Your Leaky, Smelly Toilet Could Need A Simple Fix: A New Wax Ring

Do you have a toilet that has a strange odor coming from it or that is loose and wobbly? If so, this is something you should get fixed right away. Smelly, loose toilets indicate a problem, and the problem often involves the wax ring found underneath the toilet. If you are somewhat handy with plumbing repairs, you may be able to fix this issue yourself.

What Are Wax Rings For?

Almost all toilets contain a wax ring underneath them, and this ring is designed to serve as a seal for the toilet. They are the barrier between your toilet and the pipe that carries away the waste.

Wax rings can wear out over time, but they can be replaced when needed. Wax rings tend to harden over time, but there are also occasions when they are not installed properly. If your toilet's wax ring is bad, you may experience:

  • Smelly odors – The odors you smell might be urine smells or gas-like smells, and they are caused by leaking sewage. These odors are not safe, which is why you should address this problem immediately.
  • Moving toilet – When you sit on your toilet, does it move? If so, this could be caused by a number of different things, including a bad wax ring.
  • Water damage – If your wax ring is bad and water is leaking on the floor, you could experience rotting of the floor, mold, and stains on the floor near your toilet.

If you are experiencing any of these problems or all of them, it is probably because the wax ring under the toilet is not working properly. To fix the problem, you will have to replace the wax ring.

How Do You Replace The Wax Ring?

Replacing a wax ring under a toilet is not necessarily a hard job to complete, but it does required several different steps, including removing the entire toilet. You will also need to purchase a new wax ring, which typically costs under $10.

The first step with any plumbing project is to shut the water off to the device you are working on, which is easy to do if there is a shut-off valve by the toilet. If there isn't one, you will have to shut your main water supply off to the house. Once you get the water off, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Empty the water from the toilet – If the water is shut off, you can easily empty the water from the device by flushing the toilet a few times. Flushing it will force the water down the drain, but fresh water will not enter in the toilet because the water is off.
  2. Unhook the toilet – Toilets are generally attached to the floor with nuts and bolts. You will need to remove all these in order to remove the toilet from the floor. As you pull the toilet out of place, you may need to rock it back and forth to break it free from the caulk and seal.
  3. Replace the wax ring – The next step involves removing the old wax ring and putting a new one in its place. After doing this, you should be able to set the toilet back in place and replace the bolts and nuts.

After you complete these steps, you can turn the water back on and flush the toilet. If there are no leaks present, you should apply caulk around the entire base of the toilet. At this point, the problem should be fixed, and you will no longer have to worry about having a wobbly, smelly toilet.

If you want to get this problem fixed in your home, but cannot fix it yourself, you can click here for more info or hire a plumber. Plumbers can fix all types of problems, including replacing worn-out wax rings.

About Me

what goes into adding a bathroom to your home?

Having a house that only has two bathrooms and three teenage girls reached a point where I thought I was going to lose my mind. In all seriousness, I thought I was going to go crazy listening to the girls battle over whose turn it was to shower or who used whose makeup. After several months of dealing with the insanity every single day, I finally talked my husband into hiring a plumber to run the plumbing we needed to install a third bathroom. Adding a bathroom was a lot of work, but it was worth it. Our blog will help you understand what goes into adding a bathroom to your home.