Customer Review

161 of 164 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great idea, September 29, 2007
This review is from: Fernco Inc. FTS-3 3-Inch Wax Free Toilet Seal (Tools & Home Improvement)
Great product .. This product glues to the base of the toilet (the horn) and ensures a long term, leak free seal. All toilets should use these. I'll never install another toilet with a wax seal. If you have chronic "pee" smell in the bathroom you probably have a leak of the wax seal. The was seal is the weakest link the whole waste plumbing system and most likely to form a leak. It depends on beeswax for heaven's sake! This is what the Fernco Waxless replaces and reduces you chance of a future leak.

Don't be fooled by the Fluidmaster waxless seals. They rely on a foam pad which in my opinion doesn't seal near as well as the Fernco. (Fluidmaster seals by compression with a gasket not a glued on connection) (Fluidmasters are at home depot but i did not find the Fernco there)

I just installed 4 new Eco Drake toilets in my house and a few pointers when using these Fernco Waxless Seals..

If you have had the toilet seal leaking for a while examine the floor around the flange carefully to ensure there is no rot of the subfloor. If there is rot this should be repaired..

There are three sizes of Fernco waxless seals. Choose the correct size waxless seal based on the flange and the pipe and how the flange is glued to the pipe. once the toiet is off examine the flange and the pipe that the flange is inserted on to determine which of the three sizes of Fernco you will need. (most common size for 3 inch pipe with flange gled to outside of pipe) (for 4 inch pipes with flange glued to outside of pipe) (for 4 inch pipes with flanged gled to inside of pipe, more commonly seen in basement toilets where the floor is cement)

There are generally two sizes of pipe. 3 inch is most common 4 inch less common. You know what size of pipe you have to select the right Fernco .

The flanges are also two different types. The flange can be glued on the outside of the pipe or the inside of the pipe. (Most commonly the flange is glued to the outside of the pipe.)

Examine the flange carefully. This Fernco product is more forgiving when there is not an extension used and you may get by skipping this step. If you have had remodeling of the bathroom floor, the flange may be below the level of the finished floor. Toilets are designed to have the flange on top of the finished floor. If yours is below the finished floor, put and extender on the flange to bring it to the proper height.
These are attached to the existing flange using silicone caulk and stainless screws to fix to the subfloor. Sometimes you may have to add two or more of the spacers to bring the level to above the finished floor. I prefer size 10 X 1 1/2 or two inch stainless steel oval head screws placed through the flanges and secured into the subfloor. Sometimes you have to drill through the existing flange to be able to place the screws into the subfloor as the holes don't always line up.

When installing, the Ferncos work best on a new toilet with NO wax on the horn of the toilet. They can be used on old toilets but ALL THE WAX needs to be removed. I used gas after scrapping all the wax off . Be careful when using these strong solvents and always use then outdoors.
To insure the fernco bonds to the horn of the toilet, I used a hair dryer to slightly warm the toilet base to enhance the adhesive bonding.

Seat the toilet using your weight to push the Fernco waxless into the pipe. Lubricate the flange and the Fernco with dish soap. Then, attach the toilet to the flange using brass toilet bolts, Johnny bolts, or glass filled nylon bolts.

Secure the toilet bowel to the floor and tight the toilet bolts. if there is rocking of the toilet from and uneven fit, stablize the rocking using small plastic shims as necessary (or pennies or lead shims)

If the toilet still wobbles slightly, secure it further using caulk. I like poly seam seal with just a small bead (you may have to remove it someday) leaving no caulk on the back of the toilet so that any water can escape should there be a leak for heaven's sake. (don't use silicone caulk! it seals well but is near impossible to remove when changing toilets.) Another alternative is to use plaster of paris rolled up in a "snake placed under the edge of the toilet bowl. Plumber's putty can also be used but it is kinda oily and tends to collect dirt. If the toilet was wobbly, don't sit on the toilet until the caulk dries to ensure the caulk hardens and gains strength.(usually overnite)

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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 11, 2011 5:01:57 PM PST
RKN says:
re: "If [your flange] is below the finished floor please put and extender on the flange to bring it to the proper height."

