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How to Replace a Toilet

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Fitting the Wax Ring to the Toilet and Closet Flange
How to Replace a Toilet

Wax Rings Come With and Without a Plastic Bell

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Fitting the Wax Ring to the Toilet
The wax ring is the unsung hero of your toilet and is generally made from preformed amber petrolatum wax. It keeps sewer gases out of your bathroom and prevents flushed water and waste from leaking out from under the toilet. Some rings are just wax and some others have a plastic "funnel" or "flange" or "bell" built in for the added insurance of making sure the waste finds its way into your sanitary line. You just need a plain wax ring if the closet flange is slightly above the finished floor. If the closet flange is flush with the floor or slightly below, you should use a wax ring with the plastic bell or funnel. Overall, the wax ring is simple and effective.

The preferred method of installing the wax ring is to place it onto the bottom discharge outlet of the toilet. Remove all paper or plastic packaging and protection of the wax ring. Make sure to install at temperatures over 70 degrees. Center and press the wax ring firmly until it is well seated on the outlet. Be careful not to damage the wax ring or set the toilet down with the ring attached unless it is for final installation. If the ring becomes deformed it will not seal properly and cannot be reused.

Because of this, another common approach used by many plumbers is to set the wax ring directly over the closet flange and then setting the toilet onto the wax ring that way.

Running a bead of plumbers putty around the outside of the bottom of the toilet base is a good idea, although not always done. This helps ensure a good seal. However a good silicone caulk around the toilet base also works.

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