Wax ring frustration


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Old 09-20-09, 07:10 PM
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Wax ring frustration

I've been trying my hand at installing my first new toilet for the past couple weeks. As you may have guessed by the time span, I'm not having the luck I'd hoped for.

For the first install I used the wax ring that came with the new toilet; a standard looking ring with the plastic flange. That one leaked a little bit, and upon removal it looked as though I may have moved the toilet too much and squished the wax.

For attempt number two I got a Harvey's reinforced ring and a helper. We were more careful setting it down, and all looked well enough through the first few test flushes that I caulked it. Of course, two paranoid test flushes after that I saw another leak.

I've just picked up a Harvey's big ring at the local hardware store for lucky try number three. I haven't removed the toilet again, so I can't say if there's any visual indication of why it leaked this time, but there was definite resistance when we placed it, and we were careful to keep it in place.

Someone in the hardware store told me that if the closet flange is at the right height, using a wax ring with a flange can actually cause leaks, and you're better off with a plain ring. This was the first time I'd heard this mentioned anywhere, but I'm frustrated enough after having lost several hours on this project that I wanted to ask for more opinions. The closet flange is pretty much even with my floor in this case. Are the fancy rings actually sabotaging me, or is it safe to use them in any installation?
 
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Old 09-20-09, 08:42 PM
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By flange do you really mean horn that extends from the ring through the floor flange into the drain pipe? I know it is a stupid question but you are putting the ring with the horn down?

 
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Old 09-20-09, 09:17 PM
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Good call Ray.

What are the 3 rules of plumbing?
#1. Cold is always on the right
#2. Poop never runs uphill
and the third rule of plumbing...#3. A plumber never licks his finger

Sorry to hi-jack... Getting a little punch drunk.
 
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Old 09-20-09, 09:33 PM
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Fair questions; yes I'm referring to the horn on the ring (the box refers to it as a flange), and yes both times it's been pointed down into the closet flange and away from the toilet.
 
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Old 09-20-09, 11:01 PM
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Are you certain the source of the water is the floor flange connection? With the delay of the water on your second attempt suggests the water source maybe from somewhere else that you did not not notice. It could be the the tank washer, the tank bolts, the fill valve washer, the supply connection, or even the packing nut on the supply valve. You should make certain all those are not leaking and are dry. If so, remove any/all wax from the toilet base and the flange and make sure both are dry. Then use two wax rings. One with a horn and one without the horn. Put the one without a horn on first and then the horned one. Make certain there is no movement what so ever after you've installed.
 
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Old 09-21-09, 05:38 AM
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I agree with fbjjjj6. EXCEPT for the two wax rings. The OP already stated that the toilet went down with considerable resistance.

You need to take some measurements to calculate the clearance between the closet flange and the seat of the bowl output.

JMHO.
 
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Old 09-21-09, 08:42 AM
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The flange should rest on top of the finished floor and should be screwed into the subfloor below. You said your flange was "pretty much even with the floor", so yours is a little low, but certainly not a problem. You should be able to use a thicker wax ring. Not likely you'll need two though.

Do a dry fit, with no wax ring to make sure the toilet is level and does not rock. The bowl should sit flat and level on the floor and should not rock at all. If it's not level or rocks, shim it with plastic shims where necessary.

Once you are ready to go, install the wax ring, making sure you have one that is thick enough to take up the necessary gap. Make sure that when you set the bowl, that you apply pressure directly downward, but do not twist the bowl. The wax ring should compress/squeeze out so that the bowl sits on the finished floor. Snug the bolts, but don't overtighten them. Give it a few test flushes to make sure no leaks. Give it a day or 2 if you want. Once you are sure theres no leaks, caulk the bowl to the finished floor.

Are you certain the source of the water is the floor flange connection? With the delay of the water on your second attempt suggests the water source maybe from somewhere else that you did not not notice. It could be the the tank washer, the tank bolts, the fill valve washer, the supply connection, or even the packing nut on the supply valve. You should make certain all those are not leaking and are dry
.

I'd have the same questions. Check everything above to make sure you don't have other issues.
 
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Old 09-21-09, 10:51 AM
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I always install the ring on the toilet first then use the horn of the ring to help center it. I think most instructions say to put it on the flange first but this method has worked well for me.
 
 

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