Did you know the average leaky toilet can waste tens of thousands of gallons of water each year?! That’s not only terrible for the environment but for your wallet too. Keeping your toilet in good repair is one of the smartest moves you can make as a homeowner.

So, in honor of National Toilet Repair Month (yes, it’s a thing!), we’ve put together this blog to help you with one task that will show up in many different toilet repair projects: replacing the wax ring.

Whenever replacing a toilet wax ring, it’s essential to make sure you get the appropriate size for your toilet. If you don’t and try to install a new toilet or put back your old one, you’ll have to buy a brand new ring and start all over!

So, to help you get this job done right the first time here is a quick guide on how to determine the correct wax ring size for your toilet.

How to Determine the Wax Ring Size for a Toilet

There are only two factors to a correctly sized wax ring: width and thickness.

1. Width – Measure the bottom of your toilet.

To determine the correct width for your wax ring, simply turn your toilet bowl on its side, and measure the opening on the bottom of your toilet, called the “elbow neck.”

Whatever width this measurement is, use that width wax ring. E.g. if the elbow neck measures 3 inches, use a 3-inch wax ring.

Alternate option: You can also measure the old wax ring to determine the width – though we recommend also measuring the bottom of your toilet, in case the last person who installed your toilet used an incorrectly sized wax ring.

2. Thickness – Check the toilet flange.

Lucky for you, there are only two thickness options to choose from: regular and double-thick.

To determine which one is right for you, you’ll need to check the “toilet flange” – a metal or plastic piece that can be found over the pipe in the floor under your toilet.

If the flange is level with your floor, a regular-thickness wax ring will be fine. You’ll only use a double-thickness wax ring if the flange is located under the floor.

Buying the Right Wax Ring for You

Once you’ve determined which wax ring size is right for your toilet, Danco can provide you with everything you need to get the job done right!

Wax Ring

If you find that it’s time to replace the wax ring under your toilet, there may be some things you first need to consider.
One of the first things you should think about is the type of flooring you have in your bathroom. There are lots of homeowners who have upgraded to heated flooring over the years. Installing a wax ring on a radiant heated floor is probably not the best idea. It is becoming more common for plumbers and remodelers to recommend that you do NOT use a wax ring, because the heat from the floor may melt the wax.

DIY is all the rage these days, and if you are a person that takes pride in doing things yourself, you need to know that replacing a wax ring can be a bit of a messy ordeal. While this may not be an issue for more experienced DIYers, those with much less experience can benefit from using a wax free ring because there’s a lot less room for error, and cleanup is much easier.

A point that can be made in favor of wax free seals is that they are reusable.
If you ever need or want to replace your old toilet with a new one, you will have to replace the wax ring as well. You can avoid this with a wax free seal as long as it is still in good condition.

Another thing to keep in mind…if you set your toilet and it isn’t square, when you readjust it a wax ring may not seal properly, resulting in leaks that can do serious damage to your flooring.

It really all comes down to personal preference as to which choice will work better for your situation. Each type of ring has its own benefits, and both are perfectly capable of sealing water inside the toilet and preventing it from leaking out onto the floor.
If you are unsure, speak with a plumber or someone at your local hardware store. They have the knowledge and expertise to point you in the right direction.

While you can buy a standard wax ring for your toilet, we also have another option for you…

The Perfect Seal Toilet Wax Ring! This award-winning, innovative product fits any drain size and flange depth, and takes all the guesswork out of toilet installation, guaranteeing a perfect seal (3x stronger than a standard wax ring!) the first time, every time.

You can buy one, along with our Zero Cut Toilet Bolts, in an All in One Toilet Installation Kit, by clicking this link.

Happy plumbing!