Have you noticed that your toilet is leaking? If you have found that water appears to be seeping out from around the base of your bowl, then it can be a worrying moment. However, it can often be a very simple fix that simply requires you to reset the toilet. What does it mean to reset a toilet? Well, this is the process of removing the toilet and replacing the wax ring that prevents water from leaking.
This might sound like a major task, but for a professional plumber, this is a very straightforward task that can be completed in a few hours. It is also something that a confident DIY enthusiast can undertake, although it does require very careful work; otherwise, you could end up cracking or damaging the toilet.
Identifying a broken wax ring
When it comes to the question of “what does it mean to reset a toilet?” one of the first things to consider is how to identify when your toilet needs resetting. The wax ring on your toilet is designed to prevent water and sewage gas from escaping into your bathroom, so when it breaks, you need to act quickly to avoid a major issue.
When it comes to identifying when you need to reset your toilet, there are three key signs to watch out for. The first is seeing water around the base of your bowl. To check if this is the wax ring and not something else, wipe up the water and check that this was not an accidental spillage. The second major sign to look out for is a bad odor emanating from the bathroom. If you are noticing a strange smell, then contact a plumber immediately as sewer gas can be very harmful.
Another common sign is seeing damage to your floor or ceiling. Even if you do not notice a water leak or odor, mold or cracking could indicate that water is seeping underneath your flooring.
What does it mean to reset a toilet? – Prepping the project
(1) Shut off the water
Before carrying out any repairs or preparation, you need to shut off your water. To do this, locate your water supply valve and ensure that it is fully closed. Once you have done this, run your taps to drain all remaining water.
(2) Disconnect the supply line
Next, you will need to disconnect the supply line that connects to the tailpiece. This can be done by hand, but you might need to use a pair of pliers should it have become stuck over the years.
(3) Drain the toilet
Once disconnected, flush the toilet to remove any water in the tank. For any water still remaining in the tank, remove the lid and soak it up using a sponge, ensuring it is as dry as possible.
(4) Disconnect the floor bolts
The next step is to remove the floor bolts and to do this, you should use an adjustable wrench or pair of pliers, remembering to keep all nuts, washers, and bolts together so you do not lose them later.
(5) Remove the toilet
You will then be able to move the toilet out of the way. Consider placing a mat or old newspapers on the floor to protect it from the sticky wax.
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What does it mean to reset a toilet? Getting to work
Once you have removed the toilet, it is time to get to work. The first thing you will need to do is to clean the old wax ring before examining the drain flange, taking care to do this carefully to ensure you do not damage it and correcting it as needed.
You will then need to apply the new wax ring. It helps if the wax is warm, as this makes it more malleable, so consider placing it in sunlight or on a radiator for a few minutes. Once you have successfully fitted the wax ring, you should double-check everything before resetting the toilet and securing it to the floor using the bolts. Once secure and in place, reconnect the fill valve and turn your water back on. Flush your toilet several times to check there are no leaks.
Looking for Help?
Although resetting your toilet can be a relatively straightforward task, it is not without its complications, and you should only undertake the job if you are completely confident in doing so. If you have noticed your toilet is leaking, or you need any help with your plumbing, then Premier Plumbing Inc. is here to help you.
For over 30 years, we have been providing expert local service at the lowest prices, so get in touch today and find out how we can help you.