Leah demonstrates how to fix a leaking or damaged wax ring on a toilet.
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love ur videos leah. i replaced the wax ring w waxless ring first still leaking, bought thick thick wax and tried that too and still leaking!! so is the porcelain cracked?? how can i tell?? i am a beginner woman diyer. plz help
Great video. Thanks. I just did this fix. My only correction/suggestion is to not use the water solidifier but instead use a dedicated turkey baster to siphon out the water. I have one set aside for such non-food household uses. Very handy. And no mystery chemicals going into the system.
Leah. I need to point out it is not normal or even desirable to have your closet bolts bolted to the flange. The whole reason that key way exists is to allow adjustment of the toilet after you set it in place. No toilet or closet bolt kit will include extra nuts and washers because they are not needed. And tightening them down hard is wrong. The key way keeps the bolts in place.
There is no need to mark the position etc. set the toilet and align the tank with the wall. That's what everyone does.
Many bolt kits come with a plastic disk to push on the bolts to keep them from flopping or dropping. Me? I just dip the bottom ends of the bolts in the old wax and it holds them fine.
Having nuts holding the bolt is OK, but leave them loose so the bolts can move a little for perfect alignment.
Also, you should have mentioned about not over tightening the closet bolts and the water supply line. Both very important things.
Yes, I agree. I am a plumber and I watched a couple of her videos, she's not bad. Her advice is usually not all accurate but fine.
But she knows little about plumbing that is obvious. More like a DIYer not and expert.
Nuts on closet bolts really shouldn't be done. They are not needed and no plumber or knowledgeable DIYer would do it. If those nuts and/or screws rust etc you will have a hell of a time with them. You don't want to damage your flange if you can help it.
This should have been told to her viewers. All closet bolts used to be all brass. Now many are just brass plated if at all. They rust all the time.
Wax rings work fine for 99% of toilets. When setting a toilet, the flange should be at floor level. If it isn't you may need to stall a spacer(s) to bring it up. If just a little low the extra thick seals will fill the gap OK.
When installing the water supply line, don't be a putz and leave the tags on the line. It looks like hell and takes seconds to remove. This type of supply line should never be over tightened.
No need to "solidify" the toilet water. Don't be a pig - clean your toilet well inside and out with disinfectant. Just use your rag to get the water out just like you did in the tank. It's quite simple. And you really don't have to do that if you are just setting the toilet to the side - it will not spill unless you tip it a lot.
To move the toilet if heavy for you, remove the tank cover it weighs 7ish pounds alone. It's easy for most people to pick up and move to the side. Get help if you need to carry a long distance. Removing the tank from the bowl if tossing out is an option.
The closet bolts do not need to be tight, in fact they should not be bolted in place at all. They simply slip under the key way in the flange. The flange itself must be tight and the key-way not broken. If it's damaged so the closet bolts don't hold, it needs to be fixed. Closet bolts are not normally bolted down and a new bolt kit will not include the extra nuts and washers but it's OK but not normal. If you bolt it down like here then you must have it aligned perfectly. That's why the key-way exists you set the toilet on to the bolts and the bolts can slide around a little to allow perfect alignment. Again the key-way holds the bolts down not these extra nuts.
Do not over tighten the closet bolt nuts. Many are metal and can be over tightened and you can break your toilet.
Some people like the toilet base caulked. I only caulk if the toilet doesn't sit flush to the floor and looks bad. Shims may be needed too. If you caulk it and your toilet starts leaking at the seal again you may not know it until it's too late.
+James Elmore - Sure if you like empty it. I've replaced/fixed well over a 100 and usually don't especially if the thing isn't clean. Some people are pigs. Tilting the toilet allowd me to clean off the wax.
The extra nut doesn't stop the toilet from seating, but if they rust and many do, that could be a problem and so simple to avoid.
