Toilet Mounting to drain pipe


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Old 05-15-11, 06:57 PM
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Toilet Mounting to drain pipe

In All of the houses that I have owned to this point (4) I have had to change out a wax ring or two. I inherited the house my parents had built in 1953 and yes you guessed it. leaking wax ring. The toilets in this house however, do not have a cast iron, or plastic flange for the two bolts that I have always secured them with in my other houses. It appears that these toilets just have a like a thin sheet metal pipe made to fit the hole in the bottom of the toilet itself and that pipe was just inserted into the cast iron pipe that goes to the septic tank. The toilet was held to floor with lag screws. You can guess that when the floor got wet from the leaking wax ring, how long the lag screws could do the job. The cast iron pipe that is in the basement looks just like all of my other ones, but no anchor is attached to it as described above. Was this a practice in the 50's, (to attach toilets directly to the floor) or is there a flange that just was never installed? I have done almost everything else plumbing wise from faucets to sweating pipes, and I am willing to try to fix this, but this is a first for me. Is there an easy way to attach a flange to this pipe, or is this absolutely a job for a pro?
 
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Old 05-16-11, 12:13 AM
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There was a time when just a lead "closet bend" was used to transition cast iron to the toilet but it was way before 1950. The closet bend was often poked through the hole in the floor and then "flared" over the edges of the hole with the wax making the seal between the toilet base and the lead. It is possible that a really old time plumber did the installation under question.

There are several possible ways to fix your problem but it would require several pictures to determine just what is the best method. If there is enough room under the floor using ABS or PVC plastic between the cast iron and the toilet is probably the best solution.
 
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Old 05-16-11, 08:37 PM
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Missing toilet Flange

How much room would be needed to install a plastic flange? Since this installation does appear to be the lead closet bend you describe, was it common to just use lag screws to hold the toilet to the floor like this one was? If it is indeed a lead extension pipe, it should be pretty easy to cut off for more room if I need it for a plastic flange set up. (How did the old timers cut off lead pipe? I bet you don't want to cut it with a torch!)
 
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Old 05-16-11, 09:18 PM
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Hi.

How much lead pipe is sticking above the floor? There should be a brass flange. Alot of times the lead and flange came apart so people used alot of wax and bolted the toilet to the floor. They just would throw away the flange.

Anyway you have some options.

1. Add lead to extend the pipe through the floor and install a brass flange. The trouble is finding someone that was taught to work with lead. I was taught, and may be the last generation of plumbers that was. I am 45 so you will need to fing a old timer.

2. Cut the lead ell out, but again they usually went to a leaded hub. So you need to find someone that can use and has caulking irons. Then convert from the hub to pvc. Mine irons are buried in the shed...LOL I have not used them in 20 plus yrs.

3. Cut out the lead and any hubs until you have only pipe ends of cast iron. Then use a no hub rubber coupling and conver to pvc from these couplings.

The cheepest would be finding a old timer to fix the lead. Its about a $300 job.
the second two options can range $1000 plus. Depending on how far the cut back is needed and what the access to the pipes are.

There was a time when just a lead "closet bend" was used to transition cast iron to the toilet but it was way before 1950.
My house is 1950. We have lead.


Hope this helped you some.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 05-16-11, 09:53 PM
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From below the floor measure the depth from the bottom of the floor to the bottom of where the lead bend enters the cast iron. Add the thickness of the floor to this dimension. Also measure from the cast iron to the center of the lead bend where it goes through the floor. Finally measure the outside diameter of the lead where it enters the cast iron. Most likely this last dimension will be a bit more than four inches but a bit more than three is also possible.

Take these dimensions and your tape measure to the megamart homecenter and pick out a toilet flange assembly with a stainless steel ring. Pick out a corresponding size 90 degree bend in the same type (ABS or PVC) plastic as the flange assembly and hold the two pieces together and measure from the underside of the flange to the bottom of the 90. Measure from the center of the flange to the end of the 90. If these dimensions are all smaller than what is existing then replacement with plastic is a fairly easy job.

You will need a "donut" insert to the cast iron "hub" sized for both the cast iron and the plastic piping. Getting the lead out of the cast iron may be a bit tricky depending on how the joint was originally done but it is not an insurmountable DIY job. Depending on the room to work it might take the better part of a day though so if this is the only toilet in the house you might want to call a pro.

 
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Old 05-16-11, 10:13 PM
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I have seen those Furd. Are those allowed out in your part of the woods? Not allowed on this side of the mason-dixon line I dont think. Seen them in the catologs but never seen them used here.

They have these adapters that we usually use.



Lead is still used, but they sell oakum with lead wool. You pack in the oakum, then lead wool. Then tap the lead in. Still need caulking irons but its the oakum that makes the seal.

I think they used some type of compression fitting like that back in the day. It looks like it would be hard to get the pipe in there, and or pipe and gasket in the hub.

Mike NJ
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 05-16-11 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 05-17-11, 12:04 AM
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Yep, the donuts are allowed. Over the years I've seen poured lead with ABS (not PVC), lead wool, donuts, shielded rubber couplings and even epoxy used to marry plastic to cast iron.

The donuts ARE a little difficult to get in place but they don't leak...and that's the real test in my opinion. You have to insert the donut into the (cleaned) hub and then push the plastic in. Make sure that the end of the plastic is free of any burrs, inside and outside, and smear a little dishwashing detergent on it before trying to insert into the donut.
 
 

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