Destroyed Inside Flange Woes

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by obsidian97, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. obsidian97

    obsidian97 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Hi all,

    First post on this forum.

    I recently started replacing our basement toilet with a new American Standard and discovered that the "last guy in" (LGI) left a bit of a mess.

    From what I can gather, the LGI replaced the current toilet and discovered a problem with the original flange (the house is 30 years old), removed it, installed an unlevel inside flange on a 3" waste line (a no-no as I understand it), had problems getting the horn to sit right, over-tightened the closet bolts (resulting in one side of the flange snapping, and the other side being bent), threw two wax rings on there, caulked all the way around the base and called it a day. I'm going to kill the LGI if I ever find him.

    Now I have to fix this mess and I'm not sure what to do. The plumbers we've called have said this is an easy fix, but I don't understand the fix. I just get told to cut the old flange out, but not where or how much, or what to replace it with.

    I tried using a super-ring and a plain wax ring over the existing flange and the toilet won't sit even remotely level to the floor. Even without the super-ring, the toilet can't get within about 1/2" of level on one side because of the bent flange.

    I guess I'm going to have to cut this thing out, but I don't know what to cut and where. I'm hoping that I don't have to tear up the slab in the process. The waste line is PVC/ABS and the inside flange extends about 3 inches or so into the waste line. The flange is not attached to the floor.

    Google has not been helpful. I have gotten lots of advice on what to do with a flange that is too low, or such helpful hints as using a piece of cutting board to make a 1/2" shim under the toilet. I'd really like to get the toilet to sit on the floor on it's own and make the right repair.

    Any advice?
  2. just do like he did before you...

    why dont you just glue the thing down like the last
    fellow did...it lasted 30 years.... what more do you want????

    LOL....just kidding...

    you might want to try some spanner flanges made by lennox...

    I would neeed a pic to ive you a better idea......



    plumb on......


  3. obsidian97

    obsidian97 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I don't need any more bounty hunters looking to kill me like the ones I sent out over the weekend to find the LGI.

    I knew I was in for trouble when the left closet bolt was joysticking around and the bowl was caulked down all the way around.

    I'm not where I can post a picture at the moment, but what's in there looks like a Oatey Twist-n-set type flange (only it's into ABS, not cast iron) set down into the waste pipe. One side of the flange is about 1/4" up off the floor (bent) and the other side is flush, but the piece of the flange that holds the closet bolt on the outside is gone. The entire flange is made of ABS/PVC and extends down into the waste line about 3 inches.

    The whole thing is set into the slab. Vynil flooring.

    Does that help?
  4. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy In the Trades

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    spanner flanges are like half flanges, actually less than half a flange that fit under a broken piece of flange to give you something to bolt too.

    If your flange needs to be replaced, you can get a small cutting wheel that is on a long shaft. You chuck this in a drill and use it to cut the pipe from the inside of the pipe right below the flange. You can then glue a new flange (with a short extension pipe and coupling onto the old pipe.

    Make sure the new flange gets bolted to the floor so it doesn't bend again if the toilet bolts are over tightened.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,328
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Nobody likes to save a buck more than me. But, if this was my basement, I'd hire a plumber to get it right. I can't think of anything that would be worse than a toilet installed improperly unless it was one installed in a basement.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Really....
    Post a picture of what you have so we can see or, get a plumber...
  7. obsidian97

    obsidian97 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Got my camera's battery charged back up and got home from work.

    Here's the pic.



    I removed the old 3" inside flange (it was beyond repair) with an inside pipe cutter just flush with the floor. I also *carefully* chipped out the rest of the inside flange from inside the waste pipe. The white stuff is the old adhesive (which wasn't very good, thankfully).

    I'm now left with a usable 3" waste line that's roughly flush with the floor. It looks like there's a pipe in a pipe still, but it appears to be ABS as far down as I can see.

