Re: closet flange removal
Posted by Anna Log on March 09, 2003 at 23:58:27:
In response to Re: closet flange removal
: I am retiling my bathroom floor and need to replace the subfloor to accomodate the new tile.
: I removed the toilet and want to start replacing the plywood subfloor, however I'm not sure how to remove the toilet flange so that I can lay the new plywood properly and get a nice tight fit around the drain. The drain pipe appears to be 3" copper Type L (the flange ring also looks to be copper). If this is similar to working with smaller copper supply pipe (which I have experience with), I was thinking I could heat up the "bend" fitting below the subfloor and just pull out the flange once the solder melts. Then I could "resweat" the joint when I want to put the flange back after I'm done. However, I've never worked with pipe this thick and didn't know if I was biting off more than I could chew. Does this sound like a good plan? Thanks for any help.

"Unsweating" existing copper fittings is easily done with a blowtorch, but your larger piping will require a lot of torching, which may start a fire if wood or other combustible material is close to the pipe. "Resweating" a joint is not so easy. You need to remove as much as the old solder as you can when it is still hot. I use a damp rag and a heat-resistant glove to wipe the pipe and fittings just after they have been torched to the point that the solder melts. Any remaining solder residue after the piping cools must be completely removed, usually with a file. It is usually easier to replace the old fitting with a new one if it is available.

I don't know your exact situation, but if the flange is suitable for reuse and is in the proper location, it may be easier to cut the new subflooring to fit around the closet bend and flange unit. You will need to add supporting members (to match size of existing joists) under the joints between the subflooring sheets to provide support and a nailing surface at the edges of the plywood.

Anna Log

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