When you start noticing some persistent water accumulation around the base of your toilet, that's a key indication that you have a leak around the base of the toilet where the wax ring is. These kinds of leaks can be wasteful in terms of water consumption, but they can also put you at risk of structural damage to your floors. To reduce waste and preserve the condition of your floors, you'll want to make sure you address these problems immediately. Here's a look at what you need to know to do the plumbing repair work on your own.
Drain The Toilet
You'll need to get rid of all of the water in the toilet before you can effectively repair the leak. Turn off the water by turning the valve behind the toilet clockwise. It will stop turning when the valve is fully closed. Then, flush the toilet to drain the water.
Disconnect the Water Supply
Follow the water supply line from the bottom of the toilet tank to the water valve that you shut off. Locate the nut that connects that water line to the valve. Turn the nut counterclockwise so that you loosen it enough to remove the water line. Disconnect it and rest it on a folded towel just in case it drips.
Disassemble and Remove the Toilet
Remove the bolts at the base of the toilet tank using a wrench. Lift the tank off and set it somewhere safe. This is important, because the toilet is likely to be too heavy and cumbersome to lift with the tank intact.
Use a wrench to loosen the nuts on the floor that secure the base of the toilet in place. Once they are loose, remove them and lift the toilet straight up to remove it. You'll probably want an extra person on hand to help you do this, because toilet bases can be heavy.
Replace the Ring
Once you've removed the toilet, the wax ring will be exposed. Scrape the wax off the floor using a putty knife. Make sure the surface is clear of wax so that the new wax ring will settle. Place the new ring where the old one was and push it down gently so that it stays in place as you replace the toilet. Just don't push so hard that you squash it.
Assemble the Toilet
Make sure you position the toilet base so that it's straight down over the wax ring. If you have to wiggle it around, you might shift the ring and cause further leaks. Then, replace the bolts and make sure that everything is tight on the base. Position the tank where it belongs and secure it with the bolts you removed. Then, attach the water line and open the water valve. Let the toilet fill.
As you can see, replacing the wax ring under a toilet isn't so complex that you cannot do the work yourself. Talk with your local plumber if you're not comfortable, as he or she can help you get the repair finished to preserve your flooring and reduce your water use.
27 May 2016
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