What kind of flange / john bolts do I have?? Is it ok to leave??

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by ih8caulk, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. ih8caulk

    ih8caulk New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    kaleefoorneeuh
    So I'm told this is the plumbing equivalent of John Bridge........ :D

    After a recent bathroom reno, I'm wanting to know if it's ok to slap the toilet back down on the flange w/ the old bolts still in tact.

    I tried to remove them, but I swear, they just don't appear to come out. No twist & slide, loosen the nut & nuttin' honey. The studs just DO NOT MOVE!! (Maybe they're part of the flange?)

    Here's a pic if I can attach........and Thanks in advance!!!

    Attached Files:

  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,137
    Location:
    New England
    They're brass, so should remain uncorroded, so yes, go ahead and reuse them. It looks like the flange was not moved to be on top of the finished floor, so you'll need a thick wax ring or a waxless seal (Fernco or Fluidmaster). The only problem you may have is if they are now too short for your toilet. If so, then you may have to cut them off to install new, longer ones.
  3. ih8caulk

    ih8caulk New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    kaleefoorneeuh
    Wow, that Waxless Seal by Fernco looks like an awesome way to go!!!

    They sell those at the Depot or Lowes???

    I think the bolts will be fine as-is, but if I had to take them out, how would I??? Those suckers just do not move!!!

    TIA again.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,825
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    bolts

    They DO MOVE, and they are the easiest ones to take out. Just loosen the nuts and slide them sideways out of the slots. You may have to cut a bit of tile or concrete to give space for them to come up.
  5. ih8caulk

    ih8caulk New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    kaleefoorneeuh
    And I can only ask that you believe me when I say I tried that. Before the tile was laid and there was easy access, I loosened those nuts and did everything but break the flange trying to get those bolts to come out of the side but no joy!

    Some heat maybe??

    WD-40??

    Hammer & dolly?? ;)
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,137
    Location:
    New England
    Were you able to loosen the nut? If so, and it still wouldn't move, it sounds like it may be anchored in the thinset or concrete. It may take some pounding. I've not seen the Fernco waxless seal at a big box store, but you should find it at a decent plumbing supply store. HD does sell the Fluidmaster unit. I don't get in all that many places, so your results may differ.
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,358
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You made a very common mistake when you didn't consider the toilet flange before you laid the new floor. Now you have to do some compensating. When properly done, the flange set on top of the finished floor (tile in your case) This allows for either a standard wax ring or a waxless seal to be used. Fortunately, it appears that the flange is not recessed so far as to make it really impossible to make a good seal with either a thick wax ring or the waxless type seal. The flange bolts may be long enough to hold the toilet down without changing them. I would at least try the toilet on before attacking the bolts to remove them. Set the toilet in place without any seal at all first. If the flange bolts come through the toilet base, you're good to go. While the toilet is in place, make sure it is in contact with the floor all around and that there is no rocking. If it does rock, then shimming will be necessary. Fit the shims before final installation so you know where they go. Then put the seal of choice in place and install the toilet, putting the shims under in the places you noted earlier. Caulk around the base.
  8. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    If you can't get the bolts loose and can't install a spacer, don't be surprised if this leaks after a year or so. It's hard to tell from your picture if the back is higher than the front relative to the tile. The side that is more recessed is likely to have trouble compressing with a standard wax ring.

    Previous owner of my home had a contractor install what appears to be the same tile wihout raising the flange face. (They were not DIY'ers and professionals did all of their work...much of it poorly I'm finding as I redo it.) This left it about 1/4"-3/8" short. At least they were careful to leave space around the flange. The toilet stayed sealed for about a year until it began dripping onto the bathroom ceiling below. After cutting a hole in the ceiling to find the source of the leak, I removed the toilet. The standard sized wax ring had the appearance of not getting any compression on a small section of the ring near the back.
  9. ih8caulk

    ih8caulk New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    kaleefoorneeuh
    Ya, I'll probably just use the Harvey #10 tall wax ring but may have to figure out *something* with the bolts......

    Of the 2 bolts, 1 is 1-1/2" tall (plenty) and the other is 1-1/4" tall. The toilet base height is measuring roughly 1-1/8" tall so we'll see.

    I'll have to dig, but I think I still have a stud remover from my grease monkey days. But that would only be successful if the studs in the flange are actually *threaded* into the flange. If they're truly anchored..... (my house was built in 1995 so if they are truly part of the flange or embedded in the slab)...... I will surely seek out the mfgr of the flange and destroy the company headquarters with the intensity of a thousand Chuck Norris roundhouse kicks.
    :eek:
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,137
    Location:
    New England
    Unless something really weird is used, the bolt head just slides into the slots. To remove them, the slot coming out the edge of the flange must be free of cement or mortar and you have to at least loosen the nut which is clamping the bolt in place. Depending on the bolt used, the head might not be locked in the slots, and it will just turn when you try to loosen the nut. In that case, you may have to just saw it off and pry out the head. You might try holding the shaft with some pliers (or two nuts wedged together and a second wrench) while wrenching the nut loose. If you can't see the slot on the side where the head slides in, first task is to free that up.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,825
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    bolts

    You loosen the nuts, then take a chisel and use a hammer to drive the bolts sideways. I have been doing it for over 55 years and have NEVER had any that did not come out.
  12. ih8caulk

    ih8caulk New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    kaleefoorneeuh
    Welp, that did finally become the case.

    Cleared out either side of flange w/ a dremel saw. Removed some thinset & grout. Tapped delicately 'til they made their way out the sides. (I'd have sworn they'd never come out)

    Used #10 wax ring, reinstalled toilet, moderately tightened nuts and......voila......toilet sealed!!

    Better still was what happened next.............

    Tryin' to hook up water back to toilet tank and proceed to crack the crap-o-flex line. (prolly just old, but regardless, it's done)

    Find out that it can't be just changed from *after* the valve, in fact, the whole valve needs to be swapped out. (are you kidding me? On a 14yr old house?)

    I get the valve off the wall, looks like things are goin' smoothly BUT......

    The nut won't slide off the copper line. It's just straight copper but it's obviously got a retainer in there. (so not ferrule type but a ring or something). Sooooo...I figure before I break something I'll go back to HD and see what advice they have. Run into a different guy who sees my old valve & says, "I'll make this short. Your valve is obsolete. We don't carry that valve but Lowes does. It's simply the fine-thread at the large end you've got there and we ain't got it."

    Got to Lowe's, find another guy......guy gives up.......calls over a 30-something 5'2" 110lb girl who knows EXACTLY what I'm talkin' about, pulls the nuts off both, shows me WHY it fits says I can just re-use the nut I'm stuck with on the wall & tells me to have a good night. That's what I'm talkin' about!!

    Attached a pic of the old-valve and the wrong one from HD.....(no noticeable thread diff)......and a pic of the finished product!!!

    Attached Files:

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