Setting toilets

OK, further proof (if any were needed) that I Am Not A Plumber (but I play one sometimes on daytime TV).
I tell my customers that, but sometimes I take on what seems like a small, simple, foolproof job involving water, pipes, etc. (Yeah, right!).
I actually ended up setting 2 toilets for one client, one an existing toilet sitting on rotted floor, the other one a new replacement for a basement toilet that had been removed.
The problem I had in both cases was setting the damned wax ring. The instructions say you're supposed to put it on the bottom of the toilet, then lower the toilet down onto the floor. Well, this just plain didn't work, for several reasons: either the damn wax ring fell off and just would not stay put on the smooth ceramic "horn" of the toilet, or I couldn't maneuver the damn thing onto the bolts without knocking them out of line, or in one attempt, the damn bolt actually made a hole in the ring. Aaaaargh!
I ended up putting the ring on the floor fixture, then setting the toilet over it. Not the way to book told me to do it, but it worked in both cases. (Yes, I have been back to check for leaks or seepage, and there is none.)
So how do real plumbers deal with this? I think I'm going to leave this to the "professionals" in the future, just to avoid aggravation ...
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

I am not a plumber, but have probably set about 15 toilets in my life. Years ago I never had a ring fall off. In the last couple of years I noticed that they do tend to fall off quite easily. I now put them on the floor fixture. Just seems a lot easier.
I would be interested also as to what the pro's are doing. Chris
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There are instructions to read, gee I have been doing it wrong all these years and putting them on the floor.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

I am not a professional plumber but I've set maybe half a dozen toilets and each time I put the wax ring down on the floor and then eased the toilet down over it. I've never had a leak.
I learned how to do this by watching a professional.
Mortimer Schnerd, RN mschnerd at carolina.rr.com
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I've done a half dozen or so. Wax ring on the floor. It holds the bolts in place vertical nicely.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

I always set the ring on the floor flange and use it to help hold the bolts vertical, then lower the toilet onto them. Sticking it to the toilet is a fantasy.
s
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Y'all realize that you have to press the ring onto the toilet, and that the ring needs to be the right temperature?
It's pretty easy.
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Chine wax ring, chinese instructions?
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I always place the ring on the flange, note the fore/aft position of the discharge opening and set 'er down.
Haven't missed yet. -----
- gpsman
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On 3/20/2009 7:50 AM gpsman spake thus:

Thanks. So the consensus here (factoring out Ransley's usual incoherent responses) seems to be that The Instructions are wrong, or at least that it's better not to follow them.
As to whoever asked about following the instructions *and* making sure you have the proper temperature, that's fine, but what if you're installing a toilet in a cold basement? Are you supposed to rent a gigantic heater just to get the damn wax ring to the requisite 70 degrees?
That Fernco rubber doohickey is looking better to me all the time.
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Are you having a bad day, and cant understand. Go ahead and try that rubber thing, I had two leak sewer gas, instaled from a pro that said they were the best. Wax has been working in billions of toilets and is proven.
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So you replaced anothe toilet between this morning and this evening? From this morning's post:
Quote: I had about 10 replaced, one guy used one of the rubber ones, it was the only one that leaked fumes and we pulled the toilet and put wax back on.
Unquote:
Wax has been working in billions of toilets and

The Model T worked great for almost 20 years also.
Harry K
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I say, in this case, whatever works. Ring on flange precludes me getting wax on the floor.

Pfft. I suspect as long as it's not nearly frozen... but you can always warm the ring itself by your method of preference.

I'd just be more comfortable that wax would seal out gases, but I'd bet it works just fine. -----
- gpsman
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Smash the wax onto the toilet using your thumb (don't kill it, just push down onto it at the edge in 4-5 places). Lower onto hole.
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On 3/22/2009 6:34 AM Mike spake thus:
>

Maybe you didn't read my post so carefully. That's exactly what I did, and the damn thing fell off anyway. (And another time I poked one of the toilet bolts through the damn wax ring.)
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A review of your original post does not reveal that you did anything resembling what I suggested. You have to use your thumbs to mash the wax onto the bottom of the toilet.
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On 3/22/2009 1:30 PM Mike spake thus:

Well, if you need me to be excruciatingly specific, I tried just that. Pushed the damn wax ring onto the toilet "horn" with my thumbs as forcefully as possible without deforming the ring. It fell off anyhow.
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Oh well. Sorry it didn't work. The one toilet I have been a part of replacing, my father-in-law did the thumb thing (smashed it on there pretty good) and it worked in one shot. Of course, it was a warm day and the wax was pretty soft.
Mike
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On 03/22/09 07:02 pm Mike wrote:

That may be the crucial factor: the packaging for the wax rings I have (used one already, another to go) specify a minimum temp. of 70 degrees F.
Perce
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