Copper Closet Flange Problem

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by flamda, May 8, 2014.

  1. flamda

    flamda New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Hello!
    Newbie here.
    We got a leak, I found part of subfloor was rotten, so I took it off. I found out we have 2 layers. Thankfully the other layer was dry.

    photo1.jpg

    I want to put the new subfloor but I don't know how I should proceed.
    Should I just cut the plywood in 2/4 pieces and slide them underneath the flange or should I get rid of the Flange? And how? I never saw one like that, I can't figure where it's sealed to the pipe.
    Closer views

    photo2.jpg photo3.jpg

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,395
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I suspect your leak was caused by the wax ring failing to maintain a seal. When properly installed, the flange is supposed to rest on top of the finished floor. Yours it would appear was recessed. While this is not uncommon, it can cause a problem. Pros may offer other opinions, but my suggestion is to remove the flange, repair the sub floor, replace the finished floor which appears to be tile, and then have a new flange installed. The old flange appears to be in good condition, but it should be resting on top of the tile.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,416
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    A flange should be secured to the floor with screws. If it's loose, the wax seal can leak.
    I would at least secure the flange, and get new closet bolts.
    Where your flange is, it's a two wax seal install.
  4. flamda

    flamda New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Gary: Thanks for your answer. Actually the flange was just above the tile but I cut the 1st subfloor layer, that's why there is a gap now. I would get rid of the flange but I can't seem to see where exactly it's sealed and how to do it. When I touch under it I feel like it's going under the ground, so I think it was sealed at the outside of the pipe. But then when I put my hand in, there is a contact point inside, like 5 inches down.
    I took a look under, I have a hatch in the ceiling here's what I see.

    photo4.jpg
  5. flamda

    flamda New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Terry: You're right, the falnge wasn't secured to the floor when I took of the toilet. I will take care of that.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    FWIW, it looks like copper and bronze, and if so, it is soldered in. To get it apart, you'd need a big torch, but other than the bolts, it looks decent.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,416
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    It's copper DWV. Soldered together. I would use what you have, though if you ever need to work with your copper pipes, they do make copper to ABS couplings for that purpose.
    You really don't want to put a torch on that fitting.
  8. flamda

    flamda New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thank you very much for your help! I will just keep the flange like it is and put the subfloor underneath.
  9. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,973
    Location:
    New York, NY
    What I'm getting from the guys' posts is that in answer to your original question, you want to cut some new wood, slide it under the outer edges of the flange, and secure the flange to your new wood and through it to the lower layer. You can take out that nasty closet bolt that's still there, but when you put in new closet bolts, get the kind that have two sets of washers and nuts each: one set to secure the bolt to the flange like is done on that one remaining bolt and one set to secure the toilet to the floor. Put the new wax ring(s) down on top of the flange, not the bottom of the toilet, and then smush the toilet straight down slowly on the wax until it contacts the floor firmly, without rocking or twisting the toilet (because wax doesn't "spring back"). Then you should have a nice seal, and you can caulk all around the toilet. Polyseamseal (a little tube of it) is a good product to use.

    If you want to really pro the thing, dry fit it first. In other words, put it down on your now-secured flange without any wax, and make sure it doesn't rock on the floor. If it does, then use little plastic window shims until it's stable, then leave them in place on the floor, pick up the toilet, install your wax rings, and smush it down so you now have a stable, rock-free toilet.
  10. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,274
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Looks to me like there is a crack in the solder joint between the pipe and the bend. It might be time to consider a replacement.
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