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Toilet wax rings

ChrisJ
ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
Hi all

I need to pull a toilet and then put it back and then a few months later pull it again. As far as I know, the flange should be ontop on the finished floor.

What should I get ahead of time just so I'm prepared?

I was thinking a normal wax ring without the horn and a set of 5/16 closet bolts.

Thoughts on the "wax free" ones? And what's the deal with the rubber horn? Some claim it's a restriction and it's only if you need to use more than one ring or an extra thick ring etc..
Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
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Comments

  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 3,243
    edited December 2019
    Take a 4x3 No-Seep if the pipe is 3" and a full 4" No-Seep if the pipe is 4". No-Seep's are the ones with the plastic horn. The plastic horn is VERY important.

    Also take a 4" regular wax ring (no plastic horn) in case the flange is not sitting on top of the finished floor in which case install this ring on top of the No-Seep.

    If the flange is more than half an inch below finished floor, use a flange extension kit that has pancakes of extension pieces.

    Make sure the toilet flange is anchored securely to the subfloor as this is what holds the toilet securely in place. If it isn't secure, the toilet will wobble and the wax seal will be compromised.

    Use all brass closet bolts if you can find them and double nut them; one nut and washer on the flange and the other on the toilet. Use best quality brass nuts and stainless washers.

    I've never tried non-wax seals; don't trust them.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    ChrisJSTEVEusaPA
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    > @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes said:
    > Take a 4x3 No-Seep if the pipe is 3" and a full 4" No-Seep if the pipe is 4". No-Seep's are the ones with the plastic horn. The plastic horn is VERY important.
    >
    > Also take a 4" regular wax ring (no plastic horn) in case the flange is not sitting on top of the finished floor in which case install this ring on top of the No-Seep.
    >
    > If the flange is more than half an inch below finished floor, use a flange extension kit that has pancakes of extension pieces.
    >
    > Make sure the toilet flange is anchored securely to the subfloor as this is what holds the toilet securely in place. If it isn't secure, the toilet will wobble and the wax seal will be compromised.
    >
    > I've never tried non-wax seals; don't trust them.

    I should've mentioned the size etc

    It's a 3" that was installed in the 1980s.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,880
    Agreed get supports Under the sub floor and anchor that ring down.
    Wax ring with flange
    Plaster of Paris around bowl parameter if mounting on tile!
    ChrisJ
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,278
    Look fir Harvey’s brand. They have extra thick versions if the flange is deep. Some models have foam inside the wax, The rubber or foam type work best with radiant tile floors.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    MikeL_2
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,375
    @ChrisJ Have a few wax gaskets ready for when you pull the toilet and then reinstall it.
    Remember not to cut the closet bolts until you are installing the toilet for the last time.
    The advice about the closet flange above. Do that.
    And depending on how much floor you are adding, ie, raising it up or down. You can use extra long closet bolts for that.
    ChrisJ
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,750
    20 + years ago I had no access to longer bolts or PVC flange extension rings. For the bolts, I sawed them in half and soldered 3/8 ACR copper as an extension between the cuts. Used extra wax ring on the no seep. Have upgraded all since then.

    Also having laid about 12-1400 sq feet of tile around the house and being really slow, I had a lot of time to worry about water damage. So each room where the floor tiles and SR meet was caulked around the perimeter of all walls. This is an attempt to keep water out of the 1 1/4" wood sandwich that most of the tile is laid on. With the BB trim secured I had visions of being able to have water an inch standing before the sub floor would get wet.

