Sunrise Specialty » How to Replace a Toilet Seal? (Step-by-Step Tutorial)

How to Replace a Toilet Seal? (Step-by-Step Tutorial)

A toilet seal is a part of the toilet you don’t see when you look at your facility. It is, however, an essential component on the floor of your bathroom directly at the bottom of the toilet. It is a small wax ring, which keeps smelly water from spreading all over the bathroom floor.

You don’t regularly change the toilet seal because they could last up to 30 years. However, you need to know how to replace a toilet seal when it is damaged and leaking out water. Here are useful tips to follow.

How to Turn off Water and Remove the Toilet

Step 1: Turn Off the Water Supply

When you notice that your toilet seal is broken, the first thing is to turn off the source of water. You can find the valve right beside the toilet, or you may choose to cut off the water supply at its main source outside the bathroom.

After that, flush the remaining water in the tank and use a sponge to perform the job. Another great way is to use a shop vacuum to suck out the water inside the bowl.

Step 2: Disconnect the Tank Hose

Step 2 Disconnect the Tank Hose

The next thing is to detach the hose that connects the bowl to the tank. Place a bucket to catch any water that may pour while doing this.

Sometimes the bolts may look old and rusted, and you have to apply penetrating oil to get them loose. Wait for a few minutes, and then try to loosen the bolts. A little pressure is enough to avoid breaking the toilet anchor flange.

Step 3: Take out the Bolt

Step 3 Take out the Bolt

Sometimes you may need room to work or find the toilet too heavy to carry. Remove the bolts that attach the tank to the bowl and move them separately. Place four regular blocks in an open space to keep the toilet drain above the floor.

Choose a corner of the room you find comfortable and do your work there. Place the blocks at a slight angle so that the toilet does not tilt and fall when you place them.

Step 4 Remove the Toilet Bowl

Step 4 Remove the Toilet Bowl

Close the toilet seat and lift the bowl, making sure the base is parallel to the floor. Ensure that the old seal does not come off with the toilet. Then carefully put down the toilet on the blocks on the floor.

How to Put the New Wax Ring in Place

Step 5: Remove the Wax Ring

Step 5 Remove the Wax Ring

You need to wear a disposable glove to remove the old wax ring of your corner toilet. Since this will be a messy job, make sure the room is well-ventilated. Use a putty knife to remove the ring and clean the anchor flange and the drain with a rag soaked in mineral spirits.

Unscrew the old mounting bolts and check for any damage around toilet anchor flange. Block the open drain with a towel or rag large enough to keep items from falling inside the pipe. Doing this will also prevents bad odor from spreading all over the place.

Step 6: Unscrew the Flange bolts and Check for Cracks

Step 6 Unscrew the Flange bolts and Check for Cracks

Unscrew the bolts on the toilet anchor flange and inspect the flange for visible cracks or missing parts. If you detect any problem, fix it first before putting the new mounting bolts.

With your gloves on, carefully press the new wax seal down into its place. It is usually inserted underside of the toilet around the raised ring. Gently move it and avoid pushing too hard and out of shape.

Step 7: Reconnect the Toilet

Step 7 Reconnect the Toilet

Carry the toilet from where you placed it and lower it in place right over the drain. Make sure you position it in such a way that the mounting bolts pass through the holes. Hold it firmly and gently move it from side to side to make it form a tight seal with the wax under it.

Step 8: Tighten the Toilet in Place

Step 8 Tighten the Toilet in Place

Now the toilet is in position, slide the washers and nuts over the bolts, and tighten them. Once you notice that the nuts are firm enough, stop tightening them as too much pressure can break the porcelain or spoil the drain flange.

Put on the decorative cap right on top of the remaining part of the bolts. The caps help to make the toilet look safe and attractive.

Step 9: Reconnect the Pipe

Step 9 Reconnect the Pipe

Apply fresh thread tap to the one on the tank before connecting the pipe. Turn on the supply of water and watch for an hour for any leakage after flushing. Repeat the observation the next day to be sure that the ring has indeed formed a waterproof seal around the toilet drain.

Additional Tips on Seal Replacement

  • Any time you remove the toilet from its position for any reason, change the wax seal. The seal is located at the base of the toilet and attached to the bathroom floor.
  • Wax on seals makes them waterproof. They are not expensive to purchase and can fit into most toilets and drain sizes.
  • Whenever you notice that your toilet wobbles often, it is a sign that you may have a broken anchor flange. Get your flange repair kit and get to work immediately.
  • Using ceramic tiles to replace a sheet vinyl floor can create a gap between the toilet and the anchor flange. Adding a flange spacer to fill the open space is a good idea.
  • When you fix a leaky valve, you save gallons of water from being wasted. Drain the tank and disconnect the water supply before you do this.
  • If your toilet is located above another room, you may want to check for damages before buying replacement parts. Water damage can reduce the strength of the subfloor that it cannot support the safety of bolts. Decide if you need to cut off the damaged subfloor and work on it.
  • Check if the mounting bolts attached to the toilet floor are still in good shape. If there is corrosion, you need to apply penetrating oil to make them loose. Even if there are no signs of corrosion, you should get new bolts to replace them.

