Toilet wax rings are made to help improve the seal between a toilet and the floor, thereby preventing leaks from occurring. Most toilets come with a single wax ring, but at times, that wax ring won’t be enough to keep leaks at bay. With that said, you may be wondering whether you can double a toilet’s wax ring.
You can double a toilet’s wax ring, but it can be tricky to do and should only be done in situations where excessive leaking has been noted. In most cases, you can just upgrade your wax ring’s thickness rather than install two in one.
Before you get set on installing two wax rings on a single toilet, it’s a good idea to get a better understanding of what your options are. You might find that it’s not as smart an idea as you initially thought.
Can You Double a Toilet Wax Ring?
Believe it or not, you can double a toilet wax ring. However, it’s worth pointing out that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. If your toilet is beleaguered by excessive leaking, it may be easier to just install a thicker ring or try another option.
Why Do People Choose to Double Toilet Wax Rings?
Every toilet repair or replacement is either stylistic or functional in nature. This isn’t a stylistic issue. The reason why people tinker with their toilet’s wax ring (or rings) is that they’re dealing with leaks.
The hope people have when they decide to double up on toilet wax rings is that they’ll stop seeing leaks spring out near the toilet’s flange. If you do not have a leak near this area, don’t try to add more toilet wax. Chances are your fix has little to do with it.
Why Is Doubling a Wax Ring a Good Idea?
The best way to explain it is that there are simply better options out there. Here’s why:
- It’s a lot of work, with no guarantee of results. Doubling a wax ring is tricky and work-intensive. It also might fail.
- There are easier methods out there that have better results. By choosing a more mainstream option, you’ll get better outcomes.
- It’s expensive. Believe it or not, you might have better chances of cutting costs with a different method.
- It’s cleaner to go with a different option. Wax ring installations are messy. Many of the alternatives are faster and require less cleanup.
When Should You Consider Doubling a Toilet Wax Ring?
The only time you should use this as a go-to is if you can’t raise or extend the flange and if you’ve already tried other options. That being said, if you simply prefer to double up, you absolutely can.
Alternative Options to Consider Before Doubling Wax Rings
Before you decide to get messy with a wax ring double-install, let’s take a look at the other options you could consider instead, shall we? Some of the better options include:
- Installing a larger wax ring or using a rubber ring instead. Both options are cheaper and faster to do than doubling up on standard wax rings. They also have better results and look better, too.
- Installing a flange extender. This is often what needs to be done to stop leaks with a toilet that has leaked from a standard wax ring.
- Raising the flange. Raising the flange shortens the distance between the ring and the gap. This, in turn, makes it easier to avoid leaks.
Wax vs. Rubber Rings
The usage of wax first started when people realized it was waterproof and would mold to fit any surface. We only recently started to find other materials and solutions that work as well as wax, and at times, they can’t even be used. Wax is the standard for a reason.
However, if you’re open to a different type of ring, consider using a rubber stopper instead. Rubber rings are easier to install, just as solidly-built, and avoid the mess of a typical wax ring. Due to their mess-free stylings, rubber rings are becoming increasingly popular among plumbers.
Why Should You Try Installing a Thicker Ring First?
There are two main thicknesses as far as toilet rings go. The standard wax ring clocks in at about 1.5 inches thick. The extra thick version clocks in at 3 inches and works as a better stopper for leaks when regular wax rings fail.
Is Installing a Thicker Wax Ring a More Affordable Option?
Admittedly, DIY toilet wax ring installations aren’t actually that pricey. At most, you’re probably looking at about $50 or so in supplies. There’s no reason why you still can’t choose to reduce costs, though.
In most cases, doubling your toilet wax rings isn’t going to be cost-effective when compared to using a larger wax ring. A large-size wax ring will cost slightly under double the amount a pair of standard toilet wax rings will.
How to Double a Toilet Wax Ring
Let’s say that you’ve decided to double your toilet wax ring. To start, you’re going to need two wax rings and a lot of time. One ring should have a pipe extension; the other shouldn’t. Here’s how to do it:
- The first thing you’re going to have to do is remove your toilet. You know the drill. Shut off the water to the toilet, empty the tank and bowl, cut the water supply off, and unscrew the bolts that hold your toilet to the floor. Pick up the toilet and set it aside.
- Clean your old wax ring off the toilet. You’ll see the wax stuck on the flange or stuck to the toilet. Use a scraper to pry it off. After the ring is pried off, remove the excess wax.
- Place the wax ring with the pipe extension right over the flange. Push down hard to seat the ring, ensuring that the extension goes all the way in your flange’s opening.
- Place the next wax ring right over the first ring. By double-stacking the rings, you should be able to see a mild change in the height of your toilet. Before you place your toilet over the rings, just double-check to make sure that the two rings are directly on top of each other.
- Once you’ve checked the rings, place the toilet on the rings. Now is the time when you get to reinstall the toilet. Push the toilet down hard to compress the wax, then screw in the bolts. Next, hook up your toilet to the water supply and turn the water on.
- Test your toilet by flushing it a couple of times. Before you actually use your toilet, you’re going to need to test it out. If you notice any leaks, you may need to use caulk to fix them or try another leak-proofing option.
When to Call a Professional
Doubling up toilet wax rings is already a somewhat extreme take on plumbing, especially when it comes to DIY fixes. If you aren’t the type of person who fares well with DIY projects, your best bet is to call a professional to fix the leak for you. After all, this isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do.
On the other hand, if you are a DIY guru and decide to double up after exhausting all other options, calling a professional isn’t always necessary. If you’re able to double your toilet wax rings without seeing any leaks after, you’re good to go.
If you doubled your toilet wax rings and did everything in your knowledge to end the leak without avail, it may be time to call a professional plumber. They will be able to figure out what’s truly causing the leak.