop is, get a plumber.

if the leak is from the tank (clean water), try a DIY. Also this assumes you have other toilets you can use of the project goes wrong.
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: April 14, 2018 11:49AM
Quote
evilrobot
Opinions?

Watch an instructional YouTube video or two and you should be able to decide from that how hard it would be for you to do on your own.



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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: April 14, 2018 11:54AM
Super simple.

Drain the toilet and tank, remove the tank, then remove the base. Scrape up most of the old wax ring (it doesn't need to be super clean). Put the new ring in place, set the toilet base back in place and press down, then bolt down. put tank back, fill and your done.



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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 14, 2018 11:56AM
Try it yourself and if that doesn't work, then get a plumber. Don't try it on the weekend, though.
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: April 14, 2018 12:01PM
Quote
Ombligo
Super simple.

Drain the toilet and tank, remove the tank, then remove the base. Scrape up most of the old wax ring (it doesn't need to be super clean). Put the new ring in place, set the toilet base back in place and press down, then bolt down. put tank back, fill and your done.

I would add to get the new style 'foam' wax ring and use a new bolt kit (bolts, washers, & nuts). Make sure the toilet flange is solid & intact too.



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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: April 14, 2018 12:06PM
.....can you wax on.....wax off......???



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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: GGD
Date: April 14, 2018 12:19PM
Make sure that it's really coming from under the toilet at the floor level, and not from the back of the toilet and dripping down.

From the description of a problem I thought I was going to be dealing with a wax seal issue only to discover that it was really the gasket between the tank and the bowl. That will only leak when flushing, just like the wax seal. The water was dripping slowly dripping down the back of the toilet bowl and spreading on the floor right against the toilet base which made it look like it was coming out at the floor level at quick glance.
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: billb
Date: April 14, 2018 12:30PM
You don't have to separate a tank from a bowl to replace a wax ring.
It does make it easier to handle and less likely to fall over when setting it aside and accessing the bottom to remove remnants of the old ring.

For a first timer:
When bolting the tank back down to the floor don't use the act of securing to the floor as a means of squishing the wax ring. Sit on the bowl to slowly squish the ring wax and when you feel the base is iin contact with the floor, secure the bolts'/studs' nuts.



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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: Ammo
Date: April 14, 2018 01:21PM
Quote
billb
You don't have to separate a tank from a bowl to replace a wax ring.
It does make it easier to handle and less likely to fall over when setting it aside and accessing the bottom to remove remnants of the old ring.

For a first timer:
When bolting the tank back down to the floor don't use the act of securing to the floor as a means of squishing the wax ring. Sit on the bowl to slowly squish the ring wax and when you feel the base is iin contact with the floor, secure the bolts'/studs' nuts.

Good tip about seating the ring.



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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 14, 2018 01:26PM
Is that why they call it "seating" the ring?
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: April 14, 2018 01:52PM
I usually make sure the wax ring is on the warm side before installing. This will make sealing a bit easier. Not real hot, mind you, but warm enough that the wax is a bit softer.



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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: April 14, 2018 01:53PM
Also in a week or so, check the bolts to insure they are still tight. The wax may compress and some additional tightening may be in order. You don't have to wrench it down, just secure it.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: April 14, 2018 02:38PM
If available, a Wet Vac makes quick work of getting the last few ounces of water out of the tank and out of the bottom of the bowl.
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: lost in space
Date: April 14, 2018 03:20PM
Sign on a plumber's office wall:

Labor Rates
$85 per hout
$95 per hour if you watch
$125 per hour if you help
$225 per hour if you worked on it first



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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: bfd
Date: April 14, 2018 03:49PM
Plumbers and "drain specialists" quote ridiculous amounts for wax ring replacement - as in OVER $200. It's a job that's easily accomplished on your own for less than $20, and very easily accomplished with two people - even if you've never done it.
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: April 14, 2018 04:34PM
Evil,

If it's a rental, have your landlord do it. Repairs like that are his/her responsibility. If it's a co-op or condo and in a building, hire a plumber. You don't want the liability if something goes wrong. If you own the place and it's a house, go for it. Worst case, you end up hiring a plumber anyway.

Robert
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: Carm
Date: April 14, 2018 04:53PM
As mentioned, easy job. Two people replacing it. Even easier, even for first timers. Wet vac is a good recommendation as is the seating of the wax ring. Don’t forget to caulk the toilet. [www.familyhandyman.com]
If your toilet rocks, get some toilet shims. HD sells them. I recommend the non wax rings, they have a ten year warranty. This last round of toilets installed in my house I used DAP Kwik Seal Ultra to adhear the toilets to the floor and left the back of the toilet uncaulked.

