DIY Toilet Floor Flange Seal Replacement

toilet flange seal (wax ring) replacement

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Do you have a toilet that wobbles or rocks when you sit on it? Most likely, this is because the floor flange is no longer doing a good job of holding the toilet in place because it’s cracked, rotted, or broken. If you don’t take the proper steps to deal with this issue right away, you could start to notice water leaking from the base of the toilet. This project is a little more difficult because it involves removing the toilet completely, but even if you’re not a home repair expert you can do it yourself. Even still, if you do get stuck at any point during the job, give us a call.

The Steps

  1. Place a piece of cardboard or newspapers on the floor of the bathroom. This is where you will be setting the toilet once you disconnect it from the floor flange.
  2. Turn off the water at the supply valve coming out of the wall. Use two hands to avoid breaking anything inside the wall when applying pressure.
  3. Verify the water is off by flushing the toilet and checking the fill valve hose inside the tank for lack of water pressure. If the water is not turning off, the supply valve may need to be replaced. If this is the case, you may want to stop here and call a professional plumber.
  4. Once you’ve determined the water is off, vacuum the water from the toilet tank and bowl. You can use a wet dry vacuum to do this.
  5. Carefully remove the water supply from the connection at the tank. Inspect the supply line for any damage. If damage is visible on the hose or washers, it will need to be replaced by a plumber.
  6. Use a wrench to remove the bolts that connect the toilet bowl to the floor flange.
  7. Carefully lift the toilet and place it on the cardboard or newspaper you’ve prepared. We recommend asking someone for help with this step as it will be very heavy.
  8. Remove the old wax seal from the bottom of the bowl and the floor flange.
  9. Inspect the floor flange for any damage. If damage is visible, it will need to be replaced or repaired.
  10. Insert the new closet bolts into the flange. Use the provided nuts and washers to secure the bolts to the flange. Tighten the bolts adequately so there is no movement.
  11. Place the new floor flange seal onto the flange, insuring there is enough above the floor to provide a good seal between the flange and the toilet.
  12. Lift the toilet back onto the flange. Make sure to line the bolts up with the holes on the toilet. Insure the toilet is pushed down onto the seal.
  13. Place China cap washers on the bolts, followed by the metal washers provided with the closet bolt kit. Tighten the nuts securely, placing weight on all sides to insure the toilet does not move, twist, or rock. Snap the China caps onto the bolts.
  14. Reconnect the water supply hose to the toilet tank.
  15. Turn the supply pressure on slowly, using two hands to turn the valve.
  16. Verify there are no leaks coming from the toilet tank or the bottom of the bowl when flushing.