Home Repair & Gardening

How To Replace A Toilet Wax Ring

Tools You Will Need

Before you begin, you will need a few tools handy to change out the wax ring seal:

  • -Wrench
  • -Rubber Gloves
  • -Rubbing Alcohol
  • -Rags
  • -WD-40
  • -New Wax Ring Seal (My tip, buy two)


Before you begin, make sure that the water supply to the toilet has been turned off and that the toilet bowl and tank are empty. The shut off valve should be located beneath the tank or near the bowl. Once the toilet is empty, you are ready to begin. (If you’ve got a wet/dry shop vac, suck out any excess water)

1. Using the wrench, disconnect the water supply line by loosening the bolt. This bolt should be located near the toilet tank. Unscrew the bolts that connect the toilet to the floor. If they are stuck solid, try to lubricate them with WD-40. Otherwise, they may need to be sawed off with a hacksaw.

2. Remove the toilet and place it upside down nearby. Use caution, as the toilet may be very heavy. (an old blanket or thick towel is handy to set is on to prevent chipping the porcelain.)

3. The wax ring seal will be located where the toilet meets the floor. Wearing rubber gloves, remove the old wax ring seal and dispose of it. Clean residue with an old rag and rubbing alcohol.

4. Place the new wax ring seal where the old one had been previously. The new wax ring seal will be extremely sticky, so make sure that the wax ring is positioned properly before it comes into contact with its proper location. If the wax ring sticks out of place, you will need to start over. (this is where wax ring number two comes in handy!)

5. With a helper, guide the toilet back to its spot on the floor. The toilet will need to be set down so that it is level and so that the base is lined up with the anchor bolt holes.

6. Replace the anchor bolts at the toilet base. Carefully tighten the bolts with your wrench. Avoid over tightening these bolts, as this can cause the toilet to crack.

7. Finally, reconnect the water supply line and tighten the bolt. Once this is done, turn on the water supply, let the tank fill up and then flush the toilet.

Your new wax ring seal should last for 10 to 15 years at the very minimum; however, these do not need to be replaced on a routine basis. Wax ring seals only need to be replaced if the toilet wobbles, has a distinct sewer odor, if water seeps out from beneath the toilet or if the toilet or floor is replaced.



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