I have been putting this job off for a long time. No real surprise there, since it involves the toilet and the dank crawl space under the house. But I got to work first thing in the morning cleaning the bathroom and getting ready to do the job.
First I turned off the water to the toilet and drained as much as I could out of the tank and the bowl. I flushed a few times to get as much out as possible, the dumped more water in the bowl with the bucket to get the momentum going out. I managed to get most of the water out, though not all of it.
Next I unscrewed the nuts holding down the toilet and managed to lift the back and move the toilet about a foot forward. At this point I realized that there was no way on earth that I could finish this job without help with lifting, so I just got as far as I could.
The old wax ring was stuck on the ground, so I pried that up, scraped off excess wax, and cleaned around the drain pipe a little bit. The first picture is with the wax seal still on, and the second is right after I pried it off. Both gross. I should have taken a picture after I cleaned a bit, because it was a lot easier to stomach at that point.
After the kids went to bed, the hubby helped me lift up the toilet (at this point the rest of the water came out, which was super fun), and he held it propped on the side of the bath tub while I stuck the wax ring on. It took quite a bit of twisting and pushing to get it to stick on, and even then it fell down onto the drain hole when we brought the toilet down. Perhaps we should have warmed it up a bit with the blow dryer to get it stickier. The box says it should be at least at room temperature to make it malleable.
Once it was in place (as far as we could tell; the directions I read online specifically said not to lift back up once you stick it down, because it will break the seal and you will have to start over again with a new ring), we attached it back to the bolts, re-connected and turned on the water, and waited anxiously.
So far the floor has stayed dry. I think the metal/plastic ring at the top of the floor pipe probably needs replacing too, and depending on the state of the sub-floor we may be ripping up the whole floor this summer anyway, so I will call this good for now. Of course I totally forgot to look under the house until it was dark (And I refuse to stick my head down there in the dark), so I will have to check that tomorrow. But I finally made my first real foray into toilet plumbing, and saved us a good $100 on a plumber. Oh, the fun of owning a house!