How much does a wax ring compress?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by rsmith99, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. rsmith99

    rsmith99 New Member

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    When a wax ring is unstalled under a toilet, how much is it compressed? How much is too much?
  2. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Too much is not the problem. It's when there is too little.
  3. rsmith99

    rsmith99 New Member

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Where does it seal?

    Is the seal made on the top of the flange or is the wax compressed between the bell on the toilet and the inside of the funnel part of the flange?
  4. theplumber

    theplumber Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    CA
    It's the wax side, the horn is an optional component. It's not always neccessary.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    wax

    Since many of us do not use the ring with a funnel, we do not have to worry about it. The wax compression ranges from zero when the space it too wide, or infinite when the flange is too high and squeezes all the wax out. Almost anything between the two extremes is adequate. But the funnel introduces another variable because it takes up space and can cause the wax above and below it to be squeezed out if the gap is just adequate for the funnel's ring.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The wax fills the void space between the top of the flange, and the bottom of the toilet discharge area. If there is 1/2" space, and the wax is 3/4 thick, then that is what is squeezed.

    Plain wax has been used for decades. Today, you can get wax which has a urethane donut embedded in it, for supposedly an even more reliable seal.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    ring

    That one is usually specified "for wall hung toilets".
  8. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
  9. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I learned from an old old time plumber that hated wax, he always used plumbers putty. He used to clean off the flange set the W/C (water closet), then draw a line around it. Then he pull the W/C make a donut about an inch and half thick and set it on the flange then make a rope out of the putty about a half inch thick and trace it around the line he drew around the W/C. Then set the W/C rocking the hell out of it to ensure the putty and the bowl are well mated.

    Myself I prefer the best wall hung W/C seal out there the Zurn Neo-Seal. I even use it on floor mounts.

    [​IMG]
  10. bighit

    bighit New Member

    Messages:
    1
    It should be compressed as much as it fits.
  11. rsmith99

    rsmith99 New Member

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Same Question

    The funnel I was talking about is the funnel in the closet flange, not on the was seal.

    My question is; I only have about 1/8" gap between the top of the closet flange and the bottom of the stool. Is that enough pace for the was ring to seal properly?
  12. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    A little bit of wax is all you need. If a heavy person sets the toilet, it will squish down more than if a light person sets the toilet. The only problem with a thin wax seal is that, in the long run, it will squeeze out to nothing faster than a thicker seal. But that hopefully will take years.
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,015
    Location:
    New England
    once the toilet is squished down to the floor, the state of the wax is static,regardless of the weight of the user.
  14. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    And if you really want to be certain, leave the plastic bolt covers off and after a few uses of the toilet check to see if the bolts tighten down anymore. At some point you have to call it good.
  15. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Nothing lasts forever. My contention is that a 1/8" seal will not last as long as a 1/2" seal due to a combination of factors, including natural attrition of the wax. I've pulled many a toilet where the wax was completely worn or squished away.
  16. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    And you never know how many times that same toilet was pulled and put back without replacing the wax.
  17. rsmith99

    rsmith99 New Member

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    1/2" of wax?

    For the past few months i have been reading this forum and the John Bridges forum. The main point everyone stressed was that the flange MUST set on top of the finished floor. My flange was too low so i tore it out and installed a new one, setting on top of the tile. The flange is 7/16 thick, as all of themseem to be. The top of the flange is 7/16 above the tile.

    Now it seems everyone has changed their minds and i should have set the flange lower somehow. The only way to set it lower is to set it on top of the cement slab instead of the tile. Thats the only way to get a 1/2" space for the wax ring.

    This isn't rocket science. All measurements should be standard according to code.

    Why is it so hard to get a consistant answer on one the most basic plumbing jobs?

    I appreciate everyones help and opinions but i'm about to give up and buy a port-a-potty.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  18. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Problem is there is 100 manufactures of closet flanges and each have different thickness. I have always set my flanges flush with the finished floor.
  19. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051

    You're making this a lot harder than it has to be. The flange sits on top of the finished floor. You put a wax ring over the flange. You set the toilet. If the floor is uneven, you can shim it a bit and caulk it.
  20. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I would agree 100% with this!
    Slap that ring down and set the toilet!
    This really isn't something that needs 97 posts in 6 different forums! :D

    [​IMG]
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