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 wax ring on toilet
Author: matthewy (CA)

I am replacing the wax ring on my toilet (for the first time). I cleaned off the old wax ring (and removed the old plastic flange), put the new wax ring on the horn of the toilet bowl, and carefully lowered the bowl on top of the toilet flange.

I then stood on the toilet and rocked it back and forth to squish the wax ring and to force the toilet bowl down so that it touches the floor.

My problem is this: No matter how long I try to push the toilet bowl down to the floor, it just won't reach the floor. There is about a 1/8" or 1/4" gap between the base of the toilet and the floor.

I first had this problem with an "extra thick" wax ring. So I tried again with a "regular thick" wax ring, and had the exact same problem.

Does anyone know how I can fix this problem? Does anyone know if maybe if I leave it, that over time the toilet will slowly move down to the floor?

Thanks

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: T Vinyard (CA)

How high is the closet flange? should be close to level with or siting directly on the finish floor. If Thats what is preventing the toilet from sitting all the way down the flange would need to be replaced at the proper level.

Most plumbers, (I do) place the wax on the closet ring flange not on the toilet horn, does not fall off or mis-align as it does the other way (even though the box says to put it on the toilet horn)

It the wax is not smashing down becuase of the low temp that might do it, We don't have those type problems out here not really ever that cold.



Edited 2 times.

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: dlh (TX)

or teh floor could be that unlevel but only in extreme cases. ill bet the flange is not set to the proper hieght.

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PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: matthewy (CA)

Thanks for your reply.

I dont think the problem is with the flange or the floor, because I am only replacing the wax ring. I am using the same toilet bowl, floor flange, and I am not changing the flooring.

The toilet was resting on the floor perfectly before I moved it to install the wax ring.

Any other ideas? Maybe it is mis-aligned, but I was very careful to lower it such that the toilet was centered on the bolts sticking up from the floor.

Thanks again.

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: T Vinyard (CA)

Just becuase the toilet is centered on the bolts does not mean the wax didn't move on you.

Also as mentioned before Colder wax is much harder, may have to either microwave the wax a tiny bit to soften it up, or sit on the bowl longer till it mashes all the way down.

Don't rock the toilet use firm even pressure you don't want the wax to mash past the sealing point.

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: matthewy (CA)

I am actually in northern Canada (not California), so maybe the cold is a problem for the wax ring. It is currently -22F outside, but inside about 65F. I noticed that the pipe beneath the toiled had cool air inside it.

Maybe I can take a hair-dryer and try to heat up the wax ring, to allow it to soften so the toilet can move to the floor. Otherwise I would have to purchase yet another wax ring (to heat it up a bit in the microwave).

Also: I rocked the toilet quite a bit in an attempt to push it to the floor. Could this have ruined the wax seal?

Again, many thanks.

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: dlh (TX)

ok then the toilet isnt centered on the ring

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: packy (MA)

unlike other plumbers here, i put the wax onto the horn. smush it around to flatten it a little and to keep it from falling off. there are some toilets that the wax almost has to be stretched to fit over the horn. i don't feel comfortable setting those onto a flange with the wax on it.
if the toilet fit well before , it will fit well again.
as advised, heat the wax to soften it.

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: mjb1962853 (NY)

Was it a plain wax ring, or one with the plastic "horn" inside?

Just thinking plastic may be bottomed out.

On my own DIY repairs, I usually do a dry fit test (no wax) to make sure there is no mechanical interference and everything is level. Once the dry fit looks good, I install the wax ring and seat the toilet. Wax temperature in the 70-80 deg F range seems to work well. After a few days of use to make sure toilet is seated and there are no leaks, I silicone caulk around 90% of the base, leaving just a small gap at the back.

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: waukeshaplumbing (WI)

i do not use the horn on certain higher end-higher flow toilets...the outlets are alittle bigger and the horn gets in the way (Toto drake and Kohler cimerron)

this could be the problem

i also put the wax ring on the collar

make sure the wax ring is room temp before the install...dont use one which has been sitting outside in the winter

if it doesnt sit flush i usually use the sioux chief wedge shims on the back, so the front sits down....use 2 on the back corners

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: redwood (CT)

Sounds like you may not be putting the toilet centered on the flange and the horn of the toilet is hitting the flange. Try dry fitting the toilet first without a ring to see where it lines up best and how it relates to existing marks on the floor. Then set the toilet using a wax ring without the black plastic horn as the others have stated this sometimes create clearance problems.

