How long do toilet wax rings last?

Old 03-17-05, 04:37 PM
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How long do toilet wax rings last?

How long do toilet wax rings typically last? I replaced 2 of my toilets about 4.5 years ago. The one started leaking about 3 months ago and I replaced the wax ring and now the other one started leaking tonight. Is this typical? Is there something that causes their demise?

Old 03-18-05, 04:09 AM
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The only thing that I know of that will end the life of a wax seal is movement. They do not deteriorate. If the toilet or the piping underneath moves, it will break the seal and the wax will not "expand" back to fill the void. Good luck.
Old 03-18-05, 12:23 PM
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There are different sizes - often the distance between the toilet and the drain pipe are further apart than the thinner wax rings can span - so you would need to get the thicker ones ( I think they're called "double wax ring"). Also, there is a version that has a pvc liner which is cone shaped and prevents erosion of the wax.

That's what I use. I have a condo in Palm Springs where it gets up to 124 degrees in the summer and the bowls sometimes get dry if we haven't been there for a couple of months. Even under those conditions - of course we keep the temp indoors at 85 or below - I have never had one leak.
Old 03-18-05, 03:44 PM
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I have pulled toilets that the wax ring has turned black and harden. They more or less crumbled when using a putty knife to remove them. It took 30+ years to get this way, but they were not leaking. The floors were being replaced as part of a rehab project.

The thicker rings mentioned earlier are #10 rings. #1 are the thinnest wax ring with about 3/4" of wax.

Hope this helps...
Old 03-18-05, 03:54 PM
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They probably leaked due to someone plunging the toilets.

A closet auger will prevent wax rings from distorting.


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