Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The toilet in our only bathroom seems to go through drain seal about once a year. The flange on the drain line is old, and broken in several places, but we're able to keep everything firmly in-place none-the-less. We've tried both regular wax seals, and ones with reinforcing, both of which seem to fail much faster than designed.

Are there any good tips/tricks to getting the seal to last longer (more like the 10 years others get)?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Use two of the wax seals stacked on top of one another. It takes more squishing to set the toilet down, but the seal is a lot more resilient to shifting.

My plumber gave me this tip, and it seems to have worked the two times I used it.

share|improve this answer
4  
They also make the "double thick" wax seals as well for just this reason. –  Eric Petroelje Jul 21 '10 at 19:57
5  
Just be sure that neither seal shifts around enough to obstruct the drain. We lived with (and plunged) a partially blocked toilet for 8 years before deciding to take it apart and redo the seal. There were two seals and the inner plastic part of one had shifted and blocked about 1/3 of the opening. –  jacobsee Jul 21 '10 at 20:08

The only way to truly make the seal last is to repair the closet flange. The toilet is probably flexing the flange when you sit down on it and working away at that wax seal every time it shifts. Our condo had a similar problem where the flange was not completely level and so the toilet shifted around ever-so-slightly but would eventually compromise the seal.

Using double wax rings or extra thick single ring make it easier to get the seal right (and every time I install a toilet I go with the biggest single ring I can find) but it still will start leaking eventually.

Fortunately there are plenty of DIY closet flange replacement kits which make the job fairly simple. Oh and I also highly recommend wearing nitrile gloves while doing that kind of work...

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.