Keep It In The Toilet With A New Wax Seal, is an article for the general public to learn how to change a leaking wax seal without calling a plumber. This can save hundreds of dollars for the average service call, as well as give us the satisfaction, that comes with accomplishing tasks around the house.
Honey do lists around the world are filled with items that fall under the plumbing category. These tasks can contain piping leaks and heating work among other complicated jobs that the average homeowner will need a qualified serviceman to tackle.
The wax seal replacement on your water closet, is one job, that with a little knowledge and a few tools, most people can accomplish in an hour or so.
Things you will need, include a new wax seal, a new set of closet bolts,
Tools you will need, are a pair of plumbers pliers,(channel locks), a wet dry vacuum, a mini hacksaw, a putty knife and a few rags.
Collecting the above item's should be done before you start. This job will be a lot faster if we're not running to get supplies afterwords. Fast will matter if this is the only bathroom in the house.
The number one step to this task will be to get the water shut off. Most toilets will have a shutoff valve under the bottom left side of the tank. Turn the valve clockwise and the water should be shut off. Check by flushing the unit and making sure it does not fill back up.
Once the water has been shut off and the toilet has been flushed to remove most of the water, the rest can be removed with a wet dry vac. Take the filter out of your vacuum and completely out remove the remaining water from the tank and bowl of your fixture.
Below the left side of the tank the water supply tube will be attached to the tank. This nut removes with our channel lock pliers and comes off in a counterclockwise direction. Use care not to over squeeze this plastic nut as it will be going back on.
A small amount of water will still drip out and this can be caught with a rag or your vacuum. getting all of the water out of our toilet at this stage will keep a mess from occurring and adding cleanup time to the job.
Toilets are usually secured to the floor by two closet bolts that attach to a flange which is secured to the floor. These bolts are located on each side and have nuts that are removed with the same channel lock pliers, again in a counterclockwise rotation .
Once the closet nuts are off and our toilet is empty, a garbage bag can be a help, laid out on the floor next to the appliance. Grasp both sides of the bowl and lift straight up removing the toilet from it's anchor bolts and place it onto the garbage bag. This will keep the mess manageable.
What we're left with is called a closet flange. This part of the system should be well secured to the floor with wood screws and must be stable to hold the water closet down tight. loose flanges are the most common cause of wax seal failure.
After removing the toilet, use a putty knife to remove any remaining wax from the old seal. Clean not only the flange but the bottom of the toilet as well we want a fresh start and any residual wax will get in the way of a proper seal.
Closet bolts that you see sticking up from the flange, should be inspected for damage and condition issues and it's recommended to use new ones whenever possible. These are very inexpensive and can save you from doing the job twice if they fail on re installation.
The heads of closet bolts are made large to slide into the slots on each side of the flange. Place the new bolts in position and insert the new wax seal over the flange centered on the drain. apply enough pressure to make the new seal stick to the flange, the bolts should touch the sides and this will help to get them to stand straight up.
Now with our new seal ready, pick the toilet up from the sides of the bowl and lower onto the bolts. This can take two people to line up both bolts and use caution not to move the wax seal during re installation.
Now our toilet is back in position, two bolts both protruding through the anchor holes in the fixture. Reinstall the nuts and tighten uniformly alternating back and forth.
A good tip to tightening these nuts without cracking our base is to use the pliers back wards so they will slip when tight and avoid over tightening. We only want to tighten the nuts enough to keep the toilet from moving. Over tightening will break the porcelain so use caution on this step.
Now our appliance is back in place and ready for the water. reinstall the supply line by screwing the connecting nut back onto the tank. Again tighten snugly but do not over tighten as cross threading will occur and you'll have a leak.
Turn the water back on at the supply valve slowly and allow your tank to fill. Check for leaks around the water supply both while it's filling and after the automatic fill valve stops as this will give you full pressure at the valve. If alls well then we can proceed.
Closet bolts usually have covers that hide them from view. The bolts are too long for the covers to sit all the way down. These can be cut down after tightening to right above the nuts. A mini hacksaw, available at any plumbing supply or home improvement store can be employed for this job. Once the bolts have been cut down the caps can be reinstalled to complete our job.
Toilets that have a new wax seal installed, should be flushed five to ten times to check the seal. placing dry paper towels around the base of the toilet and flushing several times will allow us to discover any leaks. If the paper towels get wet the repair was unsuccessful and must be done again. This will require another wax seal and maybe a deeper one as they come in regular and deep seal sizes.
This is one job that can save a homeowner a great deal of money and can be performed without to much difficulty. Only a few tools are needed and the amount you save on the service call, will easily cover the cost if you need to buy a few things.
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