Rusted cast iron toilet flange, 5" ID, has no screw holes for securing to floor

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Old 03-13-16, 10:33 AM
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Rusted cast iron toilet flange, 5" ID, has no screw holes for securing to floor

Hi, the toilet in my brother's condo (constructed during the 1970s) became slightly loose. It couldn't be tightened down by turning the nuts on its closet bolts... the bolts turned too when I turned the nuts. So I removed the toilet (hacksawed the bolts) and removed the wax from the flange. The flange appears to be cast iron and not in great shape: brown with rust, pitted, has a small crack a few inches from one of the two closet bolt notches, and a thin flake about 2 sq inches came off with the wax. But perhaps it's in good enough shape to last several more years... I don't know.

Two photos are attached below. The first photo shows the flange after the old wax was removed. The second shows it before the wax was removed, and is provided because its view from above shows the narrower drain pipe several inches below the flange. I'm guessing there's a lead & oakum weld between the inside descending piece of the flange and the outside of the drain pipe.

I've looked at a bunch of diy videos and forums, and all of them assume the flange is secured to the floor with a number of screws. This flange isn't screwed down; I don't see any holes for screws. I'm not even certain there is any flooring under the flange; there might be a flange-sized hole in the floor. (In the first photo, the gap between tile and flange gives that impression.) I assume the weld to the drain pipe is the only thing securing the flange in position.

The top surface of the flange is slightly above the floor tiling. The tiling has small gaps at the two sides of the flange where the heads of the closet bolts need to be inserted under the notches in the sides of the flange, but the gaps appear to not be long enough to allow a repair spanner to be inserted under the flange (to improve the flange's strength). I might be able to insert two steel washers under the flange, with each washer on a closet bolt, between the bolt head and the flange bottom. The first photo shows there's also a large gap at the back of the flange (bottom of the photo) where a spanner might be inserted, but I don't know whether the spanner could be slid from there into position at the bolt side of the flange, and even if it could be slid, a notch would first need to be cut in the spanner to allow the bolt head to be inserted when the spanner is in position.

My brother is disabled, and when he sits himself down on the toilet he puts more than average lateral force on it, which may have contributed to the toilet coming loose over time. I'm thinking a non-wax seal might work better for him than wax, because wax won't spring back when he rocks the toilet. In another forum thread, someone recommended the Sani-Seal green donut, which is supposedly wide enough that it will work with the five inch inner diameter of the flange. Sani-Seal's website says it's unnecessary to remove all the wax, so I'm thinking about applying a thin coating of wax between the flange and the Sani-Seal to help smooth the flange's pitted rusty surface.

I'm also thinking about applying coats of primer and paint to the flange in hopes of slowing the rusting significantly.

Do any of those ideas sound reasonable? Does the flange seem to be in good enough condition that it still has some years of life? Is there a way to strengthen the flange so it will last longer? How much do plumbers typically charge these days to replace a welded iron toilet flange?
 
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Old 03-13-16, 11:30 AM
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What's below that area?
That flange is to far gone to reuse.
https://www.zoro.com/value-brand-rep...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds
 
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Old 03-13-16, 11:51 AM
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Thanks for replying. There appears to be no flooring below the flange. (I assume this is very unusual.) However, the condo is on the 7th floor, and my understanding is that above each ceiling is a slab of concrete. Does this answer your question?

The replacement flange shown at your zoro.com link has holes so it can be screwed down. How would it be installed, if there's no flooring under the old flange? Screwing it onto the old flange seems dubious if the old flange is weak from rust.
 
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