Toilet flange did not insert- HELP!

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by annexit, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. annexit

    annexit New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    FIRST, I try whatever I can to do it myself, and have placed a flange before, but am not experienced. I had (to me) a huge job in a 100 yo house I am working on with a second floor toilet leak. Long story short, floor had buckled (carpeting from previous owner concealed the water and the buckling) and someone had torn through the top of the lead closet bend years ago (there was plaster in the bend, so who knows how long the tear was there. Major overall needed. Well, after reading multiple posts from your site (oh,thank you!) I decided to make a toilet platform - subfloor, backer board and tile and leave the rest of the room with it's beautiful wood floor (it is 8 x 16'). I began by cutting out the floor, cutting off the lead closet bend, getting help removing oakum and lead (1 hour with a torch) getting help inserting the donut into the cast iron, replacing section of floor and tiling, the darned flange would not insert all the way into the pvc closet bend (the plumbing guys ASSURED me it would fit - it was suppsed to be that tight) it went in about 3/4" and stuck - and would NOT go in and I was too late trying to pull it out. Things had gone soooo smoothly until then. I cut off the flange flush with the closet bend, but now I am in a pickle. I think there is still enough left on the bend to hold the flange but I have no idea how to cut it. I am not terribly strong so I get help when I need strength. I just hope to goodness I don't have to take up the floor. Any ideas? The pvc pipe from the cast iron bell to the bend is only 7" so in any scenario I have very little room below the floor. Thanks in advance

    Annexit
     
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    You need to use the pvc cleaner/primer and cement on both pieces - the inside of the flange and the outside of the pipe (assuming you aren't using an internal fit flange). If you do, the combination of the primer and the cement will actually melt the plastic and allow them to be fully seated. Once the solvent evaporates, it is welded together. The inside of the flange hub is tapered slightly and won't easily fit over the pipe until part of it is melted with the primer/cement. While you can normally apply then insert without delay, if the cans of primer/cement are getting old, they may not have as much solvent in them, and may not work very well.

    While ideally, you insert the flange all the way to the stop, it should still seal if you can get most of the way in. If you no longer have enough length, you may need to replace the piece below it and start over.
     
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  4. annexit

    annexit New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    Thanks, Joe for your reply - yes I did clean and apply cement to both sides - I actually tried twice - and purchased a new flange and cement to start fresh. I don't know if the issue was my strength - I have glued a moderate amount of pvc pipe in different settings - to construct run off drains in my garden and various pipes for venting a furnace, as well as the other fittings for plumbing and in this bathroom. For some reason the flange/closet bend fittings seemed uncharacteristically tight - but I was reassured by the plumbing supply place where I purchased the fittings that this was normal. After my initial attempt was not successful, I did compare several at other places - Lowes and a local hardware - and one does appear a fraction smaller - but I only located this after the last one got stuck. Someone suggested grinding or sanding the flange before insertion, when I said the pre-cement fit seemed too tight (could barely insert the flange into the bend) but I could not see how to assure grinding was even and that the abrasive surface would not impede insertion. Now the challenge is to cut the flange and top of the bend off level. I can't get my saber saw in there but I have a dremel type craftmen tool and a regular drill - any idea if there is a way to cut inside the pipe with any adapters? Whew - I do want to get this done!

    Thanks
     
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    They make an inside pipe cutter...long shaft with sort of a small circular saw on the end. The glued joint is the weakest, and with some finnese, you can sometimes cut the outside with a hack saw in several places around the joint and peel off the fitting in pieces.

    Sometimes it helps to twist the fitting as you insert them...this also helps to distribute the cement more evenly. Keep in mind that because of the taper, and more so the bigger the fitting, it can tend to push itself back apart if you don't hold it until much of the solvent evaporates. If you wait too long before trying to mate them, it is already evaporating, and thus hardening up, so it is a dance between too fast and too slow. Maybe you need to be a little more liberal with the cement. Normally, once applied, you can insert things immediately.
     
  6. annexit

    annexit New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    Thanks, I'll give that inside pipe cutter a try. I've been a bit gloomy about it as this was to be one of the EASIER parts of the project.

    Annexit
     
  7. hj

    hj Master Plumber

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

    Since it was a new riser pipe, WHY did the plumber and you, use an inside the pipe flange? That is usually the last resort after an outside slip over the pipe one fails.
     
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    Yakima, WA
    You can not dry fit PVC or ABS, the fit is too tight. If you manage to drive the fitting on, it will be virtually impossible to remove. You just have to measure carefully. In real life, cutting the pipe as much as 1/4" short is better than 1/8" long. Don't that this to an extreme, but if the pipe doesn't 100% bottom out perfectly on the fitting, it will still have plenty of surface for a good joint if it is close. When assembling larger sized fitting, such as 4" or 6", you really have to work quickly as the solvent weld setups fast.
     
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