Toilet Wax Rings

The Importance of Toilet Wax Rings

toilet wax ringsLet’s discuss the importance of the performance of toilet wax rings. These less than ten dollars wax rings, ensure that there is a watertight seal between the base of the toilet and the toilet flange at the top of the soil pipe. Either by time, cheap materials, or an incorrect initial installation, these wax rings will eventually fail allowing water to leak from underneath the base of the toilet.

When this leaking occurs, indicators could be darkened grout at the base of the toilet, if a tile floor is present. Faded vinyl if vinyl flooring is present. Or moisture staining on ceilings below upstairs bathrooms.

If you’ve noticed any discoloration on the floor covering material at the base of your toilet(s), or even a methane smell, this could be an indicator of a failed/leaking wax ring. The replacement isn’t difficult, and if you’re handy you could tackle this project in a matter of hours on a weekend afternoon. For others I recommend contacting a home inspector to verify that a leak is indeed present, or contacting a licensed plumber for repairs.

I can’t can’t count the times I have been in a crawl space, and when examining the subfloor below a bathroom, have found extensive damage to the framing, due to leaking wax ring. If left un-repaired, these ten dollar items can cause substantial damage to framing components of the home.

Next time you’re in your bathroom or any bathroom, look at the base of the toilet…it could save you thousands of dollars.KC Bartley

Professional Home Inspections


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KC Bartley Home Inspector
KC Bartley

Owner and Certified Master Inspector ©

KC Bartley is a follower of Christ, a husband, and a father to two beautiful daughters (Hailey, age 14, and Taylor, age 10). He is passionate about the Home Inspection industry and has been involved in construction, remodeling, and home inspections for over 27 years.