It would seem to me that one needs to turn the toilet over on it's side to clean the old wax off of it, which requires getting rid of the water. Also, caulking around the toilet prevents a future leak from surfacing in one's bathroom; if on an upper floor, the leak could ruin a lower ceiling before you notice the leak. The leak will perhaps go down the side of the drain/sewer pipe. Caulking IMO is a last resort. As for those extra nuts...I suppose they keep the bolt more vertical during installation but like you said, not necessary.
Saw your other post too... I again agree.
Just pulling a toilet off to replace the ring - no need to empty the bowl at all. It's a P trap. If I haul an old toilet to the curb, I just toss in a big rag that's well used (I have tons) in the bowl. It won't leak if its low like in this video.
Yes she skipped the VERY important torque instructions for both the supply line and closet bolts.
I just had to do that on a new toilet install I did a couple days ago. Be sure to caulk the shims to keep in place and caulk the entire base. The two bolts may not keep the toilet from moving with part of the toilet base off the floor.
Leah. Please keep telling people that they can do anything around their own homes. The first time they fail and flood their homes and then their insurance doesn't want to cover it because they were not trained in whatever they did. Please put up a video on what happens then. Are you going to pay for their mistakes?
I'm sure you wont mention the down side if things go bad. Everything is just a bowl of Cherries until you get to the Pits! And it does happen. But I never hear anyone who puts up these videos explain the down sides to making a mistake!
+seejanedrill we all learn by someone or something teaching us. The problem with your videos is that not once did you mention that things can go wrong it a blink of an eye. You never teach them that if they fail as they learn. It "Could" cost them thousands of dollars if they do fail.
Where does you accountability come in.
You can tell them it's just a bowl of Cherries with no Pits. But that's a Lie & you know it.
Remember. I'm not saying you shouldn't do these videos. But you should tell people that shit can go sideways in a second. And if it does there insurance company might not cover it.
Or. It might take months to get their home back together and some items just can't be replace. So go right ahead and save that 100 bucks by doing it yourself because Leah says you can.
+seejanedrill I still ask you. Who is responsible for telling people that they can do anything? Who tells them that they are responsible for paying that 25000 dollars to rebuilt their homes after they flooded it. Just to save themselves 100 dollars. Oh. That's right. Their insurance company has to. You don't have any responsibility in there screw ups. Right?
Yes you can kill someone driving a car. That's why we have drivers licenses. Pilot licenses an so on. It's all a bowl of Cherries until you get to a pit.
Do you make money off of these U-Tube videos?
Well Lee, your comment is an interesting one. No one is born knowing anything. It's all learned. Should folks not learn to drive cars because they could kill someone? Or how bout learning to swim, because you could drown. And let me just ask you this, do like to fly? What if Orvil and Wilber Wright didn't try because of a fear of failure? The biggest failure of all is not to try.
Before you start, put some food coloring in the tank, it will tell you the leak is and when you are finished to check for leaking. I recently had a leak and did this, it show a leak in seal between the tank and bowl. Fixed no more problem.
Another thing to check... the sub floor around the base of the toilet. If the toilet has been leaking for any length of time, the sub floor may be rotted and need to be replaced. A screwdriver poked into the wood at various points will let you know if the wood is soft and rotted.
Recently purchased an expensive (original cost) the used toilet, was replaced because even though they had put in a new way ring, it still leaked. The problem was a small plastic plug in the ceramic base. Part of the manufacturing of the toilet, the plug was the cause of the water leak. Popped out the little plug, cleaned both plug and ceramic surface, applied some silicone, let it cure overnight, then installed, no more leak.
Hi Leah; A couple years ago, my toilet began to leak and I did call a plumber -- that's when I learned about wax rings. My bathroom floor was about the color of the one in your video and it looked really bad when the plumber had finished because the leaking water left a somewhat brown stain on the vinyl floor and inch or so out from the toilet base. I put a little white paint on my hand and smoothed it over the vinyl. It isn't perfect, but if you didn''t know it was there, you wouldn't see it. There may have been a better solution to the problem, but I sure didn't want to put in all new vinyl.