If one closely considers how the Fernco works you may come to the conclusion that raising a low flange serves no purpose. The seals occur on the bottom of the bowl itself and down inside the 3" drain area of the flange or soil pipe. The toilet bowl is supported by the floor, not by the flange in any way.

What is critical if you have a low flange, though, is to take some very careful measurements to be certain that the barbed rings which make the seal will, in fact, go down far enough into the flange, or soil pipe, to create the seal. Someone in another post commented that their flange was 3/4" below the finished floor line and the Fernco worked. I would think that's about limit based on the length of a Frenco, but it might depend on the thickness of the base of your toilet and also how level the floor is where the toilet will set. Take a straight edge and a level and take all the relevant measurements to make sure the Frenco will be long enough to seal in your low flange.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2011 5:46:56 PM PST
TeXan1111 says:
great observation. First if the floor is rotted it needs to be replaced to give solid support for the toilet. Then the flange and the closet bend may need to be replaced also. Usually a job for a pro.
This fernco waxless can be used when the flange is recessed as can a double thickness wax seal. How ever, to get the proper connection use flange extenders. Usually when there is a remodel the original flange is not changed.. hence the flange is below the level of the remodeled floor. Look at this drawing to see how they can be stacked to bring the flange to the correct level . Toilet Flange Extension Kit by Jones Stephens Corp.
The correct level is for the flange to be sitting on the finished floor! Sioux Chief 886-R Closet Flange Extension Spacer You can correct this by using spacers added to the flange. they come in about 1/4 inch thickness. stack as many as necessary to make the final flange be at the correct level. To connect then to the original flange, first seal the space between the flange and spacer with a bead of silicon caulk Then secure then to the subfloor with stainless oval headed screws. Stainless Steel Sheet Metal Screw, Oval Head, Phillips Drive, #10-12, 5/8" Length (Pack of 100) (most any screw will do but go stainless and you will be doing the job right)
Personally I like a stainless "rinnger" from Sioux Chief to be the final topping to allow the toilet bowl bolts to attach to. Sioux Chief Mfg 886-MR Closet Ring, Stainless Steel This "ringer" is attached with the screws just like the spacers. Plastic flanges and spacers tend to break with the toilet mounting bolts.

I like the Plastic or "glass filled" nylon closet bolts to secure the toilet to the flange. (They are easy to remove and don't require a hack saw to get them off) LDR 503 3210 Nylon Closet Bolt Set
The Most important part of mounting the toilet to the flange is to ensure it does not rock. I use plastic shims Plastic Toilet Shims (some people us pennies) and polyseam seal caulk. Don't use silicon caulk as it is almost impossible to remove from your floor should it be necessary. Just a small bead of caulk around the perimeter. after it dries you can remove the shims.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2012 12:08:26 AM PST
Y. Xie says:
The bottom of flange should be sit flush with the finished floor, since the toilet horn height is designed that way. If there is no spacer to raise flange to proper height, there is possibility that the top of the waxless seal might slipped into the pvc pipe. Even the possibility is slim, the top of the seal is only held by the glue, instead of squeezed tight between bottom of the toilet and the top of the flange. This is my understanding.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2012 7:22:44 AM PST
TeXan1111 says:
you have it right. the bottom of the flange is flush with the finished floor.. Hence if you add tile to the original floor the flange is too low.. (It can be fixed by adding shims or spacers available anywhere)
The Fernco is almost part of the toilet once it is glued to the bottom of the toilet. When removing the toilet it does not loosen. The glue is similar to the double sided tape it doesn't come loose and i have never removed one. they are on tight.
To ensure firm bonding i think these work best on new toilets. I have put them on toilets which have previously used wax rings but after thoroughly scraping all wax off i took the stool outside and used a strong solvent (gasoline in my case) to thoroughly removed all traces of wax. I cleansed it twice with gas and let it dry thoroughly overnite before placing the Fernco waxless. I heated up the horn of the toilet with a hair dryer to help make the glue stick better. I think these waxless seals can be used where there is too much gap between the flange and the horn or where there is some motion in the stool. This is usually apparent when you have repeated leaks using a wax seal.

