Broken Cast Iron Flange too Deep for insert replacement

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Chesapeake, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Chesapeake

    Chesapeake New Member

    Tarpon Springs, FL

    I'm working on a house that was built in the early 50's - the Cast Iron Flange in the Master needs replacing - and my original intention was to break
    off the Flange Lip and use an Oatley ( screw down type) PVC insert replacement Flange to correct this. Unfortunately - whoever did the original
    install cut the 4 inch waste pipe short and used a deep riser cast-iron flange to compensate for floor level. Construction is Concrete slab - (mud and tile flooring over) Removal of the flange :lip" was no problem - but the standard Oatley 43539 is just not deep enough for the seal to grip the 4" waste pipe.


    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2011
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Land of Cheese
    It depends on how deep the riser is- you might get away with something like an AB&A 4x8 "Set-N-Go" flange or lead in a new deep flange.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Yakima WA
    Maybe you should consider if perhaps you are trying to do a job that is beyond your skill level.
  4. xlr8tion

    xlr8tion P.E. (Professional Engineer)


    Whether I have 4 posts or 5000-sorta condescending statement you made to Chesapeake-he found the forum and IMO you should never underestimate a person. How would we learn anything if we rely on others....Advice is priceless. Passing the buck is worthless.

    IMO, experience is gained in doing things beyond your "current" skill set and best remembered when you make a mistake.


    I'm a P.E. (Professional Engineer) and I might say that(it's above my head) about myself related to a project to be self deprecating-but never say it to someone else in search of, say, info on a Plumbing Forum. That's is why we are here. Plumber or not. 1 post or 10000. I do molecular 3D design for a Major Pharma company but that does not give the right to tell you not to split a tablet(pill) in half just cause you asked a question out of your "paid" realm.

    I will surmise that by having 5000 posts that you are in the plumbing trade; perhaps a plumber.

    My experiences with plumbers, in person, have been very expensive and largely negative as, IMO, they charge then exorbitant hourly rates for relatively repetitive tasks that "ordinary" people do not do or may not have time for.

    Why is it when you mention the thought of calling a Plumber-people nearly faint? They are expensive. 100 bucks to replace 3 dollar part in a Delta faucet-I'm in the wrong biz.

    My ex-plumber,Sam Cooper, a self proclaimed "best of the best" Master Plumber, was running the main waste line (80' long 4" diameter waste line) during my home construction) and took a break for lunch at the 40' mark; came back and started running the last 40' against the grade upwards toward my Septic Tank. I was so embarrassed for him I could not say "man you are screwing up" as he was a real hothead; so I dropped a 4' level on it and showed him the bubble was going the wrong direction!

    My master plumber could not figure how to get CPVC(I spec CPVC for everything except waste) main supply line to an internal wall(I've a steel frame home) from the outside. I have the actual instructions and diagram I had to provide him as he said it was not possible. I wanted CPVC over the top in my attic-he wanted to put thin gauge copper in my 400,000lb slab.Thank God I did not go w/Cu pipe as when you get a leak in your 400K lb slab what do you do? What I spec'd in the change order and over ruled my builder and Plumber.

    Last week; before I found out my Builder CEMENTED my toilets down I got phone quotes to swap toilets-$300 to swap a toilet here in SC from two different plumbers? That's outrageous in a "right to work state". Give me a break.

    Instead of insulting Chesapeake I will tell him "Welcome" and contact: QuickFix**************** at 1-800-333-5099 (California use 1-843-448-5668)-they are "Flange Masters."

    At one time no one on this board knew anything about plumbing...But learned by experience....Apprentice then Journeyman I think you guys call it?

    Kudos to Chesapeake for the DIY mentality and not panicking and maybe learn something new as you guys are so busy, so it seems, when ever a paying customer calls.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    At some point, people have to recognize they are in over their head. That complextity level varies all over the place. One neighbor calls someone in to change a lightbulb. I don't know if it is irrational fear, or she just can't remember which way loosens a threaded item. Also, some jobs just end up requiring a bunch of tools to either do properly, or to do it in a reasonable timeframe. There are things I could do on my car, but the consequences of not doing it right, or buying the expensive diagnostic tools (if even available) just don't make most tasks reasonable.

    So, my point is: some people should not do their own plumbing. An apprenticeship has a skilled person there to either watch, or be watched until the skilled person feels the person is competant to complete that task. It can take years of study. You can't apprentice someone from afar, nor see and correct their mistakes, if they make them, either.