    And just to justify why people call me anal about worrying about such things too much :# .......I drill 1/4" holes around the WC flanges and do not caulk the base of the bowl. I want any water to go down to be found in the basement or come out from under the WC. The DW got a couple of 2" drain holes under it also.
    Ceilings are cheaper to repair than ceramic tile or oak floors, IMO.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    > @JUGHNE said:
    > 20 + years ago I had no access to longer bolts or PVC flange extension rings. For the bolts, I sawed them in half and soldered 3/8 ACR copper as an extension between the cuts. Used extra wax ring on the no seep. Have upgraded all since then.
    >
    > Also having laid about 12-1400 sq feet of tile around the house and being really slow, I had a lot of time to worry about water damage. So each room where the floor tiles and SR meet was caulked around the perimeter of all walls. This is an attempt to keep water out of the 1 1/4" wood sandwich that most of the tile is laid on. With the BB trim secured I had visions of being able to have water an inch standing before the sub floor would get wet.
    >
    > And just to justify why people call me anal about worrying about such things too much :# .......I drill 1/4" holes around the WC flanges and do not caulk the base of the bowl. I want any water to go down to be found in the basement or come out from under the WC. The DW got a couple of 2" drain holes under it also.
    > Ceilings are cheaper to repair than ceramic tile or oak floors, IMO.

    This toilet isn't caulked and all I'll say is having two young boys it'll be caulked when I put the new final bowl down.

    The floor isn't level and any missing goes right under. It's going to be real fun when we pull it.......

    The back can stay open but the front and sides need sealing.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Fernco no wax toilet rings are the bomb!
  • BigErl
    BigErl Member Posts: 29
    If there’s a flexible supply line, I would put a new one. Preferably one with a metal nut at the top.
  • MikeL_2
    MikeL_2 Member Posts: 369
    edited March 2020
    I agree with toilet water supply connectors; we use braided flexible supplies with metal nuts top & bottom.
    We also install brass nuts when using chrome plated soft copper supply tubes.
    We caulk or grout all fixtures where they meet floors & walls. The IRC requires all fixtures to be sealed " water tight " where they contact flooring.
    I've been reparing & installing toilets for over 50 years and find the most issues with toilets set on an unstable floor and incorrect flange
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    > @MikeL_2 said:
    > I agree with toilet water supply connectors; we use braided flexible supplies with metal nuts top & bottom.
    > We also install brass nuts when using chrome plated soft copper.
    > We caulk or grout all fixtures where they meet floors & walls. The IRC requires all fixtures to be sealed " water tight " where they contact flooring.
    > I've been reparing & installing toilets for over 50 years and find the most issues with toilets set on an unstable floor and incorrect flange

    And what about wax rings? Horn vs no horn etc
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • MikeL_2
    MikeL_2 Member Posts: 369
    Chris,
    I prefer standard thickness wax gaskets with a plastic horn.....
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,739
    Here’s what I used. I have no doubt that plumbers hate them, but I’d like to hear why other than superstition.

    Perfect in your application. Can even be re-seated at different heights.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/205762183
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    I used a wax free ring with a plastic horn on a new toilet I installed last year. It came with different rings to use depending on how deep the flange was set below the floor. Great for concrete. The toilet I replaced was in the basement.
    Anyway it worked well. Question is will it last as long as the wax ring?
  • MikeL_2
    MikeL_2 Member Posts: 369
    Paul,
    A correctly installed toilet includes a watertight / airtight gasket seal at the bowl horn & floor flange; this gasket will never contact water unless there is a blockage & back up in the connected soil piping. The bowls horn protects the wax or other seal from probing by an auger or snake, water flow erosion, rodent gnawing, etc.
    In my opinion, toilet gaskets should never be exposed to probing or water flow erosion....
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • MikeL_2 said:

    Paul,

    A correctly installed toilet includes a watertight / airtight gasket seal at the bowl horn & floor flange; this gasket will never contact water unless there is a blockage & back up in the connected soil piping. The bowls horn protects the wax or other seal from probing by an auger or snake, water flow erosion, rodent gnawing, etc.

    In my opinion, toilet gaskets should never be exposed to probing or water flow erosion....

    I'd never know that about the bowl's horn. Thanks!
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,828

    Here’s what I used. I have no doubt that plumbers hate them, but I’d like to hear why other than superstition.



    Perfect in your application. Can even be re-seated at different heights.



    https://www.homedepot.com/p/205762183

    I agree but you have to get the height just right. Violent heavy poopers can deform wax rings?



