Standard wax ring vs wax ring with horn - how much pressure should be applied?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by relleuM, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. relleuM

    relleuM New Member

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    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Wondering what the opinion is on the wax ring with a horn. I've looked around and it seems there are those that swear against them advising only to use the standard wax ring. I was also wondering how much pressure should be applied when installing a wax ring. Will the tightening of the bolts take over after installed?

    I just installed one with the horn and I think I overdid it which caused it to leak after a couple flushes. The flange is a half an inch above the floor so I tried to get it down as close as I could. I plan to shim the toilet afterwards and then caulk around it leaving a couple inches uncaulked behind in case of future leaks.
     
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    You have several issues. First, the flange is not installed correctly. It should rest on the finished floor and be anchored though into the sub floor. Then you should set the toilet on the flange without wax. This will show what shimming is necessary and where they will go. Now, put the flange bolts in place and use extra nuts to secure them in place. Now the wax ring problem. Funneled rings have a limited use. In situations where the flange is below the floor and 2 rings are needed, the funnel ring goes on top. You don't have that problem. So now you are ready to set the toilet. The flange bolts you secured earlier will guide the toilet so it will set down squarely on the wax. Now you use you body weight to press the toilet's horn firmly into the wax...as far as it will go. The flange bolts are not intended to force the toilet into the wax, they are just to hold the toilet from tipping or shifting. Now the shims are added when needed. The final step is to caulk around the base of the toilet, leaving the back side open. This will further hold the toilet and help keep spilled water from getting under the toilet. Some plumber caulk all the way around, depending on their local code. Hope this gives you some clarification.
     
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  4. relleuM

    relleuM New Member

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    Thanks Gary for your reply. Yes it does help. It sounds like I should use the standard wax ring. My toilet sits 1/4 inch off the floor when on the flange, I might be able to get a hacksaw under the flange to cut it off, but I really don't want to go that route (having to install a new one which I've never done before). I'm hoping I can shim and caulk around the toilet to hold it in place and make up for the 1/4 inch gap.

    How much do you twist and turn the toilet when installing the wax ring? Or do you not twist and turn it at all? It seems I pushed to hard down on my last installation of the wax ring causing it to leak out, but I'm also afraid if I don't push it down far enough it won't seal right.
     
  5. JerryR

    JerryR Member

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    Florida
    What kind of wast pipe do you have? If you have PVC I would replace the flange with a flush fit flange.

    Here is a youtube video of the process to remove the old PVC Flange. It's pretty easy to do.


    Jerry
     
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Your original post said the flange was 1/2" off the floor. The 1/4" doesn't excite me either. You can't just saw the old flange off and stick a new one on. Replacing the flange would be the best way to go, but you may need a plumber to do it. You do not twist or screw the toilet when setting it. If you put the flange bolts on as I described, you could not twist it anyway. It goes straight on. The wax should be a normal room temperature, don't try to put in the oven. I would really encourage you to get the flange setting on the floor and anchored with screws into the sub floor.
     
  7. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    The confusion in the post is significant.

    There's nothing wrong with some excess wax "leaking out". It's normal.

    I don't understand -- are you saying the TOP of the flange is 1/2" above the floor, or the BASE of the flange? It makes a difference.
     
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    quote; are you saying the TOP of the flange is 1/2" above the floor, or the BASE of the flange? It makes a difference.
    It doesn't make ANY difference, because IF the TOILET is above the floor without the wax ring, it is TOO HIGH. There is NO WAY to prevent a leak because all the wax will be squished out when the toilet is set. There has to be SOME wax in the connection after the bowl is set, and NO MOVEMENT once it is set.
     
  9. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Obviously.
     
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    When the bowl is snugged to the floor with the closet bolts, that will be tight enough.

    If the flange high centering the bowl; the toilet horn sets on the flage and the rest of the bowl is not touching the floor, that's too high.
    We sometimes need to shim the bowl up if that is the case.
    With a high flange, we don't use the horn.

    Most of the time the flange is low.
    In those cases we may use two rings stacked.
     
  11. relleuM

    relleuM New Member

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    From the TOP of the flange to my floor measures out to 1/2". When I put the toilet on without any wax ring the front of the toilet sits with close to a 1/4" gap, the back of the toilet seems to have less than a 1/8" gap.
     
  12. relleuM

    relleuM New Member

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    North Carolina
    With no wax ring the toilet sits off the floor about 1/4" in the front and 1/8" in the back. I just tried to install a standard wax ring without the horn and unfortunately it started to leak out again. Seemingly I had the same gap with the wax ring that I did without after the toilet had been set. Are you supposed to shim the toilet as you tighten the bolts to allow room for the wax ring? I was thinking I would push the shims under after I installed so I am wondering if that was my problem.

    Any idea on what it might cost to have a plumber come out replace the flange so it sits flush with the floor? My house sits on a concrete slab.

    I appreciate any and all help. My wife really wants the 2nd toilet back in the house.
     
