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I just bought a new house that was built three months ago. I unfortunately flushed something big down the toilet and had to take the toilet apart, turn it upside down, and fish it out. When I was finished I simply placed the toilet back and bolted it down. Well now my father is telling me you have to replace the bees wax every time you take the toilet off. Is that true? I can't imagine you have to replace the wax if its only three months old.

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

You only have to replace the wax ring if the toilet leaks. It's wise to replace it whenever you remove the toilet, though. It's not a matter of age, but the fact that a wax ring is intended to be a single-use item. They squish into place when you set a toilet, and that can't happen very well more than once.

It's certainly possible that you achieved a satisfactory seal when you reinstalled the toilet. If you're willing to wait and see, and take the risk of (potentially smelly) water damage to your floor, go with it.

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The bad news is that you have to do the work again. The good news is that wax rings are inexpensive. Unless you have reason to do otherwise, go with a simple ring with urethane, and not a double-thick ring. I always use the rings with the black rubber funnel thing as opposed to the most basic type, but that's just me. – isherwood Jan 17 at 17:41
Buy two, put one on the shelf. – Ecnerwal Jan 17 at 18:38
The newbie toilet ring warning is appropriate here. Place the new ring and set the toilet. Use pressure to push the whole toilet base down to compress the ring. Do not use the toilet mount bolts to apply the pressure to compress the ring - this is a sure way to crack your toilet base. – Michael Karas Jan 17 at 19:53
Thanks for the tip Michael. I ended up not going with the Bees Wax. Instead I bought a water proof rubber/foam donut that is reusable. A guy at the hardware store told me it'll work better than the wax since we tend to move around a lot on the toilet and that can cause one side to slightly lift up and break the wax seal. – Mr. Tea Jan 17 at 21:17
For what it's worth, I don't think any of them are beeswax. – isherwood Jan 17 at 21:18

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