Toilet riser WAY out of plumb - options?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by jadziedzic, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    A few months back I had a plumber from a large plumbing company in the area replace the closet bend and riser in preparation for tiling my bathroom. Now that it's time to replace the closet flange I've found that he installed the riser WAY out of plumb - about a half-bubble on my 9-inch torpedo level. (Yes, in hindsight I should have checked his work prior to tiling, but the riser didn't look all that wrong with a quick look.)

    I was dithering back and forth about gluing the closet flange myself, but now I'm going to have them come back and repair the problem. The floor below the bathroom is finished so they will have to work from the top of the floor. Any idea what they will have to do to address this? I really don't want to have a quarter-inch gap under one side of the closet flange.

    I'm hoping they'll step up to the plate and fix this correctly, but assuming they balk, are there any master plumbers around the Nashua, NH area who would be able to take care of this for me?

    (Here are a couple of pictures, one using that Oatey "Level-Fit" flange that I won't be using.)

    Attached Files:

  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    It doesn't look that bad. Just be sure to screw it down and it should be fine.

    John
  3. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet Member

    Messages:
    374
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    Toilet risers are rarely any more plumb than yours. Looks like you didn't realize that toilet flanges must be fastened securely to
    the floor, which usually levels up the flange nicely. Gonna cost ya big time to have the plumber drill holes through all that tile
    and mortar!
  4. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Actually, yes, I do know that flanges must be fastened securely to the [top of the] floor - this one isn't glued yet, and once glued, I plan to drill the holes through the tile and secure it to the floor myself. It certainly seems wrong to put that much torque on a couple of PVC joints.
  5. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,259
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    If the riser is solidly in place, I might shave a little bit off the top to level it out and then screw the flange down.
  6. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    It's not a big deal.
  7. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Jadezka, BFD - its fine. Better than in Poland! It will work fine.
  8. FJK

    FJK New Member

    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    Illinois
    When you are ready to bolt it down, I would put some shims under the high side so that all screws, when tightened, provide a solid clamped joint. You want to end up with a solid, undistorted joint, even if its going to wind up slightly off level.
  9. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    OK, looks like I'll tackle solvent cementing the flange in place myself. Can I / should I apply more pressure to the high side of the flange when cementing it to help overcome some of the tilt toward the left? Or should I glue the flange on without side pressure and rely on the screws to flatten it out after the cement cures for a day or so?

    Also, I've never cemented 3-inch PVC before; any tricks I need to know? (The largest diameter I've worked with is 2-inch.) I believe I should use a larger applicator for the cement than the one that comes in the can of solvent cement?

    Alternatively, any plumber near Nashua, NH interested in making a quick house call to cement this flange for me? A leaky poop chute on the second floor is not my idea of a good finish to my bathroom remodel!
  10. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Just clean both sides of the joint good with primer, slather it up good and wet with cement, turn it back and forth as you slide it into place and then screw it down.

    I'd screw the ring directly to the floor with #12 brass or, stainless steel screws long enough to grip all layers of flooring and subfloor.

    You'll be fine!
  11. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Thanks, Redwood. Should I use a slower-setting PVC cement to allow a bit more fumble finger time while applying the cement? Any issue with excess cement running down the outside of pipe?
  12. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,283
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You slide it on fairly quickly. This isn't a time for the faint of heart.
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    Be ready to screw it to the floor immediately, or put a good sized weight on it. Solvent welded drain pipe sockets are tapered slightly, and depending on how much cement you use, the two pieces can push themselves apart until the solvent evaporates and things get solid again. It can be very disconcerting to have it look fine, and come back in 5-minutes to find it pushed itself apart by an inch or so, and is now solidly fixed in (the wrong) place!
  14. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    As luck would have it, the project got delayed, and the day before I planned to glue the flange myself the original company called and said they'd have someone out the next day. When the guy arrived I pointed out the out-of-plumb riser and he said no problem, everything will be fine, he'll slope the flange a bit to correct the tilt in the riser. Nice theory - but no joy. Even worse, they left the riser too long, and now the flange is a good half inch or more off the floor - and their recommendation is "just screw it down and it will be fine". If I do that the horizontal line running from that toilet will have just about ZERO slope in its horizontal run before it turns downward.

    Looks like it's time to call in the heavy artillery. Can anyone recommend a top-notch plumber in the Nashua, NH area who can fix this for me FROM ABOVE? I really don't want to open the finished ceiling below to work from below, but if that's the only option, I'll have to round up a good drywall guy to repair the textured area of the ceiling.
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    I've used Harry Wells and Son...they're not the least expensive around, but I've not had any problems with their work.
  16. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Thanks, Jim, I unfortunately had a less-than-pleasant experience with Wells in the past, so I'd prefer to avoid them.

    Any other recommendations? This is starting to look like "Tony gets stuck with a Ram Bit, inside pipe cutter, and crap everywhere" job that I'll have to fix myself.
  17. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,283
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    It doesn't look that bad.
    That's what wax is for. It's very forgiving.

    [​IMG]
  18. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Terry, that picture was a dry-fit of an outside 4x3 flange that I was considering installing myself prior to the plumber showing up - in retrospect, I should have just glued that on myself. Here's what I have now; there's no way that I can force that flange flush with the floor, even when I put serious weight on it. The horizontal run of PVC below the floor is supported by blocking below the pipe a short distance from where the riser takes a quarter bend. The gap on the right is somewhere in the range of 5/8 inch.

    I'm considering trying to remove the flange with one of those special tools that cuts off the hub part of a fitting and leaves the pipe inside the hub intact; that way I could glue on a new flange. Have you used those types of tools, and do they work? Any particular brand better than another?

    Another option I've read about here involves "peeling" the hub off the riser.

    Attached Files:

  19. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    I think the tool you are referring to is a ram-bit, and it's not for the outside-fit flange application that you have, it cuts pipe out of a hub, not the other way around.

    That's pvc there, and the bond is stronger than ABS, so I don't think peeling it off is going to work unless the installer did a very poor gluing job.

    If you want to work with what you have, you have the option of securing the flange with shims underneath, and then installing a toto toilet that utilizes a unifit adapter.
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