Wax or Waxfree toilet seal??

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Mr_Robot

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I had a thread about 2 years ago concerning a leaky toilet and my experiences with a sloppy-good-for-nothing plumber here:

https://www.plumbingforums.com/threads/toilet-is-this-done-wrong-would-you-redo-this.8765/#post-75596

After that experience I knew the toilet needed to be pulled out again, both wax rings old & new removed (see my thread above for explanation) and replaced, but since the leak had stopped (and my complete lack of time & the needed motivation to fix all this myself the right way) I just left it alone.

But now it has started leaking again underneath the same way, and I cannot tighten the bolts down any further for fear of cracking the toilet itself. So I need to tackle this now after all. Will have quite a mess underneath thx to the plumber to clean up..sigh...

As part of this I would like to know your learned opinion - after cleaning out all the old wax should I use a wax ring this time, or instead try a "WaxFree" one? I still have an unused wax ring I was going to use at the time myself b4 I opted mistakenly to let a "professional" do the job (again see my thread above for how that worked out) and also I bought a "WaxFree" one today thinking maybe that would work better & be less messy. Any opinions on one vs the other?


Also something else that had crossed my mind is that the toilet is not flushing/filling that great anymore and I need to replace the fill valve as well, which I last did about 5-10 years ago, which is ez to do. I wonder if maybe with all this other hassle/mess in having to pull the old one off and clean it up then try to reseal that maybe I should just by a new toilet and start from scratch. This toilet is 25 years old. Should I bother trying to fix it (which is minor I hope) or just get a new one, what would you do?
 

Geofd

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pull the toilet clean the flange make sure the flange is in good shape and well secured to the floor new wax ring ballcock flapper and handle.....you may as well do tank to bowl bolts there are thicker than normal wax rings out there you should be set for a while...…..
 

Matt30

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I’ve always said that wax is the tried and true way to seal a toilet. It will form to the imperfections of a poorly casted bowl and if there’s no movement in your floor it will likely last the life of the toilet. Customers ask me all the time about waxless rings, I simply tell them they haven’t proven themselves yet. People installed a bunch of foam rings years ago, I stuck to wax and I’m glad I did.

Since the waxless seals aren’t proven to be better I was always hesitant to put them in because of possible water damage to a customers home I would likely have to cover. So about 2 weeks ago I replaced the toilet in our bathroom and I figured I would give one a whirl since the toilet is above my unfinished mechanical room I would notice a leak quickly. I bought the Korky branded waxless seal and it’s been 2 weeks and no signs of leakage. It has a 10 year warranty but for the price I could of bought 10 wax seals.

I just thought I’d try it but I will continue to install wax for my customers.
 

Jamesplumbing06

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Yeah wax ring for sure if keeping toilet. It’s porcelain just like the new one. But the existing one will be a bear to clean to seal to the sponge flange seals. I never have luck with old toilet just new ones or the old ones that I clean. But wax is great as long as it’s done right. Get All the old our first.
 

Geofd

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pull the toilet clean the flange make sure the flange is in good shape and well secured to the floor new wax ring ballcock flapper and handle.....you may as well do tank to bowl bolts there are thicker than normal wax rings out there you should be set for a while...…..
you could flip the toilet a
 

Geofd

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you could flip the toilet and run a auger thru it pour a little vinegarinto the rim area of the bowl let it sit for a while then clean the jet holes then you have completely gone thru the toilet ….may seem like over kill but its not that time consuming
 

Mr_Robot

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Are there any tricks to cleaning out all the old gunked up wax (2 rings worth smooshed together, one that had been there about 22 years and the other 2 years? Any kind of solvent or some kind of magic tool for getting it all out?
 

Mr_Robot

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A putty knife and a plastic supermarket bag (to throw the old wax into) is all that is required. Remove as much as you can. Replace with the extra thick wax ring with the horn like this one.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Fluidmaster-Extra-Thick-Wax-Toilet-Bowl-Gasket-with-Flange-7513/203763999
Cool, that is exactly the one that I bought 2 years ago (but then decided to let a "pro" do the job, and he used his own wax ring). I still have that left unused, I'll try that for this and will return the non-wax one I bought yesterday which I was thinking of trying. I've googled around some more and found some advice against using the non-wax ones with hard or heavily chlorinated water which could dry it out or whatever faster. My water here is so heavily chlorinated you can actually smell it, and the minerals are off the charts (all my faucets get gunked up fast and the inside of all my toilets is black/dark brown from all the sediment, as is the hot water heater).
 

