Replace or fix cast iron toilet flange???

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Craif, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. Craif

    Craif New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I have removed my toilet to install tile flooring. During the removal of the old tile, I damaged the cast iron flange and figured, no problem, I'll just replace it. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the flange is practically integral to the cast iron elbow drain pipe. So, now I have a damaged flange and I'm not sure which direction to go next.

    The flange appears to be about 4" I.D. and the drain pipe measures about 3" I.D. Between the flange inner circumfrence and the outer circumfrence of the drain pipe, appears to be about a 1/2" filler of a very semi-hard, maleable, metallic substance (lead?).

    Should I continue breaking off the flange and leave the rings and then install a flange fixer over top? Or, should I try to bang the whole flange assembly off so that I can install a new one? :confused:

    See attached photo.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2006
  2. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    Break the flange off completely and lead on a new flange...........
  3. Craif

    Craif New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I suppose breaking off the flange means good old hammering at it. How deep down is the collar of the flange? How does the lead come off, or doesn't it? Is there a more convenient way to getting a new flange? Is there a non-lead option?
  4. brownizs

    brownizs In the Trades

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    Springfield, IL
    To get the lead out, break out your trusty drill and start drilling holes into the lead packing.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,814
    Location:
    New England
    If it is a 4" pipe, you can get a flange that fits inside. If it is 3", you must go outside. Either way, the best is to lead a new one on. Failing that, they make cast iron ones with neoprene gaskets and expanding clamps to hold it onto or into the pipe. It should fit on TOP of the finished floor and be anchored to it. If you are tiling, you can notch the tile before laying them around the hole, and then avoid having to try to drill through a hard porcelain tile.
  6. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    flange

    Forget the drill business and just take a 3/4" cold chisel and whack the flange from inside to out, right at the outside of the lead but from the inside of the joint.

    Then pry the broken flange off and cut the lead into with a wood chisel and pull it out with your channel locks. Should take less than 60 seconds normally.
  7. Craif

    Craif New Member

    Messages:
    4
    jadnashua-

    Thanks for the info. I understand that you're recommending to use the same "leading" method to install a new flange. But, once I get the old flange off, are you also saying it's okay to use any of the other available flanges that have the 2" pipe extension?

    I did purchase a cast iron "collar" one that is a 2-piece tightening model that appears to fit around the outer side of the pipe, and it has a rubber type gasket on the lower portion.

    Why is the lead method the best? It seems complicated.
  8. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    In my book, it's the only way. It's probably the easiest way and the most permanent way.

    You can use a flange that's 2" to 3" deep.

    See if you can just buy a couple strands of "oakum" and a "pound of lead" to add to what you have left from taking off your old flange.

    Pack it tight with oakum and melt your lead and pour it back in the joint.

    Then when cool, pack the new lead joint with a blunt tool because you probably won't fond corking irons.

    You can do it.
  9. tbplumbloco

    tbplumbloco New Member

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    Ohio
    lead closet flange

    It is the best method as Plumber1 states because it is permanent,once leaded at the proper heighth it will not move and it will not be as critical to fasten the flange to the floor,with the compression type repair flange that i think you purchased it is very important that the flange be set properly and fastened to the finished floor so there is no movement.
  10. Craif

    Craif New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thanks for the added suggestion. However, after talking with the parts counter guys, I'm going with the 4" PVC 2-finger flange that sits tightly inside the pipe and easily fastens to the floor with no chance of rot or rust. And, no muss no fuss! Actually it was work to get it in. I have to say that "leading" in a flange is not something that most handy homeowners are set up to do, and I put myself in the upper 90 percentile of very handy homeowners. (think about it - get a small amount of oakum and lead, melt the lead down in some crucible, set the flange depth, pour the lead, smooth the lead) In all of my research, I could not find an overwhelming reason to do it the "lead way", except that a few of you purists said it's the best way. Besides, in all reasonableness, I think both ways will outlive me! :)
  11. freeonthree@snowcrest.net

    freeonthree@snowcrest.net New Member

    Messages:
    2
  12. greenpoint

    greenpoint New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I just removed the old collar (it was well below the finished floor, and tilted), cleaned it up, and I would like to have it leaded back in place. Will it be a problem if the pipe is below the top of the collar, by a half inch or so? The photo doesn't show the difference in height, to well.

    Any help would be appreciated :)


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  13. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    That looks like a cast iron flange. If it is, you will not be able to "lead it" the way you are thinking. You would need to have a HUB to insert it into or use a hubless coupling.

    In your case you will need a brass repair flange so that you can lead from the old lead to the new flange.