    Any thoughts on what to do next? I was thinking that I could install a super ring into the slab with a few washers to make some room for the closet bolts and then just set the new toilet down onto the pipe end with a Fluidmaster Waxless Gasket.

    Thoughts?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2008
  8. something I did one time....

    here is something that I had to a few times
    to get me out of the living hell that you are presently in...


    First you go out and get a 5 inch deep 4 inch cast iron flange

    then you break up the floor around that pipe to the point that the cast iron flange will be sitting down flush with
    the floor... ..... this requires hard work........

    then you go out and buy some hydrolic expansion cement and
    mix up a good batch of it and pour it into all the gaps around this flange.... be sure to put your bolts in place
    or keep the cement out of that area.....

    make the hydrolic cement soupy so that it will flow down around the inside and the
    outside of the cast iron flange.... .

    the cement will actually get warm to the touch as it expands into the
    gap and is setting up
    ....and that cast flange will never move again
    in this lifetime....

    then simply get a couple of wax rings and you have won..


    very simple...very easy... not
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2008
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,486
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    ?

    MPM, would you really go to all that trouble just to do a half-a***ed repair? All he has to do, or have done, is break the concrete out like you described, except not 5" deep. Then remove the vestiges of the old flange and glue a new one over the outside of the pipe.
  10. HJ...it depends

    HJ .....basically yes......

    If its either tear up the whole floor and lose the vinyl ,,
    and dig down into god knows what half way to china


    yes it does work out pretty well... its never going to move
    again and a few wax seals certainly will keep it water tight...



    I suppose you could say its a lesser of two evils....


    I doubt that the fellow could break up the floor and
    get down to that PVC pipe and chip off that old flange
    then somehow glue on a new flange,,,

    being ABS, I doubt that will even come off cleanly..


    I know that it works.......
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2008
  11. rombo

    rombo New Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Ontario
    The other option is to install another 3" inside flange, it would not be my first choice but will work in your case.
  12. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Chip out the cement and install an outside 3" flange with a stainless steel ring.
    Why 1/2 A$$ it?
  13. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy In the Trades

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    With a chisel and hammer, you can have enough concrete removed in 10 minutes, maybe 5 if you're motivated.

    Glue (not hydraulic cement) a new flange onto the ABS stub.

    The problem with gluing a flange inside the pipe is that you've reduced the size of the opening for solid waste. Probably still big enough but I agree with what others have said. It's so easy to do it right that I'd do it right.
  14. 1/2 hass???



    perhaps I am wrong and he can get by with an inside flange

    I am just trying to give the fellow a viable option in
    case everything else fails.....

    I have been in tears before
    tryihng to figure out a way to keep from totally digging
    up someones bathroom over a toilet flange
    ......and this last resort has never failed me....... It cant fail......



    Yes.....Perhaps you are right and he can dig down and install
    an inside flange...or an outside flange... we wait and we see......


    ABS has never been "user freindly" for me when if comes to
    trying to clean off little bits of glue, shards, ect to make that new flange just
    "slide on there all freindly like"...


    usually the ABS breaks off or cracks for me or their are crappy little
    shards of ABS that have literally bonded to each other forever....


    If he cracks the standpipe in the process of cleaning it
    then he is digging to CHINA:D:D:D.



    we wait and we see ....honorable Redwood...
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2008
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,486
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    flange

    You have already told him to remove the concrete from around the pipe, so why not just remove the old flange and put a new one on?
  16. obsidian97

    obsidian97 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Success... new flange is on.

    Sioux Cheif adjustable ABS 4" flange fits perfectly over the old pipe. Put some Silicon RTV down around the gap for a little extra insurance, and used a No Seep No. 10 wax ring with a horn.

    After all of that... the toilet still doesn't sit any more flush to the floor. The flange is as low as possible without it being underground. I never had this issue with the Kohler toilets I've worked with in the past. Maybe it's a problem with American Standard.
  17. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Did you check the fit prior to installing with out the wax ring?
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