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Glover Maintenance Blog

Your Toilet Had an Accident – Now What?

Toilet AccidentA pool of water is forming each time you flush. If your toilet is leaking water from below, this generally means the wax seal is broken. This is a ring that creates a protective barrier between the toilet and the pipe in the floor.

There are a few reasons you would need to replace a wax seal. First off all, if water is leaking from the base of the toilet, you probably have a cracked seal. If you notice moisture building around the base of the toilet, the seal is only slightly broken but you’ll still need to replace it. The longer you let moisture sit around, the greater chance it will seep into the floors and cause damage.

Also, anytime you remove the toilet for a project you have to replace the wax ring, whether you’re remodeling or your child gets something stuck in the toilet that you have to fish out.

This is a great do-it-yourself project. It’s easy and requires few tools. Just follow these 12 simple steps.

Removing the old seal

  1. Turn off the water by twisting the knobs behind the toilet.
  2. Flush the toilet to empty the tank and bowl. Plunge and sponge out any remaining water.
  3. Disconnect the hose that connects the water supply line to the toilet.
  4. Remove the bolts at the base of the toilet.
  5. Lift the toilet straight up, keeping the base parallel to the floor. If it seems stuck you can gently rock it back and forth to break the seal. Be sure to grip the bowl not the tank. Holding onto the tank could cause it to crack.
  6. Pull off the wax seal. Plug the drain with an old rag to keep sewer gases from leaking into your home. Scrape any remaining wax from both the toilet and floor.

If you’re unsure what type of seal to buy, take the old one with you to the store to ensure you get the right replacement part.

Installing the new seal

  1. Two options: Either center the new seal over the opening in the floor, or press it against the underside of the toilet bowl. The rounded side goes against the toilet.
  2. Carefully place the toilet back in place over the drain. Make sure it’s level.
  3. Sit on the toilet to press the wax seal tight.
  4. Replace the bolts. Tighten by hand to avoid cracking the base.
  5. Reconnect the hose.
  6. Turn on the water supply and let the tank fill.

You did it! Once the tank is full be sure to flush the toilet and check for leaks.


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