Another Toilet Flange Problem

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Robb H, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Robb H

    Robb H New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Hello Everyone,

    I inadvertantly put the wrong flange on for my toilet. I have a Kohler Memoirs Stately toilet that apprently has the larger 4" hole? My rough in pipe is 4" but I put the flange that fits inside and has a smaller 3" hole. The plumber says the flange that I should have used is the one that slips on the outside of the pipe and has a larger opening. This is all PVC.

    In addition, the toilet rocks a bit and although it funtions w/ no apparent leaks, there is a slight odor coming from the bathroom which I figure can only be the toilet.

    The plubmber determined that the flange was cracked and put a metal half moon repair part to fix it but it is still rocky and smells. He say's that it is impossible to remove the old flange.

    I read on another post about a "ram bit" or "pipe shreader" bit that would drill out the old flange material from what I understand. Is this the application for this tool, and where do I get one?

    I'd settle for stabilizing the toilet and getting rid of the smell but I'd really like to put the correct flange on. I could access from the celing below if I absolutely needed to.

    Any advise appreciated.:eek:
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    A ram bit is designed to ream out the inside of a fitting so you can reuse the fitting. If you used it, it would basically ream out to the outside of the pipe. Probably the easier thing to do if you have access from below is to cut off the pipe in a convenient place and install new pieces.

    A toilet that rocks will quickly break the wax seal...the rocking could be because the flange is too high, the floor is uneven, or the toilet is lousy (most are close to flat, but some are much better than others).

    When redoing this, you need to set the toilet down without the wax ring, ensure it can be set down on the floor (the flange isn't too high), and then shim it. Remove it, put on the wax ring, and reset.

    The flange should be setting on top of the finished floor with no space under it, and anchored through the subflooring and finished layer.
  3. Robb H

    Robb H New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Thanks for your reply Jim,

    Although I said that I had access from the celing below, I would have to open it up to doit. The only reson I'd consider this is because the celing has to be repaired and repainted in another spot from the tilers assistant stepping through it. (another long dramatic story).

    I'd prefer to fix from above if possible. I do have a second plumber who is able to do the repair, so it's not completely a DIY job.. I mostly need to confirm that the flange can be changed and understand the process as the previous plumber told me "no way".

    Are the ram bit and pipe shredder the same thing, and does this sound like pretty strait forward work for a pro? If this ram bit reems out the "inside material, wouldn't that leave the floor pipe enough intact to fit the correct flange over it?

    Thanks again.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    I'm not sure what sizes they come in, but you have a 4" pipe, normally, the cutter would be 4.5 or so to account for the 0.25" wall thickness, which would cut the entire pipe out of a fitting, allowing you to insert a new one into the fitting. This would cut not only your flange which is inside, but the whole pipe. A 3" version (3.5")wouldn't be big enough to ream the inside of the pipe which is 4". This pipe is sold by the inside diameter and the cutters are designed to make a hole that big; they are not designed to ream or cut the inside of the pipe.

    If you have enough depth (you probably don't), you could use an inside cutter, cut off the riser, then install a coupler and maybe a small riser then the flange.

    WIth some effort, you can peel off a fitting on the outside of the pipe, but it would be very hard to do it from the inside of one.
  5. stevie

    stevie New Member

    Messages:
    1
    just did it yesterday

    My brother the plumber me the electronic guy, his advice, removing old flange worked like a champ. First after removing toilet stuff old rags down pipe then take small hack saw the kind with a single end and pistol grip handle and make cuts to the flange that is glued inside of 4 inch drain,take care to only cut thickness of flange coupling look at new flange to get an idea of how thick it is,about 1/4 " use blade to reference depth.Make several cuts, I made 4 about 3/4" to an 1" apart.Then use wood chisel 3/4" blade to cut out inside of flange. After removing these sections you should be able to cut outer overlapping section between mounting holes.once this was done i tapped on outside with hammer to start peeling flange away from pipe. my top section broke away giving me access to use wood chisel on remainder of inside coupling.hope this helps. go slow look at placement of wood chisel keep it away from drain pipe.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    I've never tried to peel one out from inside, but apparantly it worked. This is good, since the outside is still nice and clean to glue the new one onto. The better you glue the joint, the harder it is to split it off.
  7. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have peeled pipe out of fittings and fittings from inside pipe (flanges)...
    The trick is to make the first section you peel very thin (3/8 - 1/2"wide) and then work your way around the pipe....
    Cut the flange off the top of the pipe...
    Then cut slots through the flange inside the pipe ensuring you do not cut the actual pipe (remember - make 2 slots about 1/2" apart to start the peeling at...) ...
    Us, as was said, a sharp chisel or (as I prefer) two THIN bladed standard screwdrivers...
    I drive one into the seam of the fitting and pipe and get the split going then the second about 1/2" away...
    Once that one is going, I move the first...etc..
    Should come out fairly well...
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