Closet Flange too high for a Toto Drake

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Kwei, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. Kwei

    Kwei New Member

    I bought a Toto Drake after reading all the praise at the site. However, when I set the bowl down onto the existing flange, the back end (tank) of the toilet is 2/3 inch off the floor when the front end touches the floor. It didn't improve after much pressing and sitting on it.

    Here are some measurements:
    First of all, the Flange isn't level. It's a tad higher (3/4 in) above the floor on the front side (seat) and lower (5/8 in) on the back side (tank). On the toilet side, the clearance around the bowl gasket isn't uniform either: 1/2 in on the front and 7/16 in the back.

    So, even without wax in between the top of flange and the bottom of toilet, it still won't ift. The obvious solution (and probably the right solution), I think, is to lower the flange somehow, instead of raising up the toilet. However, after inspecting the flange for a while, I couldn't even figure out how it is bolted down and how it is joined to pipe below. Are there flatter flanges, something like 1/4 in thick or do I need to chip away some cement below to lower it? I hope there are easier solutions than lowering the flange.

    Thanks for any suggestions in advance.

  2. For the wax ring to seal properly, a toilet flange should be flush on top of (and bolted to) the finished floor with only the thickness of the flange above finished floor level.
    The toilet should be leveled (there are beveled plastic shims made for the purpose) and bolted to the flange.
    If your flange is too high, you really should replumb it.
    What is it made of? Metal? Black plastic ABS? White plastic PVC?
    Is the bathroom over a basement or crawlsapce, or on a slab?
    Give us more information, and we will try to help you solve the problem.
  3. Kwei

    Kwei New Member

    Weighing my options


    Thanks for responding. The flange is probably made of black plastic ABS (I hit it with a tool and it made a dull sound), with closed slots and open holes, and so oriented that bolts are in the open holes. Its top is almost 3/4 in above the floor (the top isn't level) probably because of the beveled neck (there is a gap underneath the lip). I saw a a flatter flange at an Ace Hardware which is about 5/16 in thick, which should fit well. The toilet is on first floor with vinyl.

    You said that I should replumb it if the flange is too high, but it seems such a daunting task. You see, to lower the flange, I need first remove the old one. Since the flange is most likely glued to the drain pipe, I would have to cut out that section of pipe, too. and then the new flange needs to extend longer down to be glued with the the drain pipe. Unless there are easier ways that I'm not aware of, shim it up seems more and more attractive option to me.

    Are there plastic shims made for the entire toilet base with enough thinkness and density (so it won't get compressed too much), and a hole for the flange?

    thanks in advance.

  4. You have more than one option.
    You can take a hacksaw blade and cut the inside of the ABS black plastic flange in quarters without cutting into the pipe that its glued into, break the quarters loose with a hammer and chisel, sand and clean the pipe, and install a new one. (Cut the pipe off with a hacksaw blade as low as you can to the floor first.)
    Or, if you can get to it, you can cut the closet bend under the floor that the flange is glued to, and see if you can't lower the flange to the finished floor level by doing that. You can put the ABS closet bend pipe back together with a neoprene rubber sleeve with large stainless hose clamps (aka Fernco couplings).
    Or, you can raise the toilet by using a piece of 5/8 pressure-treated plywood cut out in the shape of the toilet base with a hole large enough to go around the closet bend pipe, and then cut it in half to slide around the closet bend pipe under the flange. You can hide the p-t plywood base with tub-and-tile caulk around the front and sides.
    Leveling shims won't work to raise the toilet that much. They'll work just to level the base.
    Good Luck!
  5. Kwei

    Kwei New Member

    You're a real pro

    Thank you, Mike, for explaining these options. The hacksaw blade trick is rather interesting because I didn't think those 2 pieces can be separated after being glued together.

    I live in San Diego, where you don't usually find basement under a house, so access to below-the-floor pipelines is usually difficult.

    The plywood solution seems more compatible to my ability, so I'm leaning toward it at the moment.

    Thanks again for your wonderful inputs.

  6. mrjetskey

    mrjetskey New Member

    If you use the plywood trick be sure to use treated wood also might be a good idea to give it a coat or two of waterproofing sealant especially on the cut out and the inside edges,even though the wax will seal it just fine.I had problems the other way ,I added tile and needed the extra height,lucky they sell 1" extensions also for this.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    You might also consider a marble platform to fit under the toilet. It probably would be easier to make look good. Some places (used to?) require them (Rochester, NY for one). Note, I'm not a pro.
  8. Kwei

    Kwei New Member

    Toilet booster

    Jim and mrjetskey,

    Thanks for your inputs, guys. You made a good point about the importance of water-proofing. I worried about it, too, so I went out and bought a 3/8 inch thick PVC slate and cut out a piece in the shape of the toilet base with a jigsaw.

    Marble platform would have looked nicer, but I am not sure where to find a suitable piece and how to cut a hole large enough to go around the flange.

    Really appreciate your help.

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