    Alan (California Radiant) ForbesZmanEdTheHeaterMan
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    > @jumper said:
    > (Quote)
    > I agree but you have to get the height just right. Violent heavy poopers can deform wax rings?

    Violent heavy pooper?

    Violent?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,173
    Who! Does! Number! One! Work! For!
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,536
    edited June 17
    Good points

    also consider this- before putting the wax down, set the bowl on the floor and see if it wobbles. If it’s tile, there’s often gonna be a wobble. Even if the floor is perfectly flat there may be a wobble here and there depending on how perfect the toilet bowl is. I would shim the wobble, make gentle marks on the floor where the shims go, then put it all together. 

    If the in-corrected wobble is bad, you could potentially break the bowl (with the bolts) or loosen the flange off the floor.

    if you don’t check for the wobble first, you’ll never know where to shim because the wax is basically buffering the potential wobble

    back to your original question. I think everybody offered their good opinion. If it’s a lead joint, I might prefer the horn. If it’s a glue joint, I might prefer the no horn. Either case, I always put the wax on the flange, and massage the inside and outside diameter of the wax onto the flange, being careful not to lower the total height of the wax.

    it’s always a bummer to see the finished floor above the bottom of the flange ring. But the world must keep spinning.

    supply tube, I am old school. Always prefer the chrome tube. The flex looks so novice. If the length of the flex is just right, but I might be able to sleep a little better, 😂  but a big old curve or a pigtail makes me wince
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,536
    Paul, I think it’s more than superstition. It gets into the sewer gases. Some plumbing systems are horribly stinky, other plumbing systems you cannot smell anything (open drain lines). This apartment building I own, absolutely odorless when fixtures are disconnected. It must have something to do with the city sewer, which way the drafts are going.

    if there was some sort of an odd positive pressure sewer gas situation, that set up could potentially blow some gas on by. Just my two cents in the hole matter. But I agree, if I had a beat up flange or floor height situation, and was in a hurry, I’d be doing the same exact thing
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    GW said:

    Good points

    also consider this- before putting the wax down, set the bowl on the floor and see if it wobbles. If it’s tile, there’s often gonna be a wobble. Even if the floor is perfectly flat there may be a wobble here and there depending on how perfect the toilet bowl is. I would shim the wobble, make gentle marks on the floor where the shims go, then put it all together. 


    If the in-corrected wobble is bad, you could potentially break the bowl (with the bolts) or loosen the flange off the floor.

    if you don’t check for the wobble first, you’ll never know where to shim because the wax is basically buffering the potential wobble

    back to your original question. I think everybody offered their good opinion. If it’s a lead joint, I might prefer the horn. If it’s a glue joint, I might prefer the no horn. Either case, I always put the wax on the flange, and massage the inside and outside diameter of the wax onto the flange, being careful not to lower the total height of the wax.

    it’s always a bummer to see the finished floor above the bottom of the flange ring. But the world must keep spinning.

    supply tube, I am old school. Always prefer the chrome tube. The flex looks so novice. If the length of the flex is just right, but I might be able to sleep a little better, 😂  but a big old curve or a pigtail makes me wince

    What about if it's a 3" copper connection to the bowl?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • MikeL_2
    MikeL_2 Member Posts: 369
    edited June 17
    GW said:
    Good points

    also consider this- before putting the wax down, set the bowl on the floor and see if it wobbles. If it’s tile, there’s often gonna be a wobble. Even if the floor is perfectly flat there may be a wobble here and there depending on how perfect the toilet bowl is. I would shim the wobble, make gentle marks on the floor where the shims go, then put it all together. 