    I'm not sure about the US, but in Canada the leading is now discontinued and not allowed any more. We CANNOT purchase any lead bars, lead solder sticks or anything related to lead soldering. The only thing available is 50/50 solder and we are very limited as to where we can use it,
  14. greenpoint

    greenpoint New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Yes, it is cast iron. I drilled the lead out and saved all of it (some of the lead is clean, and some is contaminated with dirt and wax), not sure if I can recycle all of it, or not? I did find a supplier for plain lead, it is still available, and they have 3/8" oakum also.

    Is plain lead correct or was babbit lead used?
  15. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    To start , you need to have the existing lead surfaces clean of any dirt/wax and shiny before it will accept any type of soldering/leading. Then I would highly recommend a brass repair flange that has a collor approx. 2" long. Get some lead bars that is suitable for your project. At that point you can start to build up your existing lead bend to the new flange.


    CAUTION: you need to be very careful when heating the existing lead. You could potentially melt the lead to the point of no return.

    In most cases, its just simpler to replace the lead with PVC or ABS (depending what is mostly available in your area). It would last you as long as you own the house

    EDIT: I just want to clarify the material that is below that flange. I'm under the impression that it is a lead bend. Or am I mistaken?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  16. greenpoint

    greenpoint New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Not sure I follow...the closet collar and the pipe are cast iron.

    Krow, I noticed your EDIT...I was in reply while you were in EDIT :)

    I can see the confusion (in the photo the bend looks like it may be lead (jagged edges, not a clean cut), the original plumber must have adjusted the length via hammer.

    The bend is cast iron.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  17. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    My Bad. I was under the impression that it was a lead bend.


    In that case, you would need to extend the lower hub to accept the new cast iron flange to the proper height. Or place a spacer for any missing pipe. You would not be able to make a water tight seal on 1/2" space and the oakum would get pushed out or the lead would flow out of the joint
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  18. greenpoint

    greenpoint New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    So I should not re-use the existing closet collar?

    When you say "lower hub", are you referring to the bend/pipe? There is only two pieces/parts in total, the closet collar and the bend/pipe that runs to the stack.

    I am not a plumber so please feel free to correct my terms.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,814
    Location:
    New England
    If the existing pipe is now only about 1/2" short, you still have plenty of length to get a good leaded joint. You should still have nearly a couple of inches of overlap between the flange and the pipe. Now, having the tools to do it may be expensive, so having a plumber do it for you may end up cheaper.

    Depending on where you live, there is an elastomeric product that can be used to make that joint. You still use oakum, but then you use the sealant. If I remember, you need three layers of oakum/sealant. This may be cheaper. the last (and only) time I tried this, it was both hard to find, and the tube I did find was really old, and it wouldn't flow out the caulking gun. I ended up returning it and cutting the CI out and switching to pvc. A pro may have been able to do it, but it was Christmas time, I was remodeling my mother's bath (400miles from home), and I couldn't wait (nor did I want to pay the OT for the task). If I'd had more room, I might have been able to make it work. Didn't want to crack out the plaster, and it was close to the ceiling and a joist, so access was severely restricted. You don't have that problem.
  20. greenpoint

    greenpoint New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Yep, I'd say it is about a half inch below (jagged edged as it may be) the top of the closet collar.

    I do have full access (ranch style house), so that is a plus.

    I just got back from the big orange box store, and all they have to offer is a Sioux brand, white PVC push in retrofit ($15.71). I have also looked at the Oatey PVC closet collar retrofit (less than $3.00).

    The Sioux brand would go into the existing pipe a good 4 inches, and I would make sure that it has a solid and level connection to the floor. Are these retrofits really a bad idea? The master plumber at the big box said the seal on the retrofit is only to block sewer gases and there should be no leakage problems if installed correctly.

    I am not afraid to pay a plumber to lead the existing closet collar back in place, however the master plumber at the big box said I wouldn't find anybody in my area that would even do that type of repair.

    The (baby blue cast iron retrofit looks like a nice unit), but where can I buy one, and is it worth the extra cost, whatever that amount may be?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
Similar Threads: Replace cast
Forum Title Date
Toilet Forum discussions Replace Cast Iron Toilet Flange or not? Apr 21, 2013
Toilet Forum discussions Broken Cast Iron Flange too Deep for insert replacement Sep 28, 2011
Toilet Forum discussions Do I Need to Replace this Cast Iron Flange? Nov 21, 2010
Toilet Forum discussions Cast iron flange replacement Sep 22, 2010
Toilet Forum discussions How do I replace a cast iron flange? Jun 30, 2010

Share This Page