How to Replace a Johnny Ring in the Toilet

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Toilets need Johnny rings to seal out odors.
Toilets need Johnny rings to seal out odors. (Image: toy toilet image by Wayne Abraham from Fotolia.com)

Toilet wax rings (Johnny rings) are used to seal the connection between a toilet and the house waste lines. Johnny rings are made from beeswax and form excellent seals for sewer/toilet connections, but these rings occasionally fail and have to be replaced. This is something almost any homeowner can accomplish with simple household tools and a wax ring kit purchased at a home supply or hardware store.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Old towels
  • Metal spatula
  • Johnny ring kit

Turn off the water at the fixture behind the toilet. Flush the toilet to remove most of the water. Remove the rest of the water with a towel. Remove the water line from the fixture behind the toilet. The line may be disconnected either by turning the hose off by hand or with an adjustable wrench.

Remove the toilet. Look at the base of the toilet for two plastic caps. Remove these by placing a flat screwdriver under one edge and lifting. Each plastic cap will reveal a nut and bolt that holds the toilet in place. Remove each nut and lift the toilet off the bolts. Carefully lay the toilet on a towel.

Use`a metal spatula to remove any wax from the toilet flange that remains from the old Johnny ring. Slowly turn the toilet over so the underside of the toilet is exposed. Place the new Johnny ring on the exit horn of the toilet. The ring should be placed so the plastic collar faces down to connect to the toilet flange. Press on the Johnny ring so it sticks to the base of the toilet.

Lift the toilet. Set the toilet down so the holes on the each side of the toilet slide on the bolts that face up from the toilet flange. Sit on the toilet and move around in each direction so the wax on the Johnny ring compresses on the flange. Tighten the nuts on each bolt with the adjustable wrench until the toilet sits firm. Tighten only until firm and do not overtighten.

Attach the water line to the fixture on the wall behind the toilet by hand or with the adjustable wrench. Cover the nuts on the base of the toilet with the plastic caps. Turn on the water at the fitting on the wall behind the toilet. Let the water fill the toilet. Flush the toilet when it is full. Observe the base of the toilet for leaks. If there is a small leak sit on the toilet to further seat the Johnny ring.

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