    If the in-corrected wobble is bad, you could potentially break the bowl (with the bolts) or loosen the flange off the floor.

    if you don’t check for the wobble first, you’ll never know where to shim because the wax is basically buffering the potential wobble

    back to your original question. I think everybody offered their good opinion. If it’s a lead joint, I might prefer the horn. If it’s a glue joint, I might prefer the no horn. Either case, I always put the wax on the flange, and massage the inside and outside diameter of the wax onto the flange, being careful not to lower the total height of the wax.

    it’s always a bummer to see the finished floor above the bottom of the flange ring. But the world must keep spinning.

    supply tube, I am old school. Always prefer the chrome tube. The flex looks so novice. If the length of the flex is just right, but I might be able to sleep a little better, 😂  but a big old curve or a pigtail makes me wince
       Yes, I like the wobble check - we always dry fit before committing to a gasket. When needed, we use red rubber rainbow packing to shim a rocking bowl. It has an elastic quality and pushes back when compressed, and it's easy to trim with a blade and hide with caulk.
        For supply piping we use mostly 20" braided connectors and loop them in a neat circle. There are occasions when an old school chrome plated tube is best - I keep brass top nuts on hand for those occasions. I remember how long it took me to master the art of the offset bend; I spoiled lots of tubes while learning.....
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,536
    edited June 18
    Mike bending the tube is cake/ I have a very easy method. I put the straight tube on the toilet fill and then simply measure the distance between the tube and the supply valve. As the crow flies. Then, I bend the tube and then put the tube on the floor and keep massaging the bend until the center to center equals the distant you measured in step one. Most of us piping people know that bottom to bottom equals center to center. Right? the tube is lying on the floor so you measure from the floor to the bottom of the tube as you bend the tube. 

    Now, I’m speaking the obvious here, if you have a large offset without much vertical distance, your stuck for sure. But that’s really extremely uncommon.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • @GW Mercifully, low boy toilets are no longer popular. 
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    GW
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,536
    @ChrisJ i’ve never seen a 3 inch flange. You must be describing a 4 x 3 flange. There’s no way a toilet can sit on a 3 inch pipe. Impossible. 

    If you indeed have a 4 x 3, then let’s assume for a moment that the flange solder joint is good. I would skip the horn and just use regular wax, the only reason I would consider using a horn is to get the water from not sitting on a poor lead joint or a less than ideal closet flange repair. But that’s just me

    I did not catch where the flange is sitting, in the floor, skimming through the posts. The perfectionist in me wishes to have the flange sitting on the finish floor. But life isn’t always perfect. If the flange is buried, which happens from time to time, I would be inclined to use two regular waxes, and just pretend it’s a bunch of dough, knead two wax rings into one, and build up the height

    If it’s not done properly, you could potentially kick the wax off its kilter and inadvertently push the Wax Conglomerate into the waste pipe (not good)

    Dropping the bowl onto the flange- not rocket science but you need to switch your head back-and-forth back-and-forth to carefully drop down onto the bolts/wax as flat as possible. If you’re not careful, if your bowl is too tilted, you could inadvertently kick the wax off of it’s perfectly maneuvered position. 

    For that simple reason I might recommend longer toilet bolts, if you’re not used to setting toilets all the time.




    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    ChrisJ
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,536
    Alan Not sure what you mean, are you talking 14 inch tall? I’m pretty sure they’re still sold all over the place. I like the 17 inch tall toilets. Whenever I sit down on a 14 inch, I feel like I’m losing my balance and I’m crashing down to the floor, lol

    Speaking of which, is Chris installing a 17 inch tall? Highly recommended!
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    GW said:
    @ChrisJ i’ve never seen a 3 inch flange. You must be describing a 4 x 3 flange. There’s no way a toilet can sit on a 3 inch pipe. Impossible. 

    If you indeed have a 4 x 3, then let’s assume for a moment that the flange solder joint is good. I would skip the horn and just use regular wax, the only reason I would consider using a horn is to get the water from not sitting on a poor lead joint or a less than ideal closet flange repair. But that’s just me

    I did not catch where the flange is sitting, in the floor, skimming through the posts. The perfectionist in me wishes to have the flange sitting on the finish floor. But life isn’t always perfect. If the flange is buried, which happens from time to time, I would be inclined to use two regular waxes, and just pretend it’s a bunch of dough, knead two wax rings into one, and build up the height

    If it’s not done properly, you could potentially kick the wax off its kilter and inadvertently push the Wax Conglomerate into the waste pipe (not good)

    Dropping the bowl onto the flange- not rocket science but you need to switch your head back-and-forth back-and-forth to carefully drop down onto the bolts/wax as flat as possible. If you’re not careful, if your bowl is too tilted, you could inadvertently kick the wax off of it’s perfectly maneuvered position. 