Posted on Feb 16, 2012 11:44:08 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2012 11:44:50 AM PST
Y. Xie says:
I just installed this item in the newly finished bath room marble floor. Since I nailed down a new stainless flange with PVC adapter onto the floor below marble, I used some extender to raise its height. Also due to the working principle of this waxless seal, I did not glue the flange pvc to the pvc pipe below. Since the glue is messy, and if later on, I need to replace a new flange, I have to tear the old pvc pipe again. I think it should be OK, since the whole thing is sealed by the waxless seal itself. Till now, no leak was found.

Posted on Feb 25, 2012 11:18:45 AM PST
Bud says:
This has to be written by the vendor!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2012 5:15:50 AM PST
TeXan1111 says:
not so, After a few experiences with various wax rings i like this product. Wax is OK if your floor is perfectly stable and the flange is not damaged and properly above the finished floor. However don't use the wax with the plastic horn.. I have had the plastic shift and plug the toilet.
This waxless thingy is easy to install and forgiving of imperfections in the floor and the flange.
I don't want other people to undergo the toilet leak fix experience i went thru..

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 10:38:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 10:41:31 PM PDT
RKN says:
First, there is considerable debate over whether the "top" of the toilet flange should be flush with, or up to 1/4" above, the finished floor. Clearly, having the top of the flange "below" finished floor is undesirable (although a Fernco can address that problem, depending on the severity).

As far as your comment that "the top of the waxless seal might slipped into the pvc pipe," I am not clear on what you mean. If you are saying that the adhesive on the Fernco might fail and it could fall off and drop into the soil pipe, how could that happen if the diameter of the top of the Fernco is large enough to be squeezed against the toilet and the top of the flange? That could not happen in the scenario as you describe it. The diameter of the top of the Fernco is much wider than the diameter of the soil pipe.

OTOH, if you are saying that without a spacer to bring the flange to or above finished floor level there could be a gas or fluid leak if the adhesive seal at the bowl were to fail, well, sure, such a thing is plausible--especially when trying to use a Fernco on a "preowned" toilet where a wax ring had been previously installed. (On a "new" toilet where there is no wax residue this would be a negligible concern.)

I could imagine that the weight of the toilet pinching the top ring of the Fernco against a flange would, in theory, help to maintain a seal. But, if you have wax residue the adhesive still might not make a seal. I suppose if this were a concern you could use a Fernco along with a wax seal for cheap insurance. Why not just stick with a wax ring then? Well, you know that eventually a wax seal is going to fail. The Fernco adhesive? I guess we're hoping that it lasts a lot longer than a wax ring will.

I really believe that Fernco is banking on the integrity of that adhesive more so than requiring that the boot be in physical contact with a flange. Thus their comments: "Fernco's Wax Free Seals long neck will make a positive secure connection regardless of flange height." "With Fernco's Wax Free Seals toilet can be pulled and replaced without changing the seal."

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2014 8:54:43 PM PDT
AmazonFan says:
What would you suggest doing,if you encountered a urine smell & leak 10 months later after installing the Fernco on a brand new toilet with a recessed flange? Very disappointed & concerned about remedying this problem.

Note: I had to pull the toilet for remodel 3 months after installing it, but did not encounter any leaks or urine smell until the 4 weeks.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2014 3:20:24 PM PDT
TeXan1111 says:

You need to remove toilet and check the seal. If you had a wax seal on before the fernco the adhesive may not have sealed (you stated you put on new stool) . There could be other leak problems like a pipe joint leaking. It is highly unlikely the gas is leaking from the fernco seal .
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