Some people are unable to lift a toilet off and put it back on when the tank is still bolted on....especially when needing to be cautious of landing the toilet center to the flange. It’s ok to take the tank off or call a neighbor. 😉
You can do that but for some that may start a new leak. If at all possible don;t do it unless you are putting it out to the trash. The rubber grommet, especially if old may not be able to reform to make a good seal.
Around here in my neck of the woods just to have a plumber with an attitude show up at the door will cost me $90.00 and then $185 per hour afterwards which is insane. They are pricing themselves out of a job. Great video janedrill.
Another helpful video. Either I spaced, or didn't see you putting down the painters tape and marking where the bolts went.
I needed to fix a leaking toilet many years ago. Didn't have a lot of problems, but this video would have helped. The powder that gels the water wasn't around back then.
Another reason to put a rag in the hole is so that none of your old wax falls into it when you're removing it.
Many years ago, the wax was 100% beeswax and was a good source of cheap beeswax for other things. But that's no longer true.
Be sure and get either stainless steel or brass or bronze flange bolts along with the same type of material nuts and washers. Too many times they are rusted because they are steel thats brass plated to look like brass (cheaper) and very difficult to remove. Good Job.
Okay, I'm going to try to replace the wax ring. Will make a trip to Lowe's tomorrow and pick up supplies. First I'm going to look to see if you have a video on how to change out a toilet shut-off valve that doesn't work. I recently changed out the guts of the tank with YouTube's help, but now I have a leaking around the base of the toilet problem. These are my first "handywoman" projects. I'm feeling more confident after viewing your video, you don't skip too many steps. On some of the other do-it-yourself channels, I find that hosts assume I have knowledge I don't have. The devil is always in the details. Love your tips about the tape and the gel thickener.
What an incredibly informative,educational and super helpful video. This one sure pulls people out of the dark. Now I know it isnt impossible to fix a leaky toilet. I can do it even if I m not a man....lol Thank you Leah. Your videos rock.
I recently discovered your channel and immediately subscribed. You do an excellent job with your videos. Your personality is terrific and your choices of topics are very useful to homeowners who may be less confident of DIY projects. Keep it up.
I might add another possible cause of the leaky toilet. In a hunting cabin I own, the first floor toilet began to leak at the wax ring due to the septic drain line having become clogged with roots. The backed up liquid sought out the point of least resistance, and the wax ring was the origin of the water on the floor.
My water heater is installed outside. I wouldn't say it leaks, but there's this pipe that water slowly drips out of. Is that normal? My hot water works fine though, maybe even a little too much since it gets extremely hot.
+Yellie - Why not explain yourself "this pipe"? There are a number of pipes. If you want help, why make it a mystery.
Some here say pressure release valve. That could be it, but that's just a guess.
BTW if your water is too hot turn the temp down. That's what the temp control is for.
Love your channel
Wish you would have shown us the actual install of the toilet and how tight do you screw down the nuts ( looks like you only tightened them with your hands). For beginner DIYers the install of the toilet it’s self gives the most of us anxiety.
I’ve leaned a lot from watching you and felt I can share my 2cents.
Good video. Two things to add: 1 lift from the bowl, not the tank. It may cause the tank to shift and leak. 2. Make sure the bottom of the toilet is clean of any left over wax. Bonus, if the bowl still wants to rock some once the nuts are tight, use shims under the base. Any movement may cause gaps in the wax ring seal. 👍
It not needed and just an extra cost. There is a P trap in the toilet bowl. The water will not come out by picking it up and setting off to the side. If you are taking it out to the trash, simply take that rag and in 30 seconds you will have the water out.
I've installed and repaired maybe a 100 toilets and I never even heard of this needless junk.