Possible problems you could run into after removing the toilet. Broken toilet flange (its usually made of black ABS) and you need to Anchor a replacement into the floor (metal replacements are sold), toilet bolts that don’t want to come off the toilet, they need to be cut off with a hack saw or your toilet breaks (buy an efficient version). All easy fixes, just possible problems.

My MIL recently asked me to look at her leaking toilet, I assumed it was a bad wax ring. Ended up being a bad gasket between the toilet and the tank. Make sure you find leak.
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: April 14, 2018 05:11PM
.....outhouses don't need wax rings.......



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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: norse
Date: April 14, 2018 05:44PM
Place a short piece of 2x4 under both sides of the toilet to line up the holes of the toilet with the bolts, then remove the 2x4s.
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: evilrobot
Date: April 14, 2018 06:03PM
thanks all. pretty easy overall and no surprises after unbolting. the mount on the floor was flush, unbroken and the floor is tile as well as level. it sits snug and level, no wobble, and no need for shims.

i used a 'wax free' seal that adheres to the base, then inserts a flange into the drain, recommended by a plumber I ran into at Ace. I did buy all 3 sizes to avoid a second (or third) trip - to be returned tomorrow smiling smiley
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: wurm
Date: April 14, 2018 06:16PM
Sound like you bought what I was going to suggest: A Fernco wax-free. I did and am glad I did. Very easy to deal with and I'm confident it will be fine. So far, so good after 7 years. [www.fernco.com]
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: April 14, 2018 06:25PM
Good idea to buy all possible parts. I do that all the time. ESPECIALLY if fixing a car that will then be inoperable until I am done.
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: GGD
Date: April 14, 2018 06:48PM
Quote
Racer X
Good idea to buy all possible parts. I do that all the time. ESPECIALLY if fixing a car that will then be inoperable until I am done.

I always buy for Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. The home/hardware stores don't seem to have any problems with that and dealing with the returns.

I often wait until the next "project" arises and return the leftovers from the previous one to save a trip unless it's getting too close to the end of the return period (I think 90 days for Home Depot).
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: J Marston
Date: April 14, 2018 07:42PM
To find the culprit:

Put food coloring in the bowl, wait a couple of hours; see if there is colored water on the floor. If so, the seal to the flange is the the problem.

If there isn't, put food coloring in the tank; if colored water appears on the floor, the tank is the problem. There are two possibilities: a bad connection the the fill valve (which fills the tank with water) or the spud gasket (which connects the tank to the bowl). Most often it will be the spud gasket.

I prefer a wax ring to the newer foam gaskets when connecting the bowl to the flange: I think they work better, as does my plumber friend.
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: April 14, 2018 08:15PM
.....is this a Brazilian wax.....???



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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: BernDog
Date: April 14, 2018 08:35PM
All good advice on here, except DON’T caulk the toilet. Sorry, Carm. How will you ever know when the next leak happens (at least before it’s too late)?

That article says that toilets don’t leak like that. Obviously they do, and yours did.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2018 08:36PM by BernDog.
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: April 14, 2018 08:48PM
You leave the BACK 1/3 or so unsealed. Just enough for any water to escape.
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: April 14, 2018 08:53PM
.....if you get a plumber.....you will get a plumber's crack.......



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: space-time
Date: April 15, 2018 07:31AM
just make sure you have a backup plan. My neighbor didn't. he wanted to repair the outside spigot and broke the pipe in the wall. Water flowing outside. he had to shut off the main water to the townhouse. Now he comes to my unit to fill a 5 gallon jug and pour into the toilet tanks to be able to use the toilets. He's been waiting for Roto-rooter since 2 PM yesterday. I only found out at 8 PM when he came to get water. He said plumber was on the way, but I did not see/hear anyone working last night or thought the night. I bet he still has no water as of this morning.
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Re: Reseat wax ring on a toilet - DIY or get a plumber?
Posted by: Carm
Date: April 15, 2018 02:08PM
Berndog, unfortunately big people visit and can move a toilet around. The plastic toilet flanges also can’t take the pull from a toilet and just snap. It’s also required by plumbing code in some locations. I’ve tried to get away with NOT caulking a toilet and needed to reposition and ended up replacing a couple wax rings at my first place before discovering the non wax rings.

Two give always from a bad wax seal: water leaking from the back of the caulked toilet or the smell (sewer or poopy water)
Edit: What RacerX said. Also, usually enough water will leak to let you know it’s leaking.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2018 02:16PM by Carm.
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