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How Often Should a Wax Ring Be Replaced on Your Toilet?

how often should a wax ring be replaced

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How often should a wax ring be replaced on a toilet? It’s a simple question, but don’t be fooled. Things can get complicated. Here’s what to know.

Every toilet in your home has a wax ring connecting it to your plumbing, which creates a waterproof seal to keep what goes down to the sewer from seeping out the sides. This piece of equipment usually lasts as long as the toilet, about 30 years. However, if it dries out and starts to crumble, you could be at risk for a messy leak.

At that point, it’s time to install a new one.

Installing a New Wax Ring

You should be able to find a replacement at any hardware store. Before beginning, you will need to have the proper tools nearby:

  • A putty knife
  • A bucket and towels in case of a leak
  • A wet/dry vacuum
  • A wrench that fits the hardware of your toilet

Here’s how to replace your toilet’s wax ring.

  1. Disconnect the water supply.

To disconnect the water supply to your toilet, turn the water lines leading from the wall to your toilet to the “off” position. After doing that, flush the toilet to get as much water out as possible. You may want to have a wet/dry vacuum handy to remove any water that remains in the tank and bowl. Otherwise, you will need to use a towel. Once all the water is out, disconnect the water supply line from the bottom of the tank.

  1. Remove the toilet.

Next, remove the toilet. Take off the caps covering the bolts at the base of the toilet, then unscrew the bolts using an appropriate wrench. You should now be able to rock the toilet loose from the old wax ring. Once it is free, lift the toilet and set it out of the way.


  1. Scrape off the old wax ring.

Using a putty knife, start scraping away the wax on the flange, the pipe that connects to the toilet, as well as the bottom of the toilet. If the flange looks damaged, you should call a plumber before continuing, as the new wax ring may not seal properly.

  1. Install the new wax ring.

Make sure you follow the instructions on the packaging of your new wax ring and proceed to install it. Once you have it in place, gently put the toilet back where it was, aligning the bolt holes on the toilet with the bolts in the floor.

Once the toilet is in place, close the lid and sit down to use your weight to finish the seal. Gently move your weight around to ensure a complete seal. The toilet should be flush with the floor when finished.

Need help with your toilet? Custom Plumbing of Arizona is here to help.

Not sure how often should a wax ring be replaced? That’s not a problem! Get in touch with us today, and we will send a plumbing expert to your home as soon as possible.