Toilet Flange Help! (56K!) (Appetite!)

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Old 03-10-10, 09:54 AM
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Toilet Flange Help! (56K!) (Appetite!)

Well this flange looks like its cast iron, and is attached to the pipe with some kind of cement or mortar (gray stuff on the inside). The problem is its just hovering above the subfloor, with 3 long screws supposedly holding it in place (they don't, you can move it around a little). I thought flanges were supposed to be very firmly attached to the flooring?

I do not want to mess with the cast iron pipe, as it doesn't seem to have any issues, and is not cracked (*yet*). Should I install some kind of blocking under the old flange so it can be screwed more securely to the subfloor? I will be laying 3/4" bamboo in this bathroom, perhaps I can just screw it into that, and then I'll put another metal ring on top...

On a side note, should I prime the plywood before gluing bamboo planks? I'll be using Equalizer Adhesive, which is supposed to be more moisture resistant.

Thank you for all the help!

Here is the beauty up-close :]


Its about 1.5" above subfloor, and 0.5" above plywood.


 
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Old 03-10-10, 02:20 PM
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It looks like you have a lead pipe folded over the flange, I would check below the flange to be sure the pipe is in good shape; lead pipe is pretty old.

If you use what you have putting blocking down to secure the flange is the way to go, them put a spacer ring on the flange to get it up to where you want it, luck.
 
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Old 03-10-10, 08:14 PM
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Yes! It does indeed look folded over the flange.. that's also what was confusing me, as its all jagged from the hammering. Should I be putting anything to seal the spacer to the flange, or will the wax be sufficient ?

I honestly dont really need a new ring even, because the flange is still in good condition. I just thought that because its bent a bit from hammering or overtightening, it might be a problem. If its better to just leave it the way it is, I can do that too.

Thank you for your help!!!! Greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 03-11-10, 07:20 AM
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I have similar problems with many of my older rental houses. You need to get the floor rock solid and securely mount the toilet flange. Any movement of either will eventually allow a traditional wax ring to leak. I have had good luck with Fernco toilet seals but they work best when installed on new toilets since it's almost impossible to remove the wax residue from a used toilet. The Fernco seal mounts to the bottom of the toilet and has a flange with sealing rings that goes down into the drain pipe several inches and is much more forgiving of a non-rigid toilet flange and/or flexing floor.
 
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Old 03-14-10, 08:14 PM
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Pipe is Cracked!

Well the bad news is that the pipe IS actually cracked. There is a 1" long crack at the top of the bend, which seems to have been there since the pipe was put in (1950s? or reno in 1980). It looks like the board laying on the pipe was sticking up a little, and the installer gave it a good whack with a hammer....resulting in the clean break you see. So much for inspection back in those days, right?



Since it has been this way for decades, and the location of the crack, there isn't any apparent damage to the ceiling below (its a condo unit), I'm wondering if I can patch the hole in some way in order to avoid messing with the pipe. The rest of the pipe seems to be in good shape. I'm looking for the best solution in this case, that doesn't violate any codes (ABS or PVC pipe with a fenco fitting is out of the question! If I mess up the iron waste pipe which is buried in a bricked wall....). Can I patch the hole with epoxy? or some kind of metal putty? Just plain old plumbers putty? I'm open to suggestions. I could even solder the hole shut if thats what you suggest.

Of course replacing the flange would be nice too, given its mangled state, but it can't be done without replacement of the pipe as well. The lead is too brittle where it was hammered, and will crack if I try to pry it up. I will probably just use a new ring on top if this brass one is giving me trouble.





Thank you again for any insight into this dilemma!
 
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Old 03-14-10, 09:16 PM
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Cut the lead back to within 3" of the cast iron and use a Fernco to run PVC.
 
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Old 03-14-10, 10:33 PM
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Another thing I forgot to mention, is that if I use PVC piping, I think the closet flange would stick up too high above the floor, due to the height of the elbow.

Would a Fenco fitting even be up to code in this scenario? I certainly wouldn't want to rip up the floor in the future if something starts leaking!

Thanks again!
 
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Old 03-14-10, 11:38 PM
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There is a type of elbow called a closet elbow that may work in your case.

 
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Old 03-16-10, 09:36 PM
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Hmm, yes all the pvc closet elbows have a turn radius too great, and wind up sticking way above the floor. I did see another post somewhere with the same problem, and the OP wound up having to install a 3" closet bend, and even having to cut a piece of the top portion of the bend off. In terms of the coupling, a shielded (?) one is required from what I gather...

Another plumber suggested I clean the hole really well, and use some JB Weld to plug it up. Good idea?
 
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Old 03-16-10, 10:31 PM
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In terms of the coupling, a shielded (?) one is required from what I gather...
No a Fernco should work. That was just the only picture I could find.

Believe it or not cast iron pipe is not that hard to cut. You can rent a special cutter and it ratchets for use in a confined space, At this point I'd bite the bullet and cut the tee out of the cast iron and using Ferncos and PVC install a new lower Tee. If you do though be sure to secure the cast iron pipe above and below the cut before cutting. Never know what's holding it.

Of course cutting and replacing is what I'd do for a customer. In my house it would be JBweld or maybe silicone caulk, a piece of aluminum roof flashing, and hose clamps.
 
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Old 03-16-10, 11:37 PM
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Thank you! Moving the tee would be my choice then, if it only wasn't a condo. On top of that, the iron pipe is buried within an 8" block wall . I swear to God, a bunch of monkeys built this place.

I will most likely wind up sealing it with JBweld then, unless there is some other crack I missed...in which case, one of the other solutions will have to do! Thank you so much for all the help!

Regards,
Dmitry
 
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Old 03-17-10, 07:14 AM
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It looks like you have brass and lead. You could hammer the crack closed as much as possible and solder it. A lead based solder might be easier to use (still commonly available at stained glass supply stores).
 
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Old 03-29-10, 10:56 AM
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Sorry for the rant, but some new developments have been made! First off, sealed the crack with JBweld. Second, was gonna get a Toto Drake 10" rough toilet, (our rough-in is 10.5") because the price is not that much more than a cadet 3 (~280). However I liked the drake II much more and wound up getting it for a good deal. Of course it does need at the very least 10 7/8" to install (according to the spec sheet)....

2 choices: move wall back, or extend the soil pipe. Pipe is actually not 50yrs old as previously mentioned... I ripped the wall out, and sure enough, it looks like a new waste pipe was installed in the 80's remodel. If I was to cut the lead, it would be difficult getting the angles to line up....the plumber who put it in was a real master. The lead and ferrule are cut at a very strange angle and soldered. On top of that, the lead piece is very short, about a foot, thus making it impossible to fit all the elbows, turns and adapters (4" to 3"). And I can't afford to make the rough in more than 12" because the bowl would be too close to the door. Replacing the lead completely would be the only option, but then I'd have to mess with the cast iron, and cut more of the already destroyed joists.

So plan of action is to simply move the wall back another 1/2" (all I CAN move it ), by getting as close to the copper lines as possible (a shim away or so). And if that doesn't quite do it, instead of using a spacer ring I'd get one of those brass offset flanges to gain an additional 1/4" or so (is it ok that I lay the new one on top of the old, and seal in between them with plumber's putty or something similar? maybe even JB weld?) Feel free to chime in!

Thanks for all your help guys! Will post pics as soon as done!

JB-fix


Short pipe and awkward angle


Pushing the wall back
 
 

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