  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I am not a plumber. I suggest posting a photo or 2 that shows the elevation and the materials involved. This would probably increase your chance of getting guesses on pricing.

    I am going to assume that you don't measure things with more than 1/8 resolution. If you want to have a toilet that works without leaking for least cost, put some 3/8 or more shims in the front. Put some 1/4 or more shims in the back. With the wax cleaned off, set the toilet in place. Position the shims to make the toilet level (use a level) and a little higher than where it sat limited by the flange. Mark where the shims are with masking tape or washable marker.

    Then lift the toilet. Put the wax ring on the flange. Re-position the shims if they moved. Lower the toilet onto the shims. Straight down. Don't rock. Take your time. Once down, be sure that the shims are each tight. If not, push them in to fill the slack. If a shim is loose and you cannot push it in more, pull it out, cut maybe 1/2 inch off of the thin end, and push it back in. Add more shims where they will fit. tighten the closet bolt nuts. Sit on the toilet for a while. Tight the nuts again. Now cut off or snap off the shims that are sticking out. Use it for a day or two. Tighten the nuts again if they are a bit loose. Do not overtighten. So how tight should you make the nuts? If I looked it up and gave you a torque, would that help? If not, maybe use 1 finger on a 6 inch wrench? But I don't know how strong your finger is.

    Apply masking tape to the floor and toilet to limit where the cauking will stay. (a practiced person would not need the masking tape, but that is not us.) Apply Polyseamseal tub and tile caulk to the front 85% of the toilet bottom. You can use a wet finger to push in and smooth and taper to the tape. You could use a nitrile glove over your finger if you prefer to not use your bare finger. Once the caulk is in place to your satisfaction, immediately and carefully remove the masking tape. Note that while Polyseamseal tub and tile caulk goes on white, the common "clear" type turns semi-clear. Your shims and gaps will be a bit visible through the Polyseamseal. But it will work reliably. Polyseamseal is also available in white, which may be a better choice with your toilet sitting up some.

    This procedure is not tested by experience. Somebody may post a better suggested procedure.

    Now doing it right by getting a new flange with a stainless steel ring in place would be best. It would look better because the toilet would not be elevated and it would be stronger. Listen to your wife.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
  14. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    I'll try to be tactful, but this may piss you off anyway. You have a problem situation to say the least. On top of that, you appear to have virtually zero idea of what you are try to do. Now, there's sure nothing wrong with that, we all come with different experiences and talents. A "normal" toilet install can be explained fairly easily so that even a novice can do the job. This is not a normal job. My suggestion is that you call a local plumber to do this job for you. Do not mess around with a unlicensed handyman, get a real plumber. How much the cost will be is dependent on many factors, you no one on this forum can tell you what to expect. Even the local plumber won't be able to tell you until he as seen the job. Sometimes the best advice we can give to a DIY is to call for professional help. It's usually less expensive in the long run.
     
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    I have told you that if the toilet is ABOVE the floor without a wax ring, or any kind, there is NO WAY for it to not leak, but you seem to be trying to make the impossible work. Good luck.
     
  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Wax is not a spring...once you compress it, it does not spring back. So, you only get one chance to press the toilet down, and placing shims AFTER you've set the toilet can easily cause it to be in a different position and the wax have a gap in it.

    As has been said, if the toilet does not sit flat on the floor before you've added the wax, you have a problem. Since there needs to be at least a thin layer of wax all around, if you choose not to change the flange and install it properly, then you'll need to shim such that the toilet sits above the flange and DOES NOT ROCK! THEN, you can reset it with the wax. This often doesn't look great...it's much better to have the toilet sitting flush on the floor and only use shims if it rocks without the wax in place (generally, either the floor or the toilet are not perfectly flat, which requires the shims to keep it from rocking and provide a small layer of continuous wax to make the seal).

    The use of a ring with a horn can mean you've pushed all of the wax out and have just the plastic horn to make the seal (it won't!).
     
  17. relleuM

    relleuM New Member

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    North Carolina
    My main goal was not to replace the flange all the while knowing that is most likely what had to be done. After researching last night what that includes, I am confident I can do it. I just hope the person who installed the previous flange didn't use any primer.

    I have a new dilemma though. Below is a link to what my flange looks like. I put a level on it and the bubble is to the far right. The ruler to the right shows the top of the flange is 5/8" off the floor. If the ruler was to the left it would show 3/8". So it looks like the main pipe is at a slant which is causing the issue; and I'm on a concrete slab. Any ideas?

    http://i.imgur.com/L8Ze4AX.jpg
     
  18. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    So just what do you think using primer has to do with anything? If you are dealing with PVC, that is connected by solvent welding (not "glue") Primer cleans and preps the surfaces before the solvent is applied, but is not vital to making the weld. You don't just "unglue" the joint. Guess you're just hellbent on DIY, so good luck.
     
  19. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Active Member

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    OOps, didn't mean to reply to a 2015 post.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020 at 10:44 PM
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