| Bargain Outlet
Expert Contributor

A broken wax ring causes several unpleasant conditions in the bathroom. 

The ring provides the water seal to prevent water leaks as it passes directly from the toilet to the floor drain. Leaks, puddles or odors are calls for bathroom repairs. Since you have to remove the toilet, it is a good time to check and replace the other working parts. Leaks or age can corrode the mounting nuts and bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. Water leaks can also damage the subfloor.

The question in your mind is, "Do I need a plumber?"  At this point, it depends on the level of damage to the subfloor. If everything looks to be in good shape, replacing a wax toilet ring is a DIY project. Get your supplies ready before you start.


replacing my toiletRemoving the Toilet

  1. Turn off the water and flush to drain the tank and bowl. You may need to sponge out any excess water in the tank or the bowl.
  2. Loosen the water supply hose nut connected to the water supply first and the toilet tank second. Have a bucket to catch dripping water from the hose.
  3. If the workspace is small or the toilet is heavy, remove the bolts that attach the tank first.
  4. Next, loosen and remove the bolt nuts holding the bowl in place. If the bolts are old and rusted, apply penetrating oil. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the nuts. You might have to saw the bolt to remove the rusted nut. You can replace it with a new bolt layered with a washer and nut before reinstalling the toilet. 
  5. Pick a spot to set the removed toilet. The wax ring is sticky. Lift the toilet straight up and keep the toilet drain off the floor. Set it on old towels or floor blocks. 
  6. Carefully turn the toilet on its side and remove the old wax from the bottom.


toilet wax ringReplacing the Wax Toilet Ring

  1. Clean the flange and floor drain area using a putty knife to remove the wax ring remains. Spray distilled vinegar to disinfect and wipe the area clean.
  2. If the flange is above the floor, use a regular wax ring. If the flange is flush with the floor, use a wax ring with a bell. It has a collar in place directing the waste deeper into the floor drain.
  3. Turn the toilet on its side and apply putty to the toilet’s bottom perimeter.
  4. Lift the toilet and set it directly over the floor drain. Match the mounting screws from the floor to the base of the toilet. Press it into place.
  5. Reattach the washers and nuts holding the toilet in place. The toilet should not wobble. Put the decorative caps back on.
  6. Replace the tank.  Reconnect the water hose to the water supply line and back to the toilet tank. Turn the water supply on. Clear away the excess putty from the toilet bottom and flush.



The rings are molded wax with a resistance to mold and bacteria. Whether you are replacing the toilet or reinstalling one, have your supplies ready before starting bathroom repairs. DIY-ers can purchase toilet kits.


Iris M. writes blog content for real estate; research, region and community information for the purpose of providing information to the reader, helping them with decisions when selecting a home. She writes content on a variety of subjects, pertaining to client specifics, industry related, research and informative studies, including "how to" for mass market and social media.