Bolts for toilet flange making toilet leveling impossible

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Texasborn9, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Texasborn9

    Texasborn9 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Garland, Texas
    photo 1.JPG photo 2.JPG photo 3.JPG Hi Folks, new to this forum, but have an issue I can't seem to find an answer to. I paid a handyman to install a new toilet flange, mainly because I wasn't sure what I was doing. I knew I could do the rest so I just wanted him to do that. The pipe coming up is 4 inches, but because it was bent inside and he could not install a 4 inch PVC flange, he went to one that looks to be a 3 inch so that it would fit. He also used something called a hammer set bolt, but it appears that the bolt did not go deep enough before setting so he just bashed it as hard as he could until the bolt heads bent. The problem here is that now, the bent bolt heads stick up about 1/4 - 1/2 inch above the rest of the flange and I cannot level the toilet because of it. I have no idea how hard it would be to get the flange and bolts out of the cement to just get a new flange, and guess what? Handyman is nowhere to be found. What are my options here?
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,015
    Location:
    New England
    Post a picture of what you really have, and you'll get a more reliable answer. An internal flange will work on a 4" pipe. Anytime the pipe is not plumb, things get messy. In concrete, usually, you need to drill for an anchor (a lead one works, but there are other types). Sometimes, you get what you pay for...now, you've got to clean up his shoddy work. Hopefully, we can help, but we need to see what you really have first.
  3. Texasborn9

    Texasborn9 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Garland, Texas
    I appreciate the quick response, I hope those photos help some. I had tried to put the toilet on and level it so some of the wax is still there and may make it difficult to see exactly what is going on.
  4. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    It looks like he forced the anchor bolts down so hard that the ring was forced from the flange. The stainless part of the flange should be flush with the plastic section. Remove the anchor bolts and pull the stainless section up then get shims under that section before anchoring it to the floor.

    John
  5. wptski

    wptski Retired Machine Repairman

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Warren, MI
    I'm just a DIY'r but normally leveling is a problem with your floor and not the flange as it should have enough room on the outside to clear your bend screw/bolt. Not sure about the 3" flange though as it looks a bit small with a long slope to the hole. The trapway exit of your toilet should be flush with the outer toilet's edge or at the floor line. It might be hitting on the slope of the flange first.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,015
    Location:
    New England
    How is the flange physically attached to the pipe in the floor? With pvc, it must be a solvent weld. There are some that use a rubber compression ring, but that doesn't look like one. That connection must be both gas and watertite.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,005
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    That is the oddest thing I've seen for that purpose.

    It looks like multiple spacers that are stacked.

    The protruding anchor will need to be cut off.
    I'm so sorry that he left you with an unusable flange there.
  8. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    243
    Location:
    Florida
    Just replying about the hammer set pins.

    Looking at the pictures it looks like he used 3 of them. Also none look like they were completely set which may be a good thing as they can be removed.
    http://images.search.yahoo.com/imag...jqngjdf&sigi=13g3udv7v&sigb=11uev4tpt&fr=ipad

    You would have to pry the center pin out then the rest should be able to be pulled completely out.

    After that you should be able to attach with Tapcons.

    Jerry
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,987
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The bottom of that SS ring should be flush with the finished floor. As mentioned, the top should also be flush with the plastic section. If anything is higher than that, it could prevent the toilet from sitting right. If all of it is lower, then something else is to blame for your problem, like perhaps shoddy tiling.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    My initial reaction, since you say the pipe was "bent" is that he used a 3" flange and just set it into the pipe like a funnel and it is neither attached to the pipe, nor sealed to it. If so, tear it apart and have a plumber do it correctly.
  11. wptski

    wptski Retired Machine Repairman

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Warren, MI
    I wonder if the OP is using a wax ring with a flange or funnel? There might be an added interference with that 3" closet flange used.
  12. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    The flange is broken. The stainless steal section is separated from the PVC part of the flange.

    John
  13. wptski

    wptski Retired Machine Repairman

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Warren, MI
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  14. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,852
    Location:
    New York, NY
    It does look like that flange, the Sioux Chief 888-GPM, because in the photo in the middle the ring clearly says "Sioux Chief". That would then be consistent with HJ's assumption that the flange used by the hack isn't actually secured to the waste pipe and thus could just be ripped out and redone correctly.

    What's odd for me however is that if the pipe into which this is inserted is 4", I don't know why the pipe and gasket on the flange would stick in the hole such that the hack could apply enough force to separate the stainless steel ring from the rest of the flange. If it's sort of floating freely in there, it should just slide down further as he pushes on the steel ring. Unless, I guess, it is bottoming out on the bend below. In that case, you have all sorts of potential problems including: (a) a restriction in flow where the pipe and gasket meet the bend, and (b) a potential crack in the pipe below at the bend, given that enough downward force was applied to the flange (and thus transferred to the bend below) to separate the ring from the flange.

    When you pull this thing back out, be sure to shine a light down there and check the condition of what I am assuming is the bend. Or scope it. The last thing you want is water pouring out below from a crack at the bend.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  15. wptski

    wptski Retired Machine Repairman

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Warren, MI
    If the pipe was setting too high, hitting the bottom of the plastic piece, from what it looks like the steel is below the tiled surface. That would break the plastic piece from the metal rim.

    A 3" inside a 4" pipe "could" mean, unless it's sealed some how, it isn't for gases.
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