how to replace a toilet Seal

The Toilet Seal is probably one of the least thought about but the most critical parts of your bathroom. The seal we are talking about is located at the bottom of your toilet and connects it to the floor.

This seal is usually made of wax and called a “Wax ring” but we will cover the non-wax alternative that I prefer later on.

Quick Guide

Time needed: 1 hour.

Quick steps to replace your toilet seal

  1. Turn off the water to the toilet

    The first step is to turn off the water supply to the toilet. This can be done using the handle located behind the toilet.

  2. Drain the toilet

    The next thing we need to do is completely drain the toilet. You won’t be able to get all of the water out but the less water it has in it the easier the job of moving it will be.

  3. Detach the toilet

    Remove the water supply line from the toilet. Use a tower or rag to soak up any water that comes out of the water supply line.

  4. Remove the bolts and move the toilet

    At the base of the toilet there are two bolts holding it down. Remove those with a wrench or pliers and you can lift the toilet to set it aside.

  5. Remove the existing seal

    Now that the toilet is off you can see the old seal. If it was a wax ring you will have to scrape all of the wax off using a knife and a rag.

  6. Check the Toilet Flange for damage

    Once you have the wax ring cleaned off, you can check the toilet flange for damage. This is the ring that is attached to the floor which the toilet bolts sit in to hold the toilet down.

  7. Attach the new seal

    After you verified that the toilet flange is good and doesn’t need replacing, you can attach the new seal. I recommend using a plastic/foam ring instead of the old wax rings.

  8. Place the toilet back in place

    Carefully pick up the toilet and place it back on top of the flange. You have to make sure both of the bolts go through the holes as you lower the toilet onto the flange.

  9. Bolt the toilet to the floor

    Once the toilet has been lowered onto the floor you can start screwing the nuts onto the bolts to fasten the toilet to the floor.

  10. Stabilize the toilet with shims if required

    If you tighten the the bolts all the way and the toilet rocks you will need to add shims. Shims are little plastic wedges that keep the toilet level.

  11. Reconnect the toilet

    After the toilet is back in place and everything looks good it is time to reconnect the water line. You should be able to just screw it back into the tank without much trouble.

  12. Test the toilet for leaks and stability

    Now that the toilet is all back together it is time for the moment of truth. Give the toilet a few test runs and see if there are any leaks. If you don’t have any leaks then your job is done!

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