Toilet not level/toilet flange won't seat flush to floor

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by The Advocate, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. The Advocate

    The Advocate New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NC
    I was helping a lady get her store established in a new location. The toilet rocked very badly and leaked around the base. When I pulled the toilet, I saw that the flange ear on the left was broken into many pieces. The flange was glued inside of 4" waste pipe that is set in a concrete slab. I removed the old flange and dry fitted the new flange, but it would not seat to the floor on the right side. I finally realized that the vertical pipe was out of plumb.

    I told the lady that the slab needed to be chipped away and the waste pipe needed to be relaid so that the vertical leg of the pipe was plumb. (It is more than 5 degrees out.) Since she is renting the space short term and is not sure that her business will continue in this location, she wanted me to set the toilet as best as I could.

    I did manage to work the base of the toilet down to within 1/3" of the floor, then I shimmed the high side of the toilet in three places with cedar shims. I felt that the toilet would be alright since only the employees would be using it. THAT IS, until I saw the owner's 500 pound husband.

    Knowing this heavy man might seat himself on this throne, I would feel a whole lot more comfortable if I could fill the gap with a bedding compound that would set hard, have minimal shrinkage, and would resist water and grunge. I understand that old-time plumbers used such a product that came in a cartridge. I have not been able to find it in town or on line. Does anyone know of this product-- name and source?

    I also heard of another fix that seems promising. A man told me he remembers a 3" insert surrounded by a rubber seal which would allow the flange to settle to the floor, yet seal to the inside of the 4" pipe. Here, again, I have been unable to locate this product. Does anyone know a source/product name for this? Also, I would be interested in hearing comments about using this type of fix.

    My thought was also that there might be a flange that would pivot, then could be locked to the correct angle to compensate for a pipe that is set in concrete at an angle to plumb. Does anyone know of a product like this?
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  2. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Assuming the floor is level, the toilet needs to sit flat on the floor. You might be able to temporarily remove your new flange and break away a little concrete at the side of the vertical pipe where the flange first hits the floor so you can get the overall flange low enough to let the toilet sit flat on the floor.
  3. The Advocate

    The Advocate New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NC
    @leejoesephjo-- I now see that your method will work. The flange can sit off-axis yet be below floor level. The wax ring will take up the angle and allow the toilet base to sit flush to the floor. I do appreciate your insight. I would have never gotten there myself.

    Even though I will pull the toilet and reset it, I would still like to know about bedding compound, 3" gasketed insert, and a pivoting flange.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,339
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    If this is rental property, it is the owners responsibility to make plumbing repairs and the renter should not mess with it.
  5. The Advocate

    The Advocate New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NC
    Good point. I told the franchise owner this as well, but she wanted to take care of the plumbing, since she considered it a small matter. Normally, it would have been quick and easy fix, but....
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,339
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I might have been considered a "small matter" if it had just been a failed wax ring, but what is needed here is to break out some concrete and fix the thing right and that is more than a "small matter". You are sticking your neck out by working on this especially knowing the ownership situation. Sure, it's possible the owner would appreciate someone else fixing the problem, but you don't know that. I see no way to band aid fix this problem.
  7. The Advocate

    The Advocate New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NC
    I have already fixed the leaking toilet to the renter's satisfaction. My fix might last throughout her tenancy, but is likely to fail during that period, also. Following your excellent advice, I will now pull my head from the chopping block, noting (as I have in the past) that there is seldom a band-aid solution that does not come back in some form.

    I now see Sioux Chief gasketed closet flange model 887-GPM. For future reference, does anyone know if this product is likely to correct my situation?

    Also, I glued my flange insert into the 4" drain line. Please confirm that this is the proper installation method.
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,339
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    As far as the flange connection is concerned, an inside fitting flange into a 4" pipe is fine. It's the inside fitting into a 3" that is a poor idea. I'm not personally familiar with the Sioux flange, but from the descriptions that I have read they seem to be a good solution, but I'd wait until the real pros chime in on that. I think you're wise to clean up behind you and pack your tools while everything is working and not leaking. Who know, it may out last the business.
  9. The Advocate

    The Advocate New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NC
    I was trying to find out if the flange insert was supposed to be glued into the 4" DVW pipe. That is the way that I did it.

    I am still looking for input on a flange with gasket around the pipe that you insert into the 4" drain line which will allow the flange to float five or more degrees off the pipe axis.

    Also, I am still looking for products in a cartridge that would be potentially useful as bedding compound.
  10. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Yes, but I must admit I have one that is loose.

    As long as you have a seal that will keep gasses from coming up-and-out, I would say that is okay.

    I would call that "grout", and I am not aware of any grout that comes in a cartridge. Personally, I have only ever mixed it and applied it through a "grout bag" (similar to what is used for decorating cakes by hand) or a pump.
  11. The Advocate

    The Advocate New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NC
    Thank you for your input, leejosepho.

    I have found two gasketed flange products, both in the $25 range. One is the Sioux Chief design mentioned elsewhere in this forum. The other, I found in the local Lowes Home Improvement Center. The Lowes' product depends on rotating the flange so that a screw mechanism raises the gasket along the insert. I assume the pipe insert tapers along its length. Rotating causes the gasket to, eventually, create the necessary seal. I can't really say if either gasketed flange insert will allow the toilet to sit flush to the floor until I try to use one. My plan is to let my current job fail, then come in with one of those products. I will post back with the results.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
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