Posted on: 14 January 2015
Under your toilet, completely hidden from view, is an inexpensive ring of wax. This unpretentious piece of your toilet plumbing serves several purposes, and if it fails you can have a plethora of problems. This article will look at reasons to consider replacing your wax ring.
The ring's primary purpose is to create a seal between the toilet itself and the toilet flange that rests on the floor above the drainpipe. Besides being inexpensive, wax is the material of choice for this application for a number of reasons. First, it is readily molded to fit any toilet and drain. Second, it resists mold and mildew, an important consideration in a moist environment like a bathroom. Finally, it creates a waterproof seal that generally retains its integrity for many years. Unfortunately, if you notice leaking around your toilet, there is a problem with this seal and the wax will need to be replaced along with any hardware components that have also failed.
Not only does the wax ring keep liquid from escaping, it also traps odors. If you begin to notice a foul smell in your bathroom, it is likely that sewage gases are seeping back in. You should especially suspect the problem being your toilet seal if the smell is particularly noticeable during showers. When you shower, the water temporarily displaces some of the gas in the pipes. While normally this gas, and its associated smell, would vent harmlessly up through the roof, if your toilet seal is compromised they can easily escape into your bathroom instead. Because these fumes are unsanitary as well as unpleasant, inspect your toilet as soon as possible.
Another common problem with toilets is wobbling. While the source of the actual wobble is probably either a broken flange or improperly tightened closet bolts (the bolts that anchor the toilet to the floor), it is likely that the seal also needs to be replaced. The stress of moving constantly, even if the movement isn't huge, will inevitably affect the integrity of the seal.
Replacing or Removing the Toilet
Because toilet rings have no way to expand back into their original shape, they can only reliably create a seal one time. This means that any time you remove or replace your toilet, you need to plan on replacing the ring as well, even if it looks like its in good condition.
Although it is inexpensive and rarely seen, the wax ring beneath your toilet play a crucial role in keeping your toilet functioning properly. If you notice problems with your toilet, keep the wax ring high on your list of possible repairs, and keep the number of a plumbing company like Harding Plumbing & Heating handy.Share