Replacing toilet that clogs/leaks from poor installation

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by farmerisland, Mar 6, 2021.

  1. farmerisland

    farmerisland New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2021
    Location:
    Iowa
    Hello all. I have an old main floor toilet that I'm replacing because it has always been a notorious clogger. I've also noticed a little leakage, but minimal. The previous homeowners, or whatever installer, placed the flange slightly below the finished tile. I could stack wax rings, but there's some other reasons I'm going to start fresh anyway. This is an old clogger toilet that has a bad rep online (Kohler circa mid 90's). The other edge of the poor flushing sword is that they used all 3" with a short radius elbow and zero pitch the first 4' of horizontal. According to my level, the first section ever so slightly pitches towards the elbow even!

    My plan is to change the first sections of basement drainage to all 4" with a long sweep elbow for good measure, because I have the room. Or I could do a 4x3 closet bend, but either way I want 4" going up fresh to floor height and use an inside flange. The current flange is glued over top 3" pipe spaced down, barely held together really. Nasty buildup around lip edge of the PVC, plus I'm sure that setup didn't help my flush smoothness either.

    But here's my main question... What do I do to get my new flange up above the tile when they've already cut it out so wide to accommodate a flange lower? I couldn't find any extra wide flanges to support on top of the tile. Are there spacers that go underneath the flange, stacked on subfloor? I couldn't find anything like that and anybody I asked at my local store just pointed me to their extension kits and spacers that go on top of existing flanges. I know those aren't popular here, even with silicone. Like I said, I have to redo the PVC below to get pitch, so I'm ready to start fresh with a flange setup too, as long as it's supported underneath. I explained what I was wanting and the store guy handed me some plastic wobble wedges.....
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Are you saying that the PVC flange will flex up enough, and all you need is something to hold the plastic ring up?

    What is below there? Concrete?

    One idea is to put a repair flange with ears above the PVC, and pull up the PVC to the steel repair flange with some kind of screw.

    Superior Model # 21015 repair ring has mounting tabs outside.
    PASCO 21013 is similar in red
    Jones Stephens C85000 is similar in blue.

    Color does not matter... just different brands.
     
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  4. farmerisland

    farmerisland New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2021
    Location:
    Iowa
    Thanks for the quick reply. It's just old wood subfloor with bathroom ceramic tile over top. This is on the house main floor, so from basement I can look up for easy wood access.

    And no, I actually wasn't planning on forcing the flange to flex up. Because there's multiple issues with the original install, including zero drainage pitch down below right after the elbow, I'm going to redo a bunch of the PVC piping anyway, so I figured might as well get the stack up flush with the finished floor and do it proper. But then if I glue the flange as described, I wouldn't be supporting it on top of the tile. The tile is cut out to wide. Are there spacers to go under the brand new flange, or am I overthinking this? I know I can double stack wax, but if I'm starting fresh, there's gotta be something more idea?
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
    Tuttles Revenge likes this.
  6. farmerisland

    farmerisland New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2021
    Location:
    Iowa
    Thanks again, I appreciate it. The spacers sold at my stores were all too small, inner diameter, to fit underneath. They were only designed for on top usage. I did find the black thick spacer you pictured online, plus a couple other options on Amazon though. If possible I'd like to finish the job today though. Would this attached photo of a thin SS stacker work underneath, like 2-3 of them?

    And is there any reason for me to use the more common 4x3 closet bend underneath... instead of a 4x4 long sweep, reducing to 3" later along the horizontal?
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    If you stacked those, I think I would put the bottom one upside down. But if 3 of those will give you enough height to bring the flange bottom up to floor-surface level, that is an easy amount to make up with more wax. For doing it today, that is the good route. Just have your shims in place before dropping the toilet on the wax, because you don't want to de-compress wax.

    You could also cut your own spacer with plywood, or maybe cut out the inside hole in the plastic extenders, that are locally available. I think a jigsaw or scroll saw (better) would be the tools of choice.
     
  8. Treeman

    Treeman Active Member

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    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Michigan
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington


    I've never had a problem with using a thick ring, or two rings stacked.
    A medium 90 also has never been an issue. You have a 2" trapway dropping into a 3" line. That's not the problem.

    If you want to raise the flange, they make some that insert from the top.
    If you want to replace and raise it higher, they make spacers to place under the flange.
     
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