Cast iron toilet flange replacement

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by peterf, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. peterf

    peterf New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Illinois
    Hello all,
    I am new to the remodeling business and have not come across needing to replace a cast iron toilet flange before. As you can see in the pictures, the flange is attached deep below the floor into a drain elbow. The flange is in decent condition but sits above my new finished floor height by way too much. I was wondering what my best options are. I thought maybe i could cut the pipe at about floor level, leaving that little stub down below the floor, and fit some sort of special pvc toilet flange either inside the pipe or on the outside, but I'm not sure which would work and what is available. I would think that new pvc flange would be adjustable to the finished height of the tile floor. Can somebody help me out? This link shows something I think would work.

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    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2013
  2. Hackneyplumbing

    Hackneyplumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Alabama
    The cast Iron flanges that I install with lead and oakum slip over cast iron pipe.Iif this is the case with yours then I would remove the existing flange with a hammer by breaking the flange portion off and using a cold chisel to split the flange in two places. The flange would then fall off the pipe.

    I would then cut the pipe off witha grinder at my finished floor height. after the finished floor is installed I would lead in a new cast iron flange.

    Goodluck to you.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Lead and oakum joints are not for DIY. It takes proper tools and experience to pour molten lead into a joint. There are ways to DIY the problem, but it entails cutting the cast iron pipe prior to the closet flange, using a banded coupler to convert to PVC or ABS at that point. Cutting the CI can be a problem for DIY, because getting the coupler to fit and not leak on the cast iron can be difficult if the cast is old and not in good condition. It might be wise to have a plumber evaluation this job and use his suggestion9s) on how to best fix the problem. Yeah, it would cost you, but maybe less than a DIY that resulted in problems.
  4. peterf

    peterf New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Illinois
    I should have stated originally that the flange pipe goes down about 6 inches below the floor. It is all one piece. I don't know anything about using lead, and I also can't fit one of those banded couplers without cutting up the floor to be able to tighten it to the cast iron and pvc riser. If I cut the pipe at floor level, what kind of replacement flange do you all think is best? It seems there are a lot of compression type flanges out there, ones where you tighten a few bolts to compress some rubber ring, and some just seem to stuff inside the old pipe.
  5. peterf

    peterf New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Illinois
    It looks like an Oatey 165 is what I need, but there are just so many choices....
  6. mtcummins

    mtcummins In the Trades

    Messages:
    380
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    This is not an easy job, but I think if you really don't want to get access to the pipe below to do what I'd consider a more proper fix, then what you've figured out is probably the best option. A long reciprocating saw blade or an angle grinder should take off the flange at floor level, and the insert expansion flange would work. Just be very sure that you clean the inside of the iron pipe well where the seal will be made, and that you have very good attachment of the new flange to the floor. I personally don't use metal ringed flanges, but if you do use metal, be sure its stainless, not the cheapo painted metal ones you get at the box stores. I prefer solid PVC flanges (the ones that don't have the adjustable ring around the outside). Just mark the floor on both sides of the drain pipe for the centerline, and line that up with the closet bolt slots so you get it on straight, and you don't need the adjustable ones. Something like the Oatey 43651, though I think there's one with a compressible gasket in it, which gives a better seal than the one on that model. I'm not familiar with all the models though, you'd be best off going to a plumbing supply house and asking there.
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