Can I Install a Toilet with 2 Wax Rings?

When it comes to toilets, people are often curious how about their installation. A common question that people have when they are installing a toilet is whether or not they can use two wax rings.

The answer to this question is yes, you can use two wax rings. Two wax rings are commonly used when tiling raises the floor height and increases the gap between the toilet and its flange. To fill that gap, one normal wax ring is not enough. So, two wax rings are used. However, plumbers recommend you use a single extra-thick wax ring, instead of two wax rings.

Further, in this post, we will discuss the function and purpose of wax rings, in which case you can use wax rings. We will also provide some tips on how to do it correctly.

Function of a Wax Ring

A Wax ring is a doughnut-shaped piece of wax that creates a seal between the toilet bowl and the flange. It actually seals the gap between the toilet base and the flange.  The flange is a metal or plastic ring that is attached to the floor and provides support for the toilet.

wax ring

Wax Ring Standard Sizes and Thickness

Wax rings come in different sizes and thicknesses. Like toilet flange and drain pipe, it comes in two standard sizes, 3-inch, and 4-inch diameters.

Apart from diameter, thickness is also important when talking about wax rings. You can have two types of variants in wax rings i.e. regular and extra-thick.

The regular wax rings are just ½ inch thick. However, for extra-thick wax rings, the thickness is between 1 to 1.4 inches.

When Can You Install the Toilet With 2 Wax Rings?

Determine the height of the flange prior to installing a wax ring. To do so, remove the toilet and measure the flange height (to which extent the flange is extended outward). 

Ideally. the flange should be just 0.25 inches above the floor. Normally, a regular wax ring will easily fill in this gap. However, this is not the case always.

For instance, if you have had tiling work done in your bathroom, the gap between the toilet base and flange gets widened, requiring the installation of a flange extender or two wax rings to fill in that gap.

For installation, you just need to stack one wax ring onto top of another. The top one without a plastic extension while the bottom must have the extension. When you merge two, you should feel some resistance. But if you don’t, it indicates that there is a gap and there is a high likelihood of leakage.

Two Wax Rings on a Flange
Two Wax Rings on a Flange

However, this procedure will not be as effective as you need it to be because your toilet may still leak in the future. Occasionally it may work, but other times it may not. Applying a thicker wax ring around your toilet’s base will help keep it from leaking in the first place.

How to Install Two Wax Rings on a Toilet?  [6 Simple Steps]

Plumbers often do not recommend using two wax rings, since it can become a source of leakage source in the future. However, if an extra-thick wax ring isn’t available in your locality and you intend to use double wax rings. Here’s a step-wise guide you can follow:

Step 1: Drain and Disconnect

Turn off the toilet’s water supply with the help of a cut-off/shut-off valve; this component is linked to the rear wall of the tank. Turn it clockwise.

Next, you need to drain the tank. To empty the toilet tank, flush the toilet several times. Then, disconnect the water supply pipe from the tank. It is usually attached to the tank underneath. You will need a wrench to complete this job.

Step 2: Unscrew the Bolts

The toilet sits tight on the floor with the help of two long bolts. You will find the two mounting bolts on either side of the bowl, at the bottom.

In most cases, these are hidden behind the fancy covers and are rather lengthy. So, be ready to unscrew them for a considerable amount of time. Once you are done, place the screws aside in a secure location.

Step 3: Remove the Toilet

Raise and shift the toilet to the side. However, if you feel it is heavy and difficult to manage, you can detach the tank from its base by unscrewing the bolts beneath the tank. Again, be ready to face dirty water spills.

Step 4: Remove the Old Wax Ring and Clean

a man removing and cleaning an old wax ring underneath the toilet

Since the toilet is raised, the wax ring will be exposed. Remove the old wax ring using the knife. 

Thoroughly clean the area. Ensure that all of the old wax has been removed.

Step 5: Stack the Two Wax ring together

Now, take the two regular-sized wax rings. One should be with a plastic extension while the other should be without it. Now, merge them and force them into the flange.

Step 6: Re-install the toilet

Carefully position back the toilet on the dual wax rings. Retighten the bolts, reinstall the covers, reconnect the water line, and test the toilet. 

Alternatives to the Installation of 2 Wax Rings

As mentioned earlier, installing a double wax ring on your toilet may not be a good idea if you have other options available.

Use an Extra Thick Wax Ring

The first option, as explained earlier is the use of an extra thick wax ring. If the gap between the flange is wide enough, why can we install a single extra thick wax ring instead of two regular ones?

It is a better option since it is less prone to leakage compared to stacking two individual ones.

Use a Flange Extender

an existing toilet flange with extender

A further option is to utilize a flange extender. You can get this plastic ring from any hardware shop, and it will fit over the top of the current flange; it will be bolted to the floor in the same way. After installation, a single wax ring of regular thickness would be sufficient to seal the toilet’s waste hole.

Final Words

Installing two wax rings is not the best option to stop your toilet from leaking. If you want a permanent solution, you should go for an extra-thick wax ring or a flange extender. These alternatives will provide a better seal and reduce the chances of leakage in the future.

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