Add flange extender or replace the whole thing?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by nc8861, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. nc8861

    nc8861 New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I'm redoing a bathroom - I have the floor up already, and subfloor. I'm coming back in with another layer of plywood and ceramic tile, so the floor will be slightly higher....higher than I want it to be with the existing flange. If you all pros were doing this, would you just keep what is there, adding a cheapo flange extender and not fuss with the mess, or would you cut the drain line, pull out the bend, the flange, etc. and replace it all with a nice new bend & flange.

    BTW - I currently have 3" drain line, ABS type pipe and ABS flange. Redwood always recommends the stainless steel flange type, which I've been eyeing. But I haven't found any that are "spigot fit", i.e. they go inside the pipe instead of outside.
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,334
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I'm not a pro, but if I was doing it, I'd replace the whole thing. With the flooring and sub flooring already up, this shouldn't be too difficult or expensive to do. I trust you know the flange is supposed to set on top of the finishedfloor, be screwed through both the finished flooring and the sub floor. Do I read your question correctly that you are looking for a 3" flange that fits inside the drain pipe? These are not recommended for 3" pipes as they cut the inside diameter of the drain too much. I've never used ceramic tile personally, but those who have recommend dealing with the holes for the screws when laying the tile rather that drilling them afterward. They don't have to be pretty or sized perfectly. I'd use #12 stainless steel screws to anchor the flange because they are stronger and less likely to break than brass. Don't cut the pipe and fit the flange until the flooring is all down. That way the flange will be firmly on top of the floor.
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I would install a new flange on top of the finished floor. If you are doing all that work you might as well do it right!

    You will not find a stainless steel flange that goes inside a 3" pipe.
    3" pipe is the minimum sized allowed by code on a toilet. Yes, there are funky flanges out there that do go inside 3" but they are not to code and often present "fit" problems or, clogging problems. Get a stainless steel flange that goes on the outside.
  4. nc8861

    nc8861 New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Thanks redwood - so just set me straight here.....if a flange goes down on the outside of a pipe (either a normal 3" pipe or the mail end of a street bend), is there no pooling of waste & water at the joint? If there is, does it matter, as long as the joint is good?
  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Yes it goes outside. The joint has to be good and you will have no problems...
    As Gary said its a good idea to plan the screw holes ahead of time... Tile drilling can be so not fun! Make sure that you use #12 stainless steel screws in every hole and I like them long enough that they grip in every bit of floor and subfloor.

    Do it right and you get a reward.... You never have to do it again!:D
  6. nc8861

    nc8861 New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    North Carolina
    So Redwood, you would recommend the following, right? Just making sure...

    1) Stainless steel flange, that goes over a 3" pipe
    2) 3" street bend, with flange going over the male end of the bend
    3) hub end of the bend going into a very short section of 3" pipe
    4) short section of pipe going into coupling, which attaches to old pipe at cut

    See picture here for a visual...

    http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=690639&postcount=50
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    If that is what will fit your application then yes.
    If you need additional height then a regular 90 and a stub out to the flange.
  8. srdenny

    srdenny Plumbing Contractor

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    Running it pipe high and cutting it after the finish floor is in place is the best way to insure a proper installation. Having a 3" internal cutter like these from Wheeler Rex makes the job a lot easier. If you can't find #12 SS screws, brass screws are an able substitute. As for your worry about stuff getting caught on the joint between the outer hub and the inner pipe, the closet ring fitting is made so that it fits over the top of the pipe completely, eliminating any voids.

    Attached Files:

  9. nc8861

    nc8861 New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I'm reading a lot about closet bends....is there any difference between closet bends and a normal street bend?
  10. nc8861

    nc8861 New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Also, those tools are $50.....is there anything cheaper out there? I'm literally going to use this only once.
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    You can use an inside cutter like this one... It's cheaper!
    You can put it in a drill chuck and cut away!
    Just make sure that you stuff a rag down inside the pipe in case it falls out of the chuck. Murphy's law says that if the rag is there it won't fall out. But forget the rag and watch it bounce out of sight past that elbow.

    [​IMG]
  12. nc8861

    nc8861 New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Where does one get that thing?
  13. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Here I'd run on down to Earl's Hardware...
    Where you are I would assume a hardware store, big box store, or, plumbing supply house would have it... Online is another option.
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,519
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    toilet

    Well, I for one would not even consider a 3" elbow. I ALWAYS use a 3x4 closet bend. It has a lot of benefits and no detractions.
  15. nc8861

    nc8861 New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    North Carolina
    HJ & others - does your local box store carry these closet bends? I've been to the blue one and they didn't have any....haven't tried the orange store yet....
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,519
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    bend

    I do not buy my fittings at either of those, but HD may have one. Do not get the 4x3 bend which is just a reducing elbow, however. You want the one with a 6" spigot riser that you can slide the flange over and then cut it off flush with the top of the flange.
  17. nc8861

    nc8861 New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    North Carolina
  18. nc8861

    nc8861 New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Home Depot didn't even carry ABS!? I'm going to try a local plumbers supply tomorrow.
  19. nc8861

    nc8861 New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    North Carolina
    What is the deal with ABS around here? (NC) - the local plumbing supply shop didn't have any either.
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,519
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    bend

    That's the one. You'll notice it has two features that make it superior to a 3" elbow. First it is a square corner so it can fit closer to the floor and still have room for the flange to slip on, and second the riser will take care of a great variation between the center of the pipe and the floor level.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
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