Two rings, or not two rings, that is the question.

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by SugarHollow, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. SugarHollow

    SugarHollow New Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    I have read many threads here and talked to several plumbers regarding how to seal a toilet to a flange 3/8 inch below floor level. All my bathrooms were tiled and they left the flanges where they were, so that the top surface of the flange is 3/8 inch below the top surface of the tile. Furthermore, the tile cutouts for the flange on all three toilets are such that the tile overhangs one side of the flange. So in order to raise the flange, i would have to cut tile, which I don't want to do.

    Based on what I've read and heard, I should stick with wax rings (although I would use a Sani-seal synthetic ring if I didn't have to stack them. If I have to stack rings, I want to stay with wax). Some plumbers recommend a jumbo ring, while others recommend stacking two regular rings. I have replaced two of the three Mansfield (POS) toilets installed by the builder with Totos. For one Toto I used a jumbo wax ring, for the other I used two wax rings. I haven't had any problems with either.

    The prevailing opinion here seems to be two wax rings. The more I analyzed the question, the more I think two rings is the best approach. Don't know whether I just got lucky with the jumbo ring or not. I sure hope it lasts. In any case, for my last and final installation, I want to go with two rings; one with a funnel and one without. Here's my question: which ring goes on top (touching the toilet base) and which ring goes on bottom (touching the flange)? The plumbers who installed the original toilet put the funnel ring on the bottom, but it is my understanding from reading advice here that the funnel should be on top and the plain wax ring below. Am I misunderstanding the advice here?

    By the way, never in my life did I think I would get excited about a toilet. But these Totos are just a pleasure to own. They look great and they work great. Can't imagine using any other brand now that I have these.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Put the one with the funnel on top - the reason for this is some flange openings can get smaller fast, and putting it on the top gives it less chance of getting squeezed in the funnel of the flange and creating a blockage.

    FWIW, as long as your wax squishes all around some when you set the toilet, that should be enough to make a decent seal. If it just barely contacts the bowl, or there are gaps, then you need either a jumbo or to stack them.

    Keep in mind that should the line get plugged, agressive plunging is more likely to blow out a thicker wax bridge than a smaller one if the toilet was set with a flange in the proper place.
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  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    There are many ways to install the seal. I learned with two wax seals, mainly because it was handy to just have two types of wax rings on the truck.
    If the flange was above the floor, I would use the single wax, and if it was lower, I would stack them. I use the regular wax on the bottom and the wax with horn over that. I then lower the bowl down on the wax. If the floor is uneven, or the bowl isn't straight, I shim near the back of the bowl, pinning the front down to the floor.

    There is nothing wrong with a thick wax if it works for the situation. I've also used the Sani-Seal with success and the Fluidmaster waxless seal.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  5. nestork

    nestork Janitorial Technician

    Aug 5, 2012
    Sugar Hollow:

    My understanding is that the purpose of the plastic insert in a wax ring is to prevent the wax from squashing inward and ending up in your drain piping where it'll do more harm than good.

    So, if it wuz my toilet, I'd use two wax seals, EACH with a plastic insert to minimize the liklihood of that happening.

    For the $2 or $3 each wax seal is gonna cost, I'd buy two more wax seals, scrape the wax off them with a putty knife and confirm that the plastic inserts fit inside each other like styrofoam drinking cups. If they do, and there's no problem with the plastic insert on the bottom wax ring contacting the floor flange as Jadnashua described, then it seems that having a plastic insert on each wax seal would be the best insurance against wax squeezing inward into the drain piping. In my view, $6 isn't much to be confident in your own mind that you did the best job you could have.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Forcing one "funnel" into another one is a recipe for disaster. Use a standard one on the bottom and the "extended" one on top. The reason for that is so that the funnel going through the bottom ring will stabilize it and prevent it from entering the water flow stream from the toilet. Or get a #10 thick wax seal whick is the same as two rings.
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