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: hj (AZ)

No it will not. If you used an extra thick ring, why I can't imagine if the space only needed a standard one, it had a "funnel" which takes up space in the gap. If the standard one also has a funnel and you have that problem, it means that the flange is probably too high and the plastic ring from the funnel is all that is sealing the toilet, and IT is what is raising the toilet. If that is the case, then even a ring without the flange may not seal properly, because if the space is too small ALL the wax will be squeezed out and none will be left to provide an adequate seal.

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: packy (MA)

waukeshaplumbing, gotta be careful just automatically shimming the back. if the floor already slopes from back to front and you shim the back, the seat may not stay open.

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: jimmy-o (CA)

I knew a guy from Canada once, and he said they sometimes use rubber rings on toilets....too cold for wax. 65ยบ is not a problem, but if that wax has been sitting in the back of the truck all night....

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 Problem discovered (I think)
Author: matthewy (CA)

Thanks again to everyone who provided suggestions. Yes, the wax ring I used comes with a plastic "horn". Yes, I let the wax heat up to room temperature before installation.

Upon closer inspection, it appears that the plastic "horn" that comes included with the wax ring is not fitting inside the pipe in the floor. I had to remove the toilet again, and when I did, I noticed that the outer diameter of the plastic "horn" is not fitting inside the pipe properly. It only partially goes in, and the entire plastic horn is raised up, which is also raising up the toilet bowl.

A few of you mentioned that this may be the problem, and I think you are right.

Is it necessary that I use a wax ring with a plastic "horn"? Or can I do without the plastic "horn"? The hardware store only seems to sell wax rings with the plastic horn...but I can look around town for other types without a plastic horn. The funny thing is that the old wax ring (installed at least 5 years ago, before I moved in) DID have a plastic "horn", but I'm guessing that it fit inside the pipe properly. Maybe the pipes in high-rise buildings have different diameters than those in regular homes?

I am about to go now to the hardware store yet again, for the 3rd day in a row to buy a wax ring. I'm just lucky that they only cost $3.50 each (Canadian). I'm hoping that I can find one without the plastic "horn".

If I can't find a wax ring without a plastic "horn", I'm not sure if it is possible to remove it...is the plastic horn embedded inside the wax such that removing the plastic horn would ruin the wax seal?

Thanks again

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: hj (AZ)

They are good, but they have finite compression, and if the space is too small, they will reach maximum compression before the toilet is on the floor.

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 Re: Problem discovered (I think)
Author: hj (AZ)

Yes, you will damage the ring by removing the horn. High rise plumbing normally has better plumbing than homes but we do not know how your flange is attached or its size. If it is 3" and you have a wax ring marked 4" only, then it will not work and will have your problem.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: waukeshaplumbing (WI)

packy, wouldnt i have to use a 2x4 to shim it that much to cause the seat not to stay up.....thats a new one for me....

when i shim the back its usually 1/8 at most...usually less..

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 Problem solved
Author: matthewy (CA)

For those of you who are interested: I installed a new wax ring (for the fourth time), but this time I used a wax ring *without* the embedded plastic sleeve. The metal pipe is a 4" ID pipe. I think the real problem was poor workmanship when the apartment was built. The end of the metal pipe has a real rough cut on it. In a couple of places along its circumference, there a "bumps" which seem to be sticking up too high, which were hitting the plastic sleeve, preventing it from moving into the correct position, resulting in the toilet not being flush with the floor. Also, I think the toilet flange is a bit too high compared to the floor. But I am definitely not an expert and I could be wrong.

The curious thing is that when I first removed the toilet, there was a plastic sleeve, but it was in multiple pieces. If I had looked more closely before I started, I'm guessing that the toilet was already not quite resting on the floor properly.

As a test, I tried installing just the plastic sleeve (with no wax), and I could not push the toilet down to the floor. With the new wax ring (without the plastic sleeve), the toilet did push down to the floor.

Thanks again everyone for your advice. It only took me four wax rings to get it right. Hopefully next time I will only need to buy one!

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: packy (MA)

what i'm trying to say is if the floor already slopes from back to front and you just automatically shim the back, you could shim it just enough to make the seat not stay up.
i never use 2 x 4 to shim a toilet. too much trouble finding 1 1/2" thick caulk. :-)

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 Re: Problem solved
Author: dlh (TX)

that is jsut a poor cut on the cast iron coming up. you could take a grinder to it to smooth it out and get ti to the proper hieght and it is why the plastic horn was in pieces

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PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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 Re: wax ring on toilet
Author: hj (AZ)

Not really. Kohler, for example, uses a three bolt mounting to the toilet, and if the front bolts are too tight, which tips the tank forward just as if the rear of the toilet were shimmed too high, the seat will not stay up.



Edited 1 times.

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