Toilet flange in 30 yr old house

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by anklebiter, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. anklebiter

    anklebiter New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I'm helping my friend remodel a bathroom in his new place. We're almost done with the bathroom, except for resetting the toilet. The place was built in the early-mid 70's, and the metal flange for the toilet looks like it's been beat to hell & back. I scraped off all the old wax from the last wax ring, and the flange is very uneven and battered.

    As part of this project, we tore out an old tile floor & installed new tile. The new tile floor is about the same height as the old tile, but this beat up flange is about 1/4" below the tile.... from what I understand of plumbing, this flange should be level with the floor, right?

    So: my question is how should I prepare the flange area to reinstall the toilet? The home depot guy suggested this PVC flange spacer to bring the flange level with the floor, but it seems like that piece is intended to be placed on top of an existing, flat PVC flange... not a beat-up metal one like we have here.

    Is there an appropriate spacer that can be installed on top of the existing flange? Or given the current condition of the flange, would we be better off replacing it? If so, should we replace it with a pvc insert, or a similar metal flange?
  2. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Post a pic of the flange and pipe it is connected to...
    As well, tell us about the access you have to the pipes under the floor...
    That info will let us give you the best advice...
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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

    What could have caused the flange to be "beat up", if it was under the toilet?
  4. anklebiter

    anklebiter New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I'll try to swing by and take a picture of it tomorrow. I'm not sure what caused it to get 'beat up', but the house was a HUD house... the whole purpose for remodeling the bathroom was because the original tub was fiberglass... and it looked like someone had done shop work in it... it had scratches and red stains everywhere. So there's really no telling!
  5. anklebiter

    anklebiter New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Ok. Upon closer inspection, I wasn't all the way down to the flange yet. I was down to the greyish putty. It looks like maybe the last guy made up for the fact that the flange was below the tile by piling the putty on heavy?

    Here are some pics:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/n.joy.keltner/CedarCanyonToiletFlange?authkey=YY69qlXG-js

    If that putty is removed, would a PVC spacer (like the one in the 3rd picture) be an appropriate solution? Right now, the flange is about 3/4" below the tile.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,889
    Location:
    New England
    It would have been better to resolve this before installing the new tile. Once you get all the crud off of the old flange, yes, you could stack some extenders on. Each one is a new potential leak point, though. If it had a new flange installed on top of the floor, you'd only have the wax seal that could leak. The things are designed so that the flange should sit on TOP of the finished floor, so flush still isn't as high as it should be, but a thick wax ring will resolve that mismatch. 3/4" is too far for a reliable wax connection.
  7. anklebiter

    anklebiter New Member

    Messages:
    5
    So is stacking PVC spacers the best solution? I'm guessing that trying to install a new flange at the correct height would be more difficult, but would it be worthwhile?
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Is that lead between the flange and the cast iron below? Have you got a picture from below?
  9. anklebiter

    anklebiter New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I don't have pictures from below... this is a second floor bath, and seeing the drain pipe from below would require cutting into the ceiling on the first floor. I'm not real familiar with all the tools out there for plumbers, but I'd say that the stuff over the gasket is either plumbers putty or lead... if I were to guess. Looks like it's an insert of some sort. I would guess the drain itself is cast iron...
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