Helpful Tips To Ensure You Choose The Right Wax Ring Size For Your Toilet

Is your toilet leaking? Is it rocking and wobbling? Have you noticed an unpleasant odor in your bathroom or water stains on the ceiling and floor? If so, there's a good chance that the wax ring on your toilet has gone bad. It may be time to start planning a toilet repair session. Replacing the wax ring can help stop your toilet from leaking and keep your home safe from mold, mildew, and foul odors.

A wax ring is a sticky, circular toilet component that fits between the base of the toilet and the sewer pipe. It helps to create a watertight seal that prevents leakage. Although it should last 20 to 30 years without needing a replacement, not everything in this world goes according to plan. A wax ring can break, and if it does, you'll begin to experience moisture issues in your bathroom. You'll need to replace it — fortunately, wax rings are inexpensive and replacing the wax ring on your toilet is a straightforward DIY task. First, however, you need to determine the size that you need.

How to determine the wax ring size

To determine your toilet's wax ring size, first you need to remove your toilet to measure the ring's width and thickness. To get the diameter, measure the bottom opening of the toilet, known as the elbow neck. There are two common wax ring diameters for American toilets: 3-inch wax rings are the most common but many toilets require a 4-inch wax ring instead.

You'll also need to measure the thickness of the wax ring. As is also the case for width, there are only two levels of thickness available for wax rings. This includes regular or double-thick rings. To determine the thickness, you'll want to take a look at the flange underneath your toilet. You need a regular thickness for a flange that's level with the floor; a double-thick wax ring is needed if the flange is set below the floor.

Further considerations for replacing your wax ring

When replacing a wax toilet ring, it's a good idea to also check for other issues. You may need to replace a broken toilet flange, as well. As for replacing the wax ring, be aware that it's a messy job. You'll need to remove the old one with a putty knife and then add a new wax ring to the flange before reinstalling your toilet. Replace the toilet carefully and set it in the correct position. Minimize rocking to prevent leaks and ensure that it's set correctly.

An important thing to consider when buying a ring for your toilet is whether you should choose a wax-free option instead. A wax-free toilet ring can be beneficial in some ways. If you have heated flooring in your bathroom, a wax ring may melt. This won't happen with a wax-free toilet ring. Unlike wax rings, wax-free seals are reusable if kept in good shape, and it's easier to replace a wax-free ring. Each of these seal options are worth considering and prevent toilet leaks, but you should weigh out the pros and cons before making your choice.