Problems with cast iron toilet flange.

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Old 11-17-14, 12:33 PM
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Problems with cast iron toilet flange.

Long story short, the toilet has been leaking for a LONG time into the floor.. had to tear out the whole subfloor and will be installing new subfloor. I am assuming the flange is the problem as it was not making a tight seal.

It is a VERY old house with lots of old piping.

#1 - The drain for the toilet is cast iron and it appears to be a cast iron flange as well... However I cannot get the flange to release from the pipe. Do these thread/screw onto the pipe or do I just have to break it off without cracking the pipe as well..

#2 - Once the new subfloor is down I will be installing vinyl adhesive tile in the bathroom as I am on a very tight budget and it will do for now. Do I want the new flange FLUSH with the finished flooring? or do I want the new flange to rest ontop of the finish flooring?

#3 - Can I use ANY toilet flange with the cast iron piping? Or do I need a specific one for the cast iron piping?

Thanks for any help guys!

Here is the current flange/piping:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]41841[/ATTACH]
 
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  #2  
Old 11-17-14, 12:41 PM
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The experts can answer this better but I believe it's leaded on. Ideally you want the flange flush with the finished floor surface. Why not just cleanup the old flange and find out for sure if that's what the problem is. Perhaps the old wax ring just started leaking. Anyway, there are several inserts you might use to replace the existing flange once you get it off. But you need to wait for the experts to chime in on this.
 
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Old 11-17-14, 01:17 PM
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I'd be using a chain cutter and cutting that old cast iron pipe and replacing with all new PVC pipe, elbow and stub out pipe. (Home Depot rents them)
Any flange has to sit on the finished floor for support.
That old flange is not coming off.
You can use a Fernco rubber coupling to connect cast to PVC pipe.
Once it's out of the way if you premeasure where the hole needs to go the new subfloor can be dropped in place, hole cut and new pipe and flange installed.
Less then $30.00 for parts, primer and glue for the PVC.
 
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Old 11-17-14, 02:52 PM
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1. It is probably leaded in place. I would not try simply removing the flange. If you need to remove it I would cut the pipe somewhere and remove the flange, elbow and a section of pipe before trying to remove just the flange. But, if your cast iron flange is sound I would leave it. They are stronger than PVC but if there is anything wrong with your flange I'd rip it out and go with PVC. Even though cast iron is stronger PVC is used in most new houses so it's certainly up to the task if the floor is solid.

2. I would put the flange on top of your subfloor but not on top of your finished floor. There are some toilets where the mating surface is close to the bottom of the toilet and they may hit if the flange is above the floor level. If the flange is below the surface of the floor there is room for the wax ring and wax rings are available in different thicknesses to accommodate different gaps.

3. See number 1. I would not replace just the flange.
 
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Old 11-17-14, 02:54 PM
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Sorry I am not super familiar with plumbing and have done some minor stuff but nothing this major so I have some more questions.

I looked at the pipe again and here is the problem. There is another drain in the bathroom that taps into the toilet drain pipe right after the elbow so I think it would be far more complicated to cut off the cast iron elbow and put on a PVC one..

How can I tell if the cast iron flange itself is bad? I don't see any cracks it's just corroded and dirty.. but there was about 4 layers of flooring from previous owners so I'm thinking maybe the toilet just wasn't sitting close enough to the flange and the wax ring couldn't make a seal. Does that sound right?

Is there any way to seal up the joints on cast iron just in case those are leaking too?

Here is a picture of the setup:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]41848[/ATTACH]

I cleaned up the flange some and it appears to be solid and not damaged, would it be ok to just reuse this flange?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]41849[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH=CONFIG]41850[/ATTACH]


Thanks for your input as I need to get this done ASAP so I can move back into the apartment.
 
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Last edited by Getyourshineon; 11-17-14 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 11-17-14, 03:33 PM
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If it were me I would reuse the existing flange so long as you can't see any cracks or holes. Use a wire brush or a drill with wire wheel on it and clean that sucker down to bear metal so you can see very clearly. If it looks good use it. The worse that can happen is that it is no good and you can get a professional to redo it in PVC. Chances are it will be OK. Buy extra flooring to cover any re-work. Make your toilet flange secured to you sub floor but flush with the surface of the finished floor. Follow what PDane says and you'll be good.

PS...If there is any doubt about good flow thru the drain, now is a very good time to have it snaked or reamed out. That old cast iron wears well but the inside corrodes so as to catch every little type of crap that goes through it. Where as PVC gets slimy and everything tends to slip though it and not snag.
 
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Old 11-17-14, 09:49 PM
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Thanks, I have decided to keep the existing cast iron flange as I think the leak originated from the fact that there were so many levels of flooring so the flange sat way below the toilet and the wax ring couldn't make a good seal.

I have removed the old layers of flooring and have put in new subfloor and underlayment for the tile.

I am going to use the Danco Perfect Seal wax ring (Shop Danco Perfect Seal Sleeve Toilet Wax Ring at Lowe's) with extension kit for flanges that sit below the surface of the floor. It looks very promising and is forgiving with adjusting the toilet.

Is there a sealant or jbweld steelstik or caulk that I can put around the leaded joint on the top surface of the flange just for added sealing purposes to be safe? What about this stuff (http://m.homedepot.com/p/Oatey-16-oz-Pipe-Joint-Sealant-306142/100199986) by Oatey, it says it is a sealant alternative to pouring the leaded joint. Could I just put this OVER the lead though?

Thanks for all your help gentleman!
 
 

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