Can a Bad Wax Ring Cause Flushing Problems? Learn the Truth

Yes, a bad wax ring can cause flushing problems. But it does not stop the flushing mechanism itself. Bad wax rings can result in water leakage, a bad smell, and a wobbly toilet, which can pollute your toilet environment. However, this problem can be easily fixed by replacing the existing wax rings with a new one.

To know the specific details regarding your concern about can a bad wax ring cause flushing problems, read the full article.

Key Takeaways

  • Bad wax rings can cause problems like odor, water leaks, and an unstable toilet.
  • It’s essential to replace bad wax rings as soon as possible to eliminate bigger water leak scenarios.
  • Replacing a bad wax ring only requires a few tools and you can do it yourself.

Can a Bad Wax Ring Cause Flushing Problems?

Bad wax rings can cause a toilet’s basic functionalities to not work, including flushing problems. However, the flushing mechanism of your toilet most likely won’t arise due to bad wax rings.

The purpose of wax rings in a toilet is to provide a good sealing of the toilet that prevents any kind of leak. It acts as an insulator which decreases the potential of toilet leaks; for both water and smell.

will bad wax ring cause toilet not to flush
Source: reddit

But if a wax ring is misplaced or has gone bad, it can create a series of issues in your toilet. To know more about the problems and solutions of bad wax rings, read the next segment of this article.

What Toilet Problems Are Created Due to Bad Wax Rings?

If you suspect your wax rings have gone bad, don’t just replace them. You can ensure that your wax rings are bad by checking for a few symptoms and then replacing them.

This will save you the cost of replacing the wax rings. Along with that, the problem will also be much more clear.

I’ve jotted down all the possible symptoms of a bad wax ring. Give it a good read.

  • Water leaks in your toilet. Wax rings are supposed to create a water-tight seal between your toilet and the sewer it connects to. If there’s any leakage in your toilet, it’s most likely due to a bad wax ring.

    The most common sighting of water leaks is water foaming around the base of the toilet. 

    Furthermore, along with the water, the bad smell of the sewer gas can also surround the toilet atmosphere. Not fixing the water leak quickly can also cause mold to grow around your toilet.
  • Bad smell. While the wax rings don’t have a distinct smell, they can surely eliminate the sewer smell by going bad. This applies to all the toilet seals out there, such as sponge gaskets, wax rings, and rubber seals

    The gas trapped inside the sewage can escape due to bad wax rings that have lost the sealing quality. Exposure to high levels of sewage is really harmful.
  • Your toilet is not sturdy. As mentioned before, wax rings work by sealing the toilet. But there’s more to it, as these rings are also responsible for providing a sturdy base for the toilet.

If you find your toilet being wobbly, reseat the toilet. If the toilet is still wobbly after reseating it, the wax ring might be uneven/potentially gone bad.

toilet being wobbly
Source: 1tomplumber

If you’re experiencing all of the symptoms mentioned above, then your wax ring has definitely gone bad.

In such cases, many people try to repair the wax rings. However, repairing the wax rings after flood damage is more expensive and a complex process overall, so it’s recommended to replace the wax ring.

How to Replace a Wax Ring

Replacing a wax ring consists of many steps and tools. Don’t stress about it because I’ll guide you through the whole process. Here are the tools you will need:

  • Scrub sponges
  • ⅜-inch wrench
  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Wax ring
  • Silicone caulk
Product NameFeatures
Scrub SpongeDurable and long-lasting
Absorbent and streak-free
⅜ inch WrenchDurable ratchet head
Easy to store and portable
Utility KnifeStainless steel blade
Very durable
Putty KnifeDurable plastic handle
Reusable and versatile
Wax RingStainless and waterproof
Made of 100% pure petroleum
Silicone CaulkResistant to cleaning agents
Water and crackproof

Now that you have the tools, let’s get to the guidelines. You can successfully replace your toilet’s wax ring by following these steps:

  • Empty the toilet first. Make sure the water supply valve on your toilet is turned clockwise to shut off the water flow. Then, remove the lid of the toilet tank and flush your toilet.

    One thorough flush should clear out the whole tank. To remove any remaining water, use a sponge.
  • After that, detach the toilet by using a ⅜ inch wrench to take out the compression nuts. After loosening up the nuts, pull the toilet to detach it. If the toilet is caulked to the floor, remove the caulking with a utility knife.
  • Then, move the toilet aside. You can move the tank first and then the remaining part of the toilet. Use lumber blocks to hold the toilet drain off the floor.
lumber blocks
Source: familyhandyman
  • Afterward, remove the existing wax ring. Scrape off the old wax seal at the base of the toilet with a putty knife.
  • Next, attach the new wax ring. Make sure the wax ring is sitting in the center of the toilet flange.
  • After that, reinstall the toilet. While reinstalling it, make sure to place the toilet as levelly as possible on the newly installed wax ring. This will create a sturdy base for the toilet.
  • Then, use the wrench to bolt compression nuts and move the toilet back into place.
  • Finally, use caulk to seal the toilet with the ground and attach the tank. Turn on the water supply again and wait until the tank is full of water. Now, the bad smell and leaking problem should be gone!

If you’re having trouble installing the new wax rings, use this video as a guideline:

Since installing the toilet can be a messy process, you may get wax on the walls or your clothes. The wax is easy to remove from walls and fabrics, so don’t worry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How Long Does Wax Ring Last on a Toilet?

Generally, wax rings last as long as the toilet, around 30 years. While the wax ring is humid, it will pose no problem. However, if the wax ring starts to break after dying out, it can cause a handful of problems and will require an urgent replacement.

Why Is My Toilet Not Flushing Properly?

Your toilet may fail to flush properly due to a faulty float, damaged handles and chains, water clogging inside the trap, etc. Some rare reasons include worn-out flappers and block rim jets.

Why Is My Toilet Tank Filling Slowly?

Weakly attached fill valves are the most common reason behind the slow filling rate of toilet tanks. To get rid of this problem, you can increase the water pressure. Also, use a flathead screwdriver to raise the fill valve by loosening the adjustment screw.

The Final Words

This is the end of this article. That’s all you need to know to answer the question, can bad wax rings lead to flushing issues

I hope you were able to resolve your issue! If you want professional help, you can always hire a plumber for your toilet issues. Have a great day!

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