    For that simple reason I might recommend longer toilet bolts, if you’re not used to setting toilets all the time.




    I have not pulled the toilet, or any toilet yet for that matter but I can see it from the floor below as the ceiling is temporarily open.  I guess it's a 4x3.  

    I'm betting the flange is below the floor because they tiled the floor.   It sounds like that could be reason enough alone to cut the copper out and redo it so the flange is where it belongs.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,536
    edited June 18
    It’s all good, we all “leave it” or “tear it out” at our own discretion. I never read the reason for the conversation- you re doing the floor? Sounds like you have some “I wanna do it right” syndrome- good for you 😀

    another idea (more professional plumber though) is lengthen the “riser” but that means you need some 3” copper and some more tricks. 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    edited June 18
    GW said:
    It’s all good, we all “leave it” or “tear it out” at our own discretion. I never read the reason for the conversation- you re doing the floor? Sounds like you have some “I wanna do it right” syndrome- good for you 😀

    another idea (more professional plumber though) is lengthen the “riser” but that means you need some 3” copper and some more tricks. 
    At this point there's actually two toilets in the story. The copper one I wasn't going to mess with but the wife wants a new one.  The current toilet is a 1.6 Gerber and performs very good but she wants to replace it.

    The first one is a bathroom we've been trying to finish redoing and the toilet is a 20 year old Kohler 1.6 and is probably one of the easiest to clog toilets I've ever seen.  I can't stand it.  


    I do have a 1968 American Standard Vent-Away complete with new seat in storage though.   But I haven't had any time to mess around with it.  I'm not sure where that ones going.  That's more of a "I want to see how this works" type of project.    


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,536
    I was just installing a new toilet at my rental and took some measurements.I think the horn restriction theory may not hold water


    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    rick in Alaska
  • MikeL_2
    MikeL_2 Member Posts: 369
    edited June 19
    GW said:
    Mike bending the tube is cake/ I have a very easy method. I put the straight tube on the toilet fill and then simply measure the distance between the tube and the supply valve. As the crow flies. Then, I bend the tube and then put the tube on the floor and keep massaging the bend until the center to center equals the distant you measured in step one. Most of us piping people know that bottom to bottom equals center to center. Right? the tube is lying on the floor so you measure from the floor to the bottom of the tube as you bend the tube. 

    Now, I’m speaking the obvious here, if you have a large offset without much vertical distance, your stuck for sure. But that’s really extremely uncommon.


    GW,
         Great tips for diyers! Sometime in the 70's I found a spring tubing bender and have been using it ever since.
         



  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    GW said:
    I was just installing a new toilet at my rental and took some measurements.I think the horn restriction theory may not hold water


    I recall hearing it is too thick and gets jammed into the opening.   I have no clue if any of it is true or not.




    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,536
    don't think so---if it gets jammed, I would think that means someone kicked it setting the bowl down. Gotta be level and it's gotta be kneaded to the flange, so it stays put.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]

  • Often wrong, never in doubt.
    Larry Weingarten
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    I've heard rumor that you install the wax ring on the toilet, not on the flange.

    Opinions?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    hot_rod
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,180
    edited June 19
    This post belongs in Dan's discussion called "What did you think would never last".

    I never thought a discussion called "Toilet Wax Rings" would go on for 3 years long!
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    PC7060
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,819
    This post belongs in Dan's discussion called "What did you think would never last". I never thought a discussion called "Toilet Wax Rings" would go on for 3 years long!
    I can make good ones can't I?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    EdTheHeaterManCanuckerMikeL_2
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,536
    Chris, it doesn’t really matter. It ends up in the same place no matter where it started. I like squishing it down a little bit onto the flange. That way I know it’s not gonna get kicked or moved. Everybody’s got their own thing,
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,536
    Alan that’s a bit much! 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]