If there is water slowly leaking around the base of your toilet, or you constantly smell a foul odor in your bathroom chances are the toilet wax ring has begun to fail, and it is time for it to be replaced.
A toilet wax ring is pretty much described by its name. It is a 1 to 2-inch thick ring of wax, frequently found surrounding a plastic funnel. The toilet wax ring works by forming a water/airtight seal between the base of the porcelain toilet base and the toilet flange (plastic or cast iron).
If a toilet rocks when it is sat upon, over time the toilet wax ring will breakdown and fail. This failure manifests itself in the formation of small water and odor leaks around the base of the toilet. If left unchecked, the damage could occur to the bathroom floor and unsafe sewer gasses may build up in the home.
A new toilet wax ring should also be replaced any time a toilet is removed (e.g. during the installation of a new bathroom floor).
Replacing a toilet wax ring is easy to do and can be done by the do-it-yourself homeowner with a little knowledge and some preparation. Replacing a toilet wax ring can be done in about 1 hour assuming there are no extenuating circumstances.
The basic steps required to change a toilet wax ring begin with turning off the water supply line and emptying the tank and bowl of water. The supply line also needs to be disconnected from the toilet.
Next, the anchor nuts, secured to the Hold-Down bolts, need to be unscrewed.
The toilet is then lifted off the toilet flange and turned over.
The old toilet wax ring can then be scraped and removed off the base of the toilet, and the floor can be cleaned of any old wax ring residue.
The new toilet wax ring is then pressed onto the base of the toilet and the toilet is then reseated onto the toilet flange.
The anchor nuts are then re-screwed back onto the Hold-down bolts and the supply line reconnected.
The water supply line to the toilet can then be turned back on and the toilet is back in business.