How to replace a toilet wax o-ring

How to replace a toilet wax o-ring

 How to Replace Toilet Wax O-Ring

Is the toilet floor leaking water or do you have a wobbly toilet? Before spending any money, figure out if it just needs a little fix of wax o-ring replacement. The wax o-ring is made of thick wax that forms a watertight seal between the drain pipe and the bottom of the toilet.
Wax rings can last for decades but can also dry out, crumble or fail early. They are cheap and available at almost any hardware store for less than $10. The ring can be replaced done in seven simple steps. Steps that the average handy person could handle and save lots of money.
It is not hard to replace the toilet wax ring. It can be done at home, simply by draining the tank, detaching the supply line, removing the toilet, and replacing the new wax ring.
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Materials and Tools Required

Bucket or an empty garbage can (anything to catch water)

7 Steps Guide for Replacing Toilet Wax Ring

Step 1: Drain the Toilet Tank

First, turn off the water supply line. The valve is usually at the bottom left of the toilet. Close the valve by rotating in a right-handed direction.
Now, remove the lid of the tank and flush the toilet. Hold the toilet handle down so as much as water can draw off from the bowl and the tank. Then use a sponge or water vacuum to drain any water left in the bowl.
Detach the supply line of water by undoing the compression nut.
Ensure the bowl and the tank are dry.

Step 2: Remove the Toilet


Place a thick cloth or cover on the floor where the toilet will be moved to while replacing the wax seal.

Take off the caps of bolts and washers.
Use the scraper to push upward gently to remove the caps.
Now, with adjustable wrench size, apply enough pressure to untie the bolts. Be mild. Anything more may break or crack the toilet anchor flange.
With the help of a wrench, remove the remaining nuts and washers from bolts at the toilet base. If the nut spin along with the bolt, hold the bolt with separate pliers while untying the nuts or washers.
Set the nuts and washers aside where they won’t be lost.

Step 3: Shift the Toilet

Hold the toilet under the sides of the bowl and move it gently back and forth to break the old wax seal. Attentively, lift the toilet straight up and place it on the thick cover on the floor.
If the toilet is too heavy, try lifting the tank individually from the bowl by detaching the bolts and separating the toilet.
If you don’t see the wax ring check the bottom of the toilet to make sure the old wax ring isn’t attached to it.

Step 4: Take off Old Wax O-Ring

removal of wax o-ring
Scrape the existing wax seal from the base of the toilet flange by using a scraper or putty knife after cleaning the caulk around the toilet floor. Make sure to examine the area for any cracks that may need fixing.
Make sure toilet flange bolts are still in good condition if you’re not changing to new ones.
Clean around the toilet anchor flange, scrap the drain with putty knife gently.

Step 5: Place the Wax O-Ring

wax o-ring
Attach the new wax ring seal on top of the toilet flange. Be sure the wax seal is aligned up correctly.  Take the bolts as a guide to put the ring on top.

Step 6: Put the Toilet Back

wax o-ring
Now tip the toilet so you can see underneath and scrape any sludge so you can assure it will sit snug on the wax ring.
Position the toilet by using bolts of the toilet flange as a lead. Ensure the toilet is placed correctly with the floor level, don’t move back and forth once the toilet is placed on the wax seal.
While placing the seal is misbalance, the toilet will leak like before. So be careful with the position.

Step 7: Re-Bolt the Toilet on the Floor

Put the washers and bolts back on the toilet.
Tightly close the bolts to place the toilet bowl with level on the floor firmly. Too tight bolts can also damage the bowl. Then top it off with the remaining caps.
Lastly, connect the supply line and turn on the water valve. Allow the tank to fill, and now, flush it several times to check the complete installation has performed correctly.

Important Toilet Repair Tips to Keep in Mind 

Wax Ring
Use wax ring as the wax is known for resisting bacteria and fungus and retaining its sealing capacity after decades of use.  Wax rings are pretty reliable, cheap, and fit in almost any toilet.
Wax ring can last longer than the toilet itself but can also tear out early. Reasons can be dry wax, poor quality manufacturing, or flop before its time.
Toilet Flange
If the toilet is still wobbly after changing the O-wax ring you may have a broken flange.  A flange repair kit may fix this problem.
Gap Floor
Ceramic tile may create a gap between the toilet flange and the toilet. In that condition, add a flange ring to fill the gap. The leakage is minimal or can be solved with cement seal glue.
Water Supply
Remember to drain the toilet tank and disconnect the water supply line before changing the flush valve.
Cause of Damage
Make sure to acknowledge the actual source of leakage before going to a store. Check anything you need beforehand to fix the problem.


Toilet leakage can cause so much struggle as the washroom is a basic day-to-day need. But the simple replacement of a wax ring can save all the fuss. Having a wobbly seat or toilet seal leakage is a common problem that can be solved at home with a simple understanding of what needs to be done.
For better visual understanding, watch the video explaining every step for replacing the wax o-ring to reinstalling the toilet back on its position.

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