Our toilet was mounted 2 inches offcenter of drain pipe -- now what?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by sombrerocat, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. sombrerocat

    sombrerocat New Member

    Nov 19, 2011
    It's ugly -- and now we're going to be without a fully functioning bathroom even longer. Need advice.

    Ugh -- it all started out with re-doing the flooring in our bathroom. We changed out our sink -- no problem. Got to the toilet -- MAJOR SNAFU. We pulled our toilet up -- and found a waxy seal mess, bent to "compensate" for the fact that the toilet and drain pipe don't line up. The toilet has a reverse trap, and is held down to the floor by 4 screws. Some of the tile behind the toilet was removed to cram it up against the wall.

    The drain pipe -- I could find no discernible flange -- and could see the edge of the cast iron pipe. The hardwood floor around the toilet is -- you guessed it -- rotten. I'm dreading finding out what's beneath -- the subfloor consists of 1x6 planks placed diagonally across the joists.

    The original idea was to pull up the hardwood flooring, lay down 1/2" thick plywood, 1/4" backerboard, and then the tile. But now we're stuck with the drain pipe in the wrong position for the toilet -- and need to resolve this issue before moving forward. I measured the wall to center of drain pipe which is about 9-1/2".

    Fortunately we have a half bath in addition to this main bath we were renovating the floor.
  2. sombrerocat

    sombrerocat New Member

    Nov 19, 2011
    Okay -- it's worse.

    The cast iron pipe appears to be BELOW the floor surface, and some soft black material (lead or copper?) was used to create a flange to angle the waste water into the drain pipe. The material was missing from one edge. The 1 x 6 planks near the pipe are rotten -- it's very easy to dig into them with a screw driver. Bugs really love this rotten wood, too. Now I know why we have old house bore beetles (yep -- that's something else that needs to be done -- spraying for them -- we had to rip down some drywall on the basement ceiling to arrange for the bug man to come by and spray with boric acid). These bugs love that moisture.

    With the toilet mounted this badly, I'm guessing the toilet would have started sagging INTO the floor, and crashing through the floor after a few more years. The hardwood flooring around the pipe turned to mulch when pulling up. A foot or two out, the wood is more normal.

    I want to shoot who ever did the plumbing in our house! (A couple years ago we found the upstairs toilet was missing a wax seal, and was gerry rigged -- it started leaking into the downstairs bathroom). The toilets aren't the only thing -- the pipe leaving the hot water heater is too small -- it should have been larger leading up the the point where it branches.
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  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Jan 5, 2008
    Test, Don't Guess!
    Land of Cheese
    Any wood that is soft or punky needs to be cut out and replaced. Normally one can sister up and box in the joists below as needed for backing for the section of replacement floor. Plywood can be purchased in several different thicknesses to allow you to build the floor up the correct height to match the surrounding floor.

    Once you have cut out any suspect area of the floor would be the proper time to replace the closet elbow so that the rough-in is 12" from the finished wall. Then finish the floor and set a new closet flange on top of the finished floor.

  5. mtcummins

    mtcummins In the Trades

    Jun 25, 2010
    General Contractor/Property Manager
    Pittsburgh PA
    i would agree that you should really cut this CI pipe out and replumb it properly.

    if the CI pipe is in good condition, just misaligned, you have a few options. They make 10" offset toilets (rather than standard 12"), which in reality will usually fit ok with 9 1/2", they leave a little extra room behind the tank these days. They also make a flange that uses a compression ring that fits down inside the CI pipe and expands to create a tight seal. Sorry, I'm not a master plumber, but at general contractor, so I don't know what this thing is called. Hopefully a more qualified plumber will chime in here and help you more than I can. I know they make standard flanges in an offest model, you might be able to get this type of flange with an offset to help bring it out from the wall a bit further as well. I'm not sure about that one though, i've never seen one of those.

    Generally speaking, though, if you're going to all the work to repair the subfloor already, you should probably do the above and cut out the CI and redo it with PVC or ABS in the right location.
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