4 Bolt Toilet

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by JB412, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. JB412

    JB412 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    In an old house I'm remodeling, I came across something I've never seen before. The toilet I need to replace in the basement has 4 bolts holding it down (see attached pic). Is it possible to replace this with a 2 bolt toilet? I'm afraid to remove this thing if what I'm going to see underneath is different than a standard round flange. Has anybody dealt with one of these before?
    Thanks.
    JB
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    Yakima, WA
    This came up sometime ago. As I recall, the front bolts are not involved with the flange and the rear bolts are standard flange spacing. You should be good.
     
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    The front bolts may need to be sawn off after you get the toilet up, but the thing normally has a standard flange under the back two. Measure from those to the wall, and if it is 12", you should be good for a standard toilet. That measurement is to the finished wall, not the baseboard, if it's there.
     
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    toilet

    They were still making "4 bolt toilets" in the 50's and 60's. I just put a stove bolt through the hole so the cap had something to hook to, and used the standard mounting in the rear. I never wasted the time trying to drill for front holes and then screw in "closet screws" to fasten the toilet in place.
     
  6. asktom

    asktom Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    Toilets using bolts in the rear holes and closet screws in the front date back to the days when lead closet bends with brass rings were common. If that is what you find when you yank the can, use closet screws in the front. The screws hold the toilet to the floor, the bolts seal the toilet to the ring. Without them, when you lean over to grab some paper it will put pressure on the wiped joint where the ring is attached and you stand a chance of ripping it loose. (Ever notice broken closet bolts are almost always on the side opposite the TP?)
     
  7. JB412

    JB412 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    OK, in removing the old toilet, the 4 threaded studs simply broke off. In lifting the toilet, I discover that there is no flange. Instead, there is a terra cotta elbow that is cut off flush with the floor. The old toilet had a flange on the bottom that extended about 1/2 - 1 inch beneath the bottom that slipped into the terra cotta pipe and a ton of what appears to have been plumbers putty for the seal.
    The flapper mechanism in the tank was cast into the tank and that is the piece that broke originally which led me down the replacement path. I just happened to have another old toilet (2 bolt) that I was hoping to simply swap it out with. It seems that my options now are to 1)drill 2 holes in the floor and use anchor plugs to tighten down the replacement toilet with maybe a couple of wax rings and hope for a seal, or 2) forget about the basement toilet and somehow plug/cement the terra cotta pipe. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated. I have no idea how to plug/cement over the drain.

    JB
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    Yakima, WA
    Any kind of homemade repair will be just that. I would not trust it for a minute. You are going to a great deal of work and expense to renovate this bathroom, my advise is to bite the bullet and hire a plumber to install a modern flange. That will end the problem forever. Remember, the flange is supposed to set on top of the finish floor and be screwed through into the sub floor.
     
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    flange

    There is NO way to put any kind of "proper" flange on that pipe. There should already be "holes" in the floor where the previous rear screws were attached. Just drill them remnants out, redrill for "lead anchors, or AJ's" and reattach the new toilet with brass screws, or brass threaded rod and nuts.
     
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    There'd be no easy way to seal the toilet to the drain pipe. If the main line ever backed up, it would leak.

    I'd bite the bullet and see if you could replace some of that drain with the modern equivalent along with a proper flange.

    You could try wax. It doesn't look like a waxless seal would be able to get proper seal, but if you are lucky, it might. Those have a funnel and use a big soft o-ring to seal to the drain pipe. they are made for pvc, abs, or cast iron...you may not have enough vertical depth for it to seal.
     
  11. JB412

    JB412 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Based on popular opinion, it seems like best choice would be to forget about a toilet here and plug the drain hole. There are 2 other toilets in the house and this is a rental, so I'm not keen on spending a lot of time or money on fixing the basement one, however tempting it is to take HJ's advice and try the lead anchors. Does anyone have any advice for forgetting the toilet and plugging the drain hole? I plugged a floor drain in my home by forcing an aluminum can down far enough to not drop into the main drain, and cementing over it which has caused no problems in over 20 years, but I'm not sure what to do in this case with the elbow. Any suggestions?
     
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    toilet

    WHY eliminate the toilet. The bolts into the concrete were the common method in the early days. Even on wood floors with lead bends the toilets were often screwed to the wood floor without a flange. Wax seals do not CARE what they are pressing against. They work as good with concrete as they do with metal or plastic. I have even done it in some modern installations when the concrete finishers decided my wrapping was in the way and poured the colored concrete right against the pipe
     
  13. JB412

    JB412 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    OK HJ, I will give it a shot setting the toilet with bolts into the concrete floor. I'm familiar with lead anchors, but what are AJ's?

    Thanks for all the responses.
    JB
     
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    AJ's

    AJ's are "Ackerman Johnson" anchors. They have a brass barrel with a lead shield around the outside. You drill the proper sized hole, drop the AJ into it (they have a top and bottom side), use a "setting tool" to expand them against the concrete and then screw a bolt into them.
     
Similar Threads: Bolt Toilet
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Toilet Seat Bolt Apr 6, 2020
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Help Please! Broken toilet flange bolt! Wife is mad! Jul 28, 2019
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Toilet Floor Bolts for Floor Mount, Rear Outlet? May 7, 2018
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Rusting tank bolts on toilet Aug 30, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice what are these called? 1958 amer std toilet hold down bolt caps May 28, 2014

Share This Page