Mr_Robot

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WD-40 cleans wax best. Then take a Lysol wipe to clean WD-40.
After more research last night I've decided to try rags soaked in mineral spirits. Haven't gotten that far yet though, haven't even taken the toilet off the floor yet....
 

breplum

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Putty knife like jeffmattero76 said. We don't have plastic supermarket bags any longer here in Calif. so I have to get them on the dark web.
Don't waste time removing all the wax or using cleaner of any kind. Some wax residue is harmless.
Frankly, if you can afford it, get yourself a new toilet. Something like the Toto Entrada costs about $150. and flushes 1.28 GPF very powerfully, and is right height and elongated.
Always prefit the toilet on the floor without wax to check for rocking, then use hard plastic shims if necessary to level and stabilize, then pull and place wax.
Always use an extra set of brass nuts to lock the closet bolts to the flange.
Make sure the flange is secured to the floor properly, with non corrosive screws (ie brass, stainless or equal)
 

House Doc

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You know...
I've been following these forums for a long time now and most of the time all I see is someone that "thinks" they have all the right answers.
Granted, there are a number of guys (or Gals) that you can tell actually have first hand knowledge of the problem, and I applaud them. I myself have been a Professional handyman for more than 40 years and have seen stuff flushed down toilets that would make even the best of us cringe.
Breplum has the answer. No need to clean spotless, good call for shims, and locking down the closet bolts before installation. I use stainless Tee nuts https://www.homedepot.com/b/Hardware-Fasteners-Nuts-Tee-Nuts/N-5yc1vZc2a4 as some high flanges could cause interferance with the bowl. The "stem" on the T-nuts fits right into the bolt holes.
My only exception is replacing the toilet, unless needed. If the house was built more than 50 years ago The main drains may not have enough slope to do a good job completely clearing with the new 1.2 gpm toilets. ( I know we're supposed to be conserving water but at what cost?)
Hang in there people. Remember there is usually more than one way to solve a problem, and many different people's views on things.
 

Mr_Robot

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Thanks to everyone for their comments. Tomorrow is my first day off where I can tackle this and have a friend coming over to help me lift the toilet. Won't know my next move until I can see how thing look under there.

If the toilet is OK, if the wax isn't too out of hand messy & gross, if the flange is intact, I'm sticking with the existing toilet and looking to just clean it up & reseal it, then fix the flush valve. Note that there is wax coming out the sides, through the screws etc, there is so much of it (think I had a photo of it in the other thread I mentioned above) and if it is just too much of a mess that will also lead me to want to say screw it and get a new one (easier said than done since I have a small car though).

If the flange is damaged I'll probably circle the wagons & have to call a "pro", probably buy a new toilet at the same time and arrange for install/repairof the whole thing through Home Depot or Lowes, which also will give me what I need as far as having a toilet delivered (since I cannot buy one and take it home myself, my car is too small to fit one).
 

Jamesplumbing06

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You got this. It will take longer to write this than it will to pull toilet and get started. So good luck. Best advise is to simply start. 2 nuts and a supply line. Just to save you a wax and a trip. Change the bolts while your there. Every material corrodes with urine. Brass or stainless. But remember when you see the fatter bolts. You gotta cut that with very little tension holding it still. Get the skinny ones. I use the new “no cut” set up. Bolt and set nut are stainless. Cap and washer are plastic but I love them. Swapped over last year. Set about 7 toilets a week. No worries with 5 year warranty yet
 

Mr_Robot

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Ugh. Bad news. OK, I pulled the toilet out myself rather than waiting for a friend to come over. Not too hard. Quite a mess underneath with the 2 wax rings squashed all over everything leaking out all over the palce. As I was cleaning that up now I realized that the flange is broken on one side. I didn't even notice it at first because of all the wax but the hold down bolt actually stayed in the toilet rather than with the flange on that one side, just ripped it up, must have already been cracked.

I am not confident enough myself to tackle fixing the flange. Am going to try Lowes/Home Depot to see if I buy a new toilet and pay for installation that the installer will know how to fix the flange and can also deliver the new toilet Otherwise I will have to get a "real" plumber this time to fix this instead of that jerk from 2 years ago....
 

Mr_Robot

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Question: At this point as I don't know yet how I am going to get this fixed or how long that is going to take....

...As far as preventing sewer gases from entering the house from the open drain there, am I OK just putting the toilet back (albeit with no ring to seal it & no water in it) or should I leave it off and put towels over there to try to seal the hole? Unless I can get this attended to on another day off tomorrow I may be unable to have anyone fix this until days off next Thursday/Friday.....
 

Mr_Robot

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Answering my own question, I am not going to put the toilet back over the hole, easier to just leave it off until I can figure out what am going to do next (tried calling multiple plumbers who are all booked up for like 3 weeks so far). Am just stuffing a rag/t-shirt in the hole.
 

Matt30

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Fixing the flange can be very easy if it doesn’t require full replacement. Post some pictures and we will guide you through it. I’m sure you can have it fixed in less than 3 weeks!
 

Mr_Robot

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PA040010.JPG PA040010.JPG
Fixing the flange can be very easy if it doesn’t require full replacement. Post some pictures and we will guide you through it. I’m sure you can have it fixed in less than 3 weeks!
[I had posted a response but that disappeared when I tried to add photos. Am trying to add my text again.....]


Thanks but this is worse than I thought. Both sides are broken. Only saw this after doing more wax cleanup and removing the one bolt which was still in the flange.

How can this be fixed?
 

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