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Plumbing  /  May 31, 2022

Victoria Plumbing Repair: When To Replace the Toilet Wax Ring

When to replace toilet wax ring

The bathroom may not be the most glamorous place in the house, but it plays an important role. If you suspect anything is amiss, you should contract plumbing services in Victoria, especially if the issues involve your toilet’s wax ring.

The wax ring isn’t visible — it’s located on the bottom of your toilet, on top of the closet flange, which is the pipe connecting your toilet to the waste system. The wax ring serves two vital purposes: keeping out water and sewer gases. Since your toilet is connected to the sewer system, both can enter your home without an airtight, watertight seal. The wax ring is designed to be both, although it can wear away or get damaged. When that happens, it needs replacement. Unlike other bathroom fixtures, the wax ring can’t be repaired — once the seal is breached, it’s done for.

Many things can cause the wax ring to fail. One of the most common is a loose toilet, as the rocking disrupts the seal. Space between the closet flange and wax ring is another routine issue. Large tiles and other thick flooring are usually the cause.

Poor installation can also damage the ring or fail to create a proper seal. Sometimes a sewer backup can breach the seal, as the wax ring isn’t meant to withstand pressurized water. This failure isn’t the fault of the wax ring, but you should have it replaced anyway.

If you can’t see the wax ring, how can you tell when to replace it? Fortunately, there are a few warning signs you can easily identify.

1. Bad Smell

Unfortunately, the bathroom isn’t known for its lovely smell. An intense session may leave your powder room smelling unpleasant, but the odour should quickly dissipate. If you notice a foul smell even when the toilet hasn’t been used recently, you have a problem.

That bad smell is sewer gas escaping into your house. Not only is it smelly, but it’s also dangerous. Like many other kinds of gas, sewer emissions are flammable, which means you could accidentally create an explosion when you light that scented candle. Breathing these emissions also negatively impacts your health. If you’ve scrubbed your toilet and aired out the room, but bad smells linger, an expert should check the wax ring.

2. Leaks

Water leaking from under the toilet is a major warning sign that something’s wrong with the wax ring. If water keeps appearing around the base of your toilet, you need to act. Of course, there’s plenty of moisture in bathrooms, so the leak’s source may be something else. To ascertain whether your toilet’s the culprit, clean up the water and wait a day to see if it reappears.

3. Ceiling and Floor Damage

Unfortunately, water damage isn’t always obvious. Caulking can create enough of a barrier to prevent leaks from spilling onto your floor’s surface. Instead, the water absorbs into the floor, damaging anything below. If your bathroom is on the second floor, you may notice signs of water damage on the ceiling:

  • Bubbling paint
  • Discolouration and staining
  • Mould

Plumbing issues need attention right away. Fortunately, Handyman Connection is here to set things right. We can handle a variety of bathroom repairs, including toilet, shower and sink. Our team can also do routine maintenance or help you remodel. No job is too small for Handyman Connection.

Do you have other household projects on your list? We can assist. Our experts have updated kitchens, reorganized laundry rooms, finished basements and more. We’re dedicated to delivering the highest quality service, so you can rest easy knowing the task is done right. If you’re interested in a quote, call or contact us online.

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