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How to replace a wax ring for a toilet

This week we replaced the wax ring on our toilet. There was a putrid smell coming from the house that smelled like sewage. The plumber that came out quoted us $320 to replace the wax ring. The wax ring we used came as a kit and was overall pretty easy to install with total time of about 15 minutes. We will show you how to install this kit. We work to bring you tutorials, project plans, and project costs “giving you the tools to do it yourself”. Visit our sites below for more projects and information like this.

Difficulty- Easy Time- Approximately 15 minutes

Parts- See list at end Tools- See list at end


Do you have a sewage smell running through your house? You can call a plumber to troubleshoot your problem or you can start with three easy checks yourself. First: Sewage smells can commonly come from a wax ring failure under your toilet. This is what we are fixing today. Second: Improper drainage of a washing machine or other appliance hose. If your drain hose is too far down the drainage pipe(protruding into the pea trap), it penetrates the water barrier and allows gases from the pipes to enter the home. Third: A leak in your sewage pipes. This is harder to check but much cheaper than having a plumber do it for you if you can find it yourself. Check your plumbing by following all pipes while running water through them to see if there is a leak somewhere. This can cause a buildup of fluid in areas you don’t want it.


Before you get started, gather all tools and shut off the water to the toilet.

Drain water:

After turning off the water, begin by flushing the toilet to drain as much water as possible out of the tank. Once the water has been flushed, use a cup and sponges to finish draining water out of the tank and bowl. Any remaining water will drain when you move the toilet.

Unscrew water supply:

Unscrew your water supply hose from the toilet. Lay down a towel or sponges to help collect the water if any drains from the tank after the supply hose has been disconnected.

Unscrew bolts to base:

Unscrew nuts to the base of the toilet. Take notice if your hardware is compromised, many wax ring kits come with new hardware that can be replaced if needed.

Remove toilet:

Before removing the toilet, place a towel on the floor to place the toilet on. Lift the toilet straight up and move it to the towel. This will keep your floor clean and keep the toilet from scratching any surfaces. Check the bottom of your toilet for any wax ring particles or debris and remove it to improve the seal of your new wax ring.

Remove old wax ring:

Use a razor blade or paint scraper to remove the old wax ring from the plumbing opening. You can place a towel in the sewage pipe to keep wax ring particles from going down the pipe. Make sure all the old wax has been removed from the base in order to facilitate a proper seal of a new wax ring to the toilet base.

Finishing touches:

Sand each piece of wood to desired smoothness with 220 grit sandpaper. This will allow for paint to remain intact while smoothing wood particles. Apply stain to rockers and let dry. Apply finish to motorcycle and rocker base to prevent splintering and protect wood from rotting over time.

Install new wax ring:

Place the new wax ring over your septic opening or tip your toilet and apply the wax ring to the opening on the base of the toilet (preferred method).

Replace the toilet:

Once the new wax ring has been placed, put the toilet back in place over the septic opening lining the retaining holes on the base of the toilet with the bolts on the securing plate. Once the toilet is sitting in the correct spot, push the toilet down to create a seal from the toilet to the securing plate.

Reinstall hardware:

Tighten the nuts onto the bolts to secure the toilet down and finish creating a proper seal.

Reattach water supply hose:

Attach the water supply hose and turn on the water. Apply plumbers tape if needed and check for leaks.

Overall this was an easy project that I enjoyed very much. The time totaled about 2 weeks. This was after having to make multiple trips to buy additional supplies and having a short schedule due to work. Each of the links will lead to the product I used to make the motorcycle so you can see the tool and get pricing on the same. I also have reviews for many of these items that can be found on the reviews page. I hope you found this article useful and that it may have given you ideas for your own. Please let me know if you would like additional information. Check back often for updated information and articles. You can also subscribe! Thank you for your time!


Wax ring Replacement Kit-




Craftsman Max Axess tool set-

Paint scraper-

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