Flange set almost 1 inch below floor surface

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by catmania, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. catmania

    catmania New Member

    Messages:
    6
    In the process of replacing a toilet. Removed toilet to find the flange is set about 1 inch below the floor surface. Other problems are that the flange is not level and is also bent slightly. See attached photo. Previous toilet was set on what looks like several wax rings. It never leaked in the 10 years we lived in this house. Is it possible to fix this problem with flange extenders. Or does the flange need to be replaced? How difficult would it be to replace the flange?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    [​IMG]
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,607
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    flange

    For you to do it could be a risky job. If you use extensions you have to be sure to seal between them AND get closet bolts long enough to reach above the bowl when it is set in place.
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Location:
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    That existing flange is only set 1/2 way on the street el below it too...
    I'd say redoing it to the right height is a good idea...
  4. catmania

    catmania New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Thanks for your reply. Another problem I noticed is that the flange is not even flush with the sub-floor. I can't see exactly how it is screwed down and don't know how it is staying in place, but there is definitely a gap between the flange and sub-floor. The flange is also bent slightly. Would a plastic extender even work with this metal flange? How would you get a good seal?

    I'm amazed that this toilet never leaked.

    How difficult would it be to replace the flange?
  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    There are either 4 or 6 round holes in the metal ring that should have screws through them. Whoever did that floor didn't do you any favors.
  6. catmania

    catmania New Member

    Messages:
    6
    3 of the 4 holes do have screws in them. They are screwed as far down as they can go. But the flange is still higher than the sub floor. Defies the laws of physics. I don't understand it.

    The former owner of this house was a general contractor. You'd think he would have the resources available to do things correctly. We've been finding so many problems in this house. I guess he didn't have a clue about what he was doing.

    Would replacing the flange on this be a difficult repair? I'm assuming the floor underneath would have to be built up somehow. Not sure how that would be accomplished considering it's tiled.
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Location:
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    You could use these spacers that go under the flange instead of building up the floor to raise it to the proper level. At this link there is also an extender kit that I would not consider using.
    http://www.set-rite.com/

    [​IMG]

    I would also use a flange that has a stainless steel ring instead of all pvc flange or, a painted steel ring.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  8. catmania

    catmania New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Thanks for the advice. I think we might call a plumber for this repair, unless you pros think it can be a DIY job. How difficult is it to cut the PVC pipe and install a flange? Could this repair be accomplished from above by cutting inside the PVC, or would we have to access the pipe from the crawl space below. And, am I correct in saying that the flange should go over the 3-inch PVC pipe?
  9. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I would do it from the crawl space , remove the old PVC, fix the floor with a stub of pipe as a guide, and install a new flange on top of the fixed floor.
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    The toilet flange on a 3" pipe should fit outside of the pipe, not inside it (which would create too much of a restriction). You'll need to anchor something like a piece of plywood down there so you can add some material that would allow you to anchor the flange to. Maybe a ring of plywood glued to the piece you attach on the subflooring below to fill in the gap. That would give you something for the rim of the new flange to set on (normally, it would be the finshed floor) that you can then anchor things well.
  11. catmania

    catmania New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Thank you everybody for the information. I called a plumber to come look at our problem. I just don't feel comfortable cutting and gluing PVC. Want to be certain there are no leaks. So, we'll leave it to a pro.
  12. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    7,450
    Location:
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    Ah Dirty Harry said it well...

    Good choice!
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