If you notice that water is puddling around the base of your toilet, then there's a good chance that you need to replace the wax seal.
This repair can prevent a lot of structural damage, but it is often an uncommon repair because a seal can last for decades.
The first thing you should do is tighten the bolts that hold the toilet in place. This may fix the issue.
If not, then you'll want to follow these steps.
1. Remove The Water From The System.
After shutting off the water to the toilet, make sure the entire unit has drained.
Use a sponge to soak up any loose water in the tank or bowl.
Then remove the nuts that help to keep the toilet in place.
You'll need to rock the toilet gently back and forth to get the toilet seal to break.
2. Check The Flange.
The wax seal may need to be replaced, but so might the flange.
You'll need to scrape the wax seal away from the floor and/or the toilet and this will reveal any damage to the part.
3. Install The New Toilet Seal.
Most toilet seals are made from pure wax and they'll be able to conform around the opening to create the needed barrier.
New seals have urethane foam in them, however, and these provide a better seal that can last much longer when compared to the traditional repair.
4. Replace The Toilet.
This is your opportunity to upgrade your toilet.
If you have a copper supply tube for your toilet, then it is probably time to make an investment into a new one.
Whether new or old, place the toilet back into place.
Grip the bowl near the hinges and lift the unit up and over the flange.
Set it down on the new toilet seal and use the bolts as a guide.
Press down on the toilet before tightening the bolts to help compress your new seal.
Please note: Some building codes will require you to caulk around your repaired toilet as a final step.
Knowing how to replace a toilet seal can help you save your home from costly future repairs.
It may not be the easiest DIY job you ever do, but over the course of an afternoon it will prevent your toilet from leaking for decades to come.
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