Toilet plumbing gaskets connect the toilet bowl to the sewer outlet (also called the closet flange) in the floor. The gasket helps keep water from leaking out of the toilet during a flush and also seals in noxious sewer gases that might otherwise leak out into your home. The majority of gaskets are made out of wax, which provides a good seal, but also tends to deteriorate over time. One solution is to use a wax-free gasket.
Things You'll Need
- Putty knife
- Wax-free gasket kit (including 3-inch and 4-inch pipe outlets, cardboard collar, etc.)
- Plumber's tape
Clean the closet flange area of any remnants of older wax rings using a putty knife. Stuff a cloth loosely into the opening of the flange to prevent sewer gases from escaping.
Determine whether you have a 3-inch or a 4-inch drain pipe assembly. Remove the rag and insert the 4-inch collar into the flange. If it fits, you have a 4-inch pipe. If not, you have a 3-inch pipe.
Insert the cardboard collar. (This is designed to hold the plastic gaskets in place while you're seating the toilet, then crumple to fit.) If you have a 4-inch pipe, insert the 4-inch extension before you place the collar. Change out the O-rings on the bottom of the plastic extensions depending upon whether you are using the 4-inch or 3-inch pipes. Use both the O-Rings for 4-inch pipes; use the thin O-ring for 3-inch pipes. Rest the top of the plastic drain pipe on the edges of the cardboard cutout.
Insert the flange bolts into the openings on the flange outlet, thread side up.
Align the toilet bowl so that the bolts poke through the holes in the bottom of the toilet. Have an assistant help you if the toilet is heavy. Slowly lower the toilet over the bolts and onto the flange. The cardboard should compress as the toilet settles into place.
Tighten the flange bolts hand tight at first. Tighten an additional one or two turns with the wrench.
Wrap plumber's tape around the water inlet. Connect the water inlet hose.
Turn on the water and allow the tank to fill.
Flush the toilet. Check for leaks.
Add a thin strip of caulk along the bottom of the toilet to help prevent leaks.
Tips & Warnings
- Some plumbers like to add a thin strip of plumber's putty to the bottom of the toilet before attaching it to the closet flange.
- Do not over-tighten the bolts--this can cause them to crack the porcelain.
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