Why You Need to Replace a Damaged Wax Ring Seal on a Toilet

Just as you know how to replace a toilet seal ring of your comfort high toilet, you also need to understand why this is important.

Bad Smell

Bad Smell

The airtight seal created by the toilet wax ring prevents sewer gases from filing the air around your home. The hydrogen sulfide gas smells like rotten eggs, and this offensive odor is harmful to your health. The presence of this odor in your toilet room or home indicates a broken wax ring.

Waste Leakages

Waste Leakages

A good wax seal prevents the leakage of water and waste from underneath the toilet. When you notice that water or waste often accumulates around the base of the toilet, the wax ring is likely to blame.

This is not to say that other issues cannot be the reason for leakages. A leaky joint or tank condensation can be the cause of leakages too. Before pulling off your toilet to change the rings, check for other possible causes.

If your toilet room is built over a basement or has a crawlspace, look under it for cracks. Check the flooring to make sure the cement is still intact.

Wobbling Toilet

Wobbling Toilet

A broken flange can cause a toilet to wobble enough to lift one edge off the floor. When this is the case, you have to replace or repair the damaged part. The complete process often involves the replacement of the wax ring.

If the bolts are held tight or get loose as time passes by, they can cause the wax ring to break through constant movements and wobbling. No matter how slight the gap may be, the stress is enough to cause severe damage.

How to Spot the Best Toilet Wax Rings

Not everyone is lucky when it comes to buying the right product. Knowing what to look out for is a good way to avoid buying the wrong or inferior product. Look out for these factors when deciding on the best toilet wax ring to buy.

The material of the Toilet Seal

The material of the Toilet Seal

The material of the toilet seal is essential when making your choice of brand. Two types of rings exist in the market: the wax seal and the rubber seal. Some users prefer the rubber type due to the absence of wax that can get things messy.

The wax seal is not reusable once you lift the toilet during repairs. Even when you get the placement of the toilet bowl wrong, you will need a fresh seal.

Wax-free toilet seals can endure a second try in many cases. If you have a heated floor, a rubber seal is your best option.

The Height of the Flange

The Height of the Flange

A toilet flange is a little part that connects the floor and the pipe. While some are at the same level as the floor, others are a little higher than the floor. Ask for the right ring as most rings require a particular type of flanges that are most suitable for your comfort height toilet.

The Size of Toilet Drain


The Size of Toilet Drain 1

You should be sure that the seal you buy can perfectly fit into the drain. Drains have a fixed standard size of about 2 to inches. Some toilet seals now have sleeves that make them able to fit into any drain size.

The Thickness of the Wax

The Thickness of the Wax 1


Toilet wax rings come with various levels of thickness to choose from when buying one. For example, if your flange is set below floor level, an extra thick wax seal is recommended. For high flanges, a standard thick wax is preferable.

Ease of Installation

Ease of Installation

The installation of a toilet seal is simple and easy, but not all models pose the same challenges. Before you attempt the task, ensure that you know how to replace a toilet seal and the tools you need. Buy any tools or materials you don’t have and which you deem essential.

If you are not sure about the tools or accessories to buy, ask for help from the staff at the store. You can also watch YouTube videos to get the hang of things.

A Good Warranty

Some brands of rings come with 10-years warranty while others are as short as 1-year. The longer the warranty, the more likely the product is reliable.

Make sure you are clear about the warranty before buying the product. You don’t want to get one of the biggest surprises of your life. You know the stress it takes to get a refund or a replacement.

To avoid falling victim, go online and read up reviews about a brand before you purchase it. The 1-star section of reviews tells you the kind of problems you are likely to experience.

Wrap Up

Toilet seals become faulty when leaking out waste or water. A simple video demo can show you how to replace a toilet seal. Ensure that you get the best brand of toilet seal and follow the tips as closely as possible.

If you have any questions about how to fix a leaking toilet seal, replacing toilet seal flange, or don’t know how to replace seal on toilet outlet pipe, feel free to use the comment section below. But remember to:

  • Inspect your toilet regularly
  • Get the right repair kit and
  • Buy the best toilet seal