+Rick Ferris - What I'm saying is the closet bolts are not supposed to be attached to the flange. The bolts sit in a keyway for a reason and that is so you can drop the toilet down on the bolts and line up the tank with the wall. The keyway is there to allow this to be done with the bolts floating freely. That's how we all do it. That why closet bolt kits only contain 2 nuts and not 4.
Putting nuts on the bolt to flange connection could cause a headache later. If those nuts and/or screws rust it could be a problem that should not exist.
While not a huge deal, if you're teaching plumbing do it right.
I wish she had mentioned not to over tighten the closet bolts and the water supply line.
These are two really important things that the inexperienced may screw up.
Yeah I've install and fixed many toilets and I prefer to not caulk the bottom. For the same reason.
I will if a customer requests it but I let them know.
If I have to shim a toilet, i will often caulk it. The reason is if the base is largely off the floor, the toilet may shift without the base fully in contact with the floor. It looks better as well.
Not a good idea. The sealant will prevent a leaky wax ring from making itself readily apparent. Water from the leaking ring could do serious damage to the sub floor if not taken care of in short order.
+seejanedrill hey forgot to say thanks for the videos. My dad died when I was 15 so I have to seek out the info I need in order to fix things. I will be buying my first house soon and with no living parents or grandparents, on both mine and the wifes side, I will be using your videos to help conqure the endeavor.
Hi am one of your biggest fans
This is your first video that I was disappointed
You did not address why the wax ring failed in the first place
Also that is the cleanest toilet flange I’ve ever seen, most are heavily corroded
And you should’ve addressed the fact of possible dry rot around the toilet, due to leakage
Also address the The differences and heights of the flange due to flooring problems such as tile etc
Sorry you were disappointed. Wax rings don't last forever. It was simply old. I spent 30 minutes cleaning the flange with a de-greaser,. I believed no one would be interested in watching me clean the flange so it wasn't included in the video. I did mention the differences in floor height around the flange at the 8:03 time marker. I'll try to do better next time.
Thanks I have only been on your site a short time but u do good work explaining things. we had our comode changed out and a larger one put in place and now it rocks from side to side. It seems the concrete is not quite level and the little plastic levelers it eats. Can u tell me anything we can do? I have had 2 major surgeries one in Feb & one July 20th a complete rare hip with pins so I cannot bend for another 8 months & hubby is 81 and not able to get down there. If I could find some way to keep it from rocking it would be great. thanks again for your videos.
seejanedrill it’s quite hard to explain without being able to post pics but essentially about 98% of toilets have a rear horizontal outlet that attaches to a plastic pan connector which includes a rubber gasket. The other end of the pan connector also has a rubber collar which then slides inside the waste pipe going out through the wall and joining to a soil stack pipe running down the outside of the building. There are a few variations but if you google McAlpine pan connector then you’ll get the idea. The design of the toilets can then often flush fit back to the wall to conceal this connection which can make lining them up tricky so they invented flexible and extendible connectors to allow you to make the connection first then move the toilet back into position. Plumberparts on YouTube has a few vids of how to install a toilet in the UK so that will give you a good view.
Really enjoy your channel Leah and it’s helped me on many occasions 👍🏻
I have been watching your videos for awhile now. I have noticed something peculiar....Either shortly before, during, or slightly after I watch one of your videos that very same problem occurs at my house. So every time something breaks in my house I wonder, "I bet Leah has a video about this..."
Thanks Leah. Great video as always.
Thank you so much for this video, it is needed by me right about now.
Your videos are very informative and you explain the procedures and show them so clearly it makes me think I can do it. God bless, you, Leah, for taking the fear out.
Good one Leah. Personally I ccan do a lot of things as DYIr, but plumging is not high on my list. One thing I have noticed, a lot of the valves and fixes you buy from the hardware store are good things for the DYIer and are user friendly. With that said, I am doing better in the plumbing area. Thanks for the video. Be safe. Tim
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