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Help with leaky toilet!!!

I just replaced the wax ring on my toilet and it still leaks. First replacement I used one wax ring. Second replacement I stacked 2 rings. Still leaks.  The drain has a flange in place so when I use a wax ring with a flange the toilet wobbles bad and there's almost a 1/4" gap I would have to deal with. The leak is not that bad. It does not leak on every flush. It only leaks when there is a little more volume than it can handle. Many times I've slipped a newspaper in the gap and it does not get wet.


Here's what I think is happening. The toilet is a low flow toilet and does what I call a bad gulp on flushes when there's a little too much volume going through. The volume gets trapped in the flange opening for a brief period and water overflows over and throug the wax rings. I should mention the toilet has a circular protrusion around which the wax ring fit. 


The solutions I can come up with are as follows. Please advise me on which one is best.


[1] Stack 3 wax rings and really squish them togetgher .  I worry though that some of the wax rings will fall into

      the drain.  Will the wax clog up my drain if some of it falls through?  My main worry. If there is no risk of clogging I

      will go with this.


[2] Giving it a big gulp. COnvert the toilet to a high flow toilet so there would be more pressure pushing volume 

       through the flange and little time for back up. How do I convert a low flow toilet into a high flow toilet?


[3] Take the flange in the drain out and use a wax ring with flange. The option I most dread. I did not take note of

      whether the flange was a permenent attachement to the drain, if so then it rules out this option. I would hate

        to do all the work and find out it is not the answer.


Thanks for your advice.

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Posted 2011-10-25T00:06:33+0000  by hammerfix hammerfix

Are the wax rings getting smashed down and forming a seal?

Sounds like you need an extra thick wax ring with the poly black ring inside it

and if the toilet is not smashing the ring down when set into place you can then add

the 1" wax rings with no poly ring inside to extend it.  set the waxring on the closet flange

not the bottom of the toilet.  you should have to push the toilet down and even wobble

a little to get it to sit down.  If your toilet rocks then you can shim it with plastic shims

then test , if no leaks caulk the base of the toilet. 

Don't drop the wax rings down the pipe.


Posted 2011-10-25T03:45:23+0000  by BeyondRemodel


I think this may work.  BUt I currently have 2 wax rings stacked and it still leaks so I am not so certain if it will work.  The poly black ring you speak off may just exacerbate the problem as I think what's causing the leak is bad flow through and the poly ring will just reduce the size of the opening. I will try it.

When I installed the 2 wax rings stacked atop of one another I put them on the closet flange. I felt the getting smooshed when I placed the toilet. 


I may need to add 3 wax rings and see what happens but again I worry about the wax squishing into the drain.  What I am thinking of doing is wrapping 3 rings in a baking sheet and warming them up so they will meld before using them. This will probably get rid of any gaps that would allow a leak.


What should I do if wax gets in the drain. Is there a chemical fix or do I need to get it mashed up?



Posted 2011-10-25T08:26:21+0000  by hammerfix

Hello Hammerfix and welcome to The Community. We are glad that you have joined the discussions.


 I agree with BeyondRemodel (welcome to you too!) that there is a problem with the seating and sealing.  The wax rings should allow the toilet to seat correctly.  How are you removing the old wax rings?  Is the floor level?  Has there been any damage to the floor because of the previous leaks?   Floor leveling wedges between the toilet base and the floor will allow the bowl to sit firm and stable – not wobbly.  Another question: is the porcelain bowl cracked?


Could you send a photo of the situation?  Identifying the brand of toilet would definitely be a plus. 


Please be careful with the wax rings since you do not want the wax to go down the drain and stop it up.

Posted 2011-10-26T14:42:38+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL

Thanks for your input DW.  The floor is tiled except for a small section around the flange. It's a large section of untiled concrete foundation but is covered up by the toilet bowl. I completely removed the previous wax with a scraping tool before setting the new wax.  Even without the wax the bowl wobbles when  I set it. 


THere is a protrusion underneath the bowl around the drain opening which I  think sits on the foundation and causes a gap between the tiled area and the bowl itself. I think this is why the bowl wobbles. And yes , I did use wedges to firmly balance the bowl before tightening the anchor bolts. THere are no cracks or any damages.


The toilet is a kohler model # k-4634-aa.  I will get photos of the floor and the bowl itself when I get to my next   attempt to stop the leaking.



Posted 2011-10-27T07:32:48+0000  by hammerfix

Hey Hammerfix, Blake here, I wanted to take a moment to weigh in on your problem. The two wax rings should be plenty for most installations (you want 1-1/2 to 2 inches of wax to extend above the finished floor for a guaranteed seal). You said, “when I use a wax ring with a flange the toilet wobbles bad and there's almost a 1/4" gap I would have to deal with” This should not be the case, the closet flange (in the floor) should be considerably larger in diameter than the small flange that comes attached to the wax ring. The wax ring with flange should be able to fit into the floor flange with no interference between the two (note you want to apply the wax ring with flange to the bottom of the toilet, and set the wax ring extender {no flange} onto your floor flange) and then mate the two together. If for some reason the wax ring flange is interfering with your floor flange you may have a 3" floor flange but have the wax ring for a 4" flange. 



Wax ring for 3 inch flange:

3 or 4 inch wax ring.jpg



I'd say with the correct wax ring and some shimming you should be leak free. Rember that at no point should the toilet be rocked, as you put the toilet down on the flange you should push straight down untill it meets the floor, any gaps around the base of the toilet should be immediately shimmed. 


If you could provide us with a picture of the floor flange it would really help us button down the problem! 


I hope this helps Hammerfix. Let us know if you need any additional assistance. 




Posted 2011-10-27T22:37:28+0000  by BlakeTheDiyGuy
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