    There are hacks in all're best hope is that you don't encounter one.
  6. xlr8tion

    xlr8tion P.E. (Professional Engineer)


    I empirically agree with you...But we are not "messing with" polyphase AC current here dealing with a toilet flange. If you re-read Chesapeakes posts he is very cogent and seems like he could go "up the curve" fast with any advice on a procedure. Strictly speaking; it would be logical to say that you are over your head when you ask advice on anything.

    What's that parable? "Give a man a fish....."?

    The plumbers I have dealt with in my town give good guys like Terry's trade a bad name.

    Have a great day.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; My experiences with plumbers, in person, have been very expensive and largely negative as, IMO, they charge then exorbitant hourly rates for relatively repetitive tasks that "ordinary" people do not do or may not have time for.

    Does that mean you are a rare "professional engineer" who does NOT charge "exhorbitant hourly rates"? If so, you are in the minority. Since you see fit to denigrate the professional plumber, just do your flange any way your diy abilities tell you to.
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Yakima WA
    Just pack a lot of plumbers' putty around it. That should keep it from leaking. Another thought. Didn't Billy Mays tout a tape that would seal any plumbing leaks? Billy's gone, but I'll bet the tape is sticking around somewhere. But I am curious as to why you come to the forum to ask how to do such a simple thing as replacing a flange. I think deep down you feel anyone who works with his hands and sometimes get dirty (ugh) isn't on the same professional level as a professional engineer therefore should not expect to charge enough to pay all of his expenses and live well. After all, he's just a grunt.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  9. nukeman

    nukeman Nuclear Engineer

    Gary/hj: It sounds like you guys might be mixing up xlr8tion with the OP (Chesapeake). xlr8tion just thought that Gary was talking down to Chesapeake on the comment about maybe being in over his head. Maybe without being on here and seeing Gary's other posts, it might seem like Gary was a pro and thought that he could do all this stuff easily and the OP couldn't.

    xlr8tion: Gary was just trying to point out that some things can be a challenge even for the best DIY'ers. A lot of it is experience and knowing what is available, what it is called, and how it is installed. There are a lot of specialized flanges, repair parts, fittings, etc. in the plumbing trade and if you don't know what is out there or what it is even called (which can also depend on where you live), it makes it nearly impossible to get the part and figure out how to install it.

    Just like any trade, there are good and bad ones out there. Just like I know some engineers who really know their stuff and others I wounldn't trust with even the most basic calculation. Just how it goes.

    I, like you, am very analytical being an engineer and tend to spend time thinking about it and figuring out the best way to do things. However, sometimes it is best to call the pro and say "here's my issue. could you fix it?". Then write the check and have the whole thing done in an hour (or whatever).

    Personally, I tend to DIY everything because (in this order):

    1. learn something
    2. get appreciation for people doing this every day
    3. save some money

    Most plumbers earn their $$, IMO. There may be some simple/clean jobs (replacing a shutof valve), but a lot of tough/dirty jobs too (replacing a broken sewer line in a crawlspace at 2 am).

    Chesapeake: The best thing you could probably do is to take some pics and some measurements (how far down is the pipe set) and we can see what options you might have. Since you are on a slab, you might be able to use a repair ring (Terry has mentioned that option a few times on this site).
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    I would either have a plumber come in a do a replacement with lead, or if your main concern is hold the closet bolts, use a metal repair ring screwed over the original flange. That's a fairly easy DIY repair. If it's over concrete, you can rotohammer 1/4" holes and secure with concrete anchors.


    That doesn't even make sense. When I consult with a surgeon, I don't get any parts, and I expect to be charged.
    What part of business do you not get? People get paid for time and knowledge. And at the end of the day, someone makes a mortgage payment and puts food on the table.
    If you want "me" to tweak around in "your" home and fix things, they you will have to pry me out of someone else's home, someone that has no problem with money and loves the fact that the faucet no longer drips and keeps the wife awake at night.

    Either that, or I will be out golfing.

    And speaking of little your argument, we should only be paying a little more for the pill than the manufacturing cost. I would be fine with that. You would have a hard time making your house payment though.

    It sounds a little Third World though. Maybe you need to travel some and see how that part of the world lives.
    In many countries, you can hire a full time maid-cook-babysiter for $190 a month.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Yakima WA
    My original post was intended to point out that all of us reach a point where our skill, knowledge, and access to proper tools reaches its limit. For some, replacing a hose washer may be their limit. For others, it may be getting fixtures properly vented. Certainly when it comes to plumbing, there are those who have the skill, knowledge, and tools to do most any plumbing job there is. The rest of us need to know our limitations and not be afraid to call for the pro who can do what needs to be done properly.
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