Flange Removal

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by SR, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. SR

    SR New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    illinois
    I have an intermediate level of DIY skill, although more in the automotive and small engine repair than in plumbing. Here's the situation.

    I had water damage around a toilet and removed the toilet to replace the floor (2 layers of flooring)
    I thought I could keep the flange, as it is in good shape and slide the two layers of flooring tight up under it (with 1/2 circle cuts around the waste pipe) However, the toilet was right next to the tub and I could only angle the first layer of sub floor under the flange. I can't angle the top layer of flooring enough to get it up under the flange.

    So, now I would like to remove (and reuse if possible but not critical) the flange. With the flange out, I'll cut new flooring at the same level as previous flooring. I'll cut a circular hole for the waste pipe, secure the floor, and replace or re-use the flange.

    I have attached a few pictures (although they aren't good quality since I had to re-size them) and need to know how to loosen the flange. Picture 3 is of the outer joint and picture 4 is of the inner joint. The flange seems to be the same material as the waste pipe but I tried loosening it with a cold chisel and a ball peen hammer, then with a bigger chisel and a sledge and it didn't move a bit. It looks like there are seams (joints) on both the inside of the wastepipe and the outside of the pipe.

    Can anyone help with the type of material it is made of and the best way to loosen and remove the flange without damaging the pipe itself?

    Thanks

    Attached Files:

  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,281
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I'm no plumber but I suspect that it might be on lead and oakum installed from the bottom. That would have been done before the closet bend was leaded into place. You might find it easier to replace the bend and everything back to the bell joint in the horizontal.
    Ideally, when all is done your flange should be on top of the finished floor.

    Let's wait and see what the real plumbers have to say.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,263
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quoe; I'm no plumber but I suspect that it might be on lead and oakum installed from the bottom. That would have been done before the closet bend was leaded into place.

    It is obvious that you are not a plumber, because the flange would NEVER be installed that way. I am not sure what material the pipe is, if it is plastic, then YOU probably cannot remove it, although many plumbers could.
  4. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    It looks like copper to me. It would require heating the joint to remove the flange. Then soldering the flange back on. The joint can be heated from inside the pipe. After the flange is installed be sure to screw it down to the floor.

    John
  5. SR

    SR New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    illinois
    The flange is metal of some sort, no plastic/PVC anywhere in any of the piping. I'd rather heat the joint and try to remove the flange than cut the pipe and have to replace it, based on the small space I have to work.
    Alternately, is there a modification kit of any sort that would allow me to cut a larger hole (the size of the flange itself) in the flooring that would somehow connect to the flange so the flange can still hold the toilet and be supported with the joists?
    Or, if these are available but likely to cause trouble in your opinion(s), I'll try to heat and remove the joint. Can I heat it from inside even though there seems to be both and inside and an outside joint?

    Again, thanks!
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,324
    Location:
    New England
    If you need more access room, you'd have to cut out a big enough section of the floor so that you could screw down a new piece of subflooring. It is always best to use a patch that spans at least two joist bays (and therefore is attached on three joists). that way, most of the load is on the middle joist where the fasteners don't have to contend with as much tearing from deflection. If the pipe is copper, it will conduct the heat quite well, and melt the solder with the flange. You'll need a big pair of pliers to get the leverage to jockey the flange off the pipe without burning yourself. Be careful where you set it down, too! Have a rag to wipe up some of the solder to make it easier to reinstall. Don't burn the house down...have an extinquisher or a bucket of water just in case - no good if you have to go looking for it.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,263
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If it is NOT plastic, what kind of pipe is it because each one has a different method of repairing it. Give us a picture of more of the pipe, especially the joint where it connects to the tee. What you took pictures of were "teasers" without giving us any real information.
  8. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    Copper Joints

    That looks like a piece of 3in copper that has been packed into a 4in cast iron flange.

    I WOULD NOT TRY TO UNSOLDER THAT JOINT, THERE'S A GOOD CHANCE THAT YOU WLL MELT THE ONE UNDERNEATH:eek:.

    To get the flange off what you have to do is, put a rag down the pipe (so you don't drop any thing down there), take a drill and drill a lot of holes in the lead thats between the pipe and the flange, then take a chisel or screwdriver and pry the leak out, once you have it moving it should come right out, under the lead is oakum, do not drill in that (it will just wind up on your bit), when you have the flange loose it should just come off.

    From your picture it looks like the pipe comming into the flange is real short, you wont be able to use an adaptor flange, you'll need to pack your flange back on, I think you will need a plumber to do that, sorry.
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