Toilet flange help

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by kplescia, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. kplescia

    kplescia New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I am a new homeowner with very little knowledge of plumbing. We decided to replace the old toilet upstairs for a new and more efficient one. The old one would also leak occasionally when flushed, near where the bowl meets the tank.

    Once we removed the old toilet we saw the flange was old and rusted and has a crack on one side. The flange is some type of metal and goes around the outside of a 4" pipe that is metal as well. I purchased a new Sioux Chief 4" PVC flange that will go inside the pipe. I am not sure if it is recommended to remove the old flange prior to installing the one. I am having difficulty getting it over the lip of the pipe. The lip of the pipe seems bend a little so I am not sure if that is actually the pipe itself, although it runs right to the pipe. There appears to be a small crack on the lip of the pipe as well. Is it recommended to stick with the old flange and get a cover to go over the crack or just replace. Would the inside pvc flange work better, even with a 4" metal pipe?
    I would think this would leave a gap in the floor when previously filled by the outside flange.
    I am attaching pictures.

    Thanks for any help.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    That inner part may be lead. (lead is not attracted to a magnet.

    It looks to me as if the top surface that broken ring is at about floor level. If so, what I think I would do is to put a repair ring around everything. That holds the toilet in place. I would gently press that lead back down as it was when you found it. I would have a wax ring between the toilet and the lead for sealing.

    If you want to replace the stuff that is there, I think you would need to do that mostly from below.

    In the future, avoid using an all PVC or ABS flange. Instead get a flange that has a steel (or better yet stainless) ring for the part that holds the closet bolts in place.

    I am not a plumber.
     
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    New England
    Take a putty knife or something similar and scrape off all of the wax. What you have is cast iron, which can last a very long time. It is designed so that the flange can be attached and supported on edge by the subflooring (although, often, it is strong enough on it's own), and you may need to get creative to put in some washers or other support to anchor a repair ring, but that is probably the easiest thing to do, and should last a long time. A plumber might take the existing flange off and lead in a new one. While using one that fits inside the pipe might work, that old pipe is no longer smooth on the insides, and sealing can be a problem. Some just cut out the cast iron back far enough, and patch in new plastic pipe. Keep in mind that plastic pipe will be noisier...the heavy CI dampens flushing sounds probably better than any other material generally available. It is still considered the premium drain line. Plastic is just much easier to install, lighter to carry, and more the norm today.
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Use the magnet before getting physical.
     
  6. kplescia

    kplescia New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thanks for input.

    There doesn't appear to be much wax left to scrape off. I guess I am not sure the condition of the pipe with its appearance at the top. It curves over and can bend. It also is a above floor level which I am not sure is normal.

    Should I not bother with the PVC flange to go inside the pipe. I purchased this one:
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sioux-Chief-4-in-PVC-DWV-Gasket-Closet-Flange-886-GP/202313119

    Would it be better to put a repair ring all around then?

    It sounds it is better to stick with the metal pipe and metal flange there now.
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Your lead bend can be pushed back into place over the floor flange. We sometimes use a flat metal repair flange over that if it's not holding the closet bolts well.
    If the lead is cracked and leaking, we sometimes go back to the cast iron piping, remove the lead bend and using a seal in the hub, extend out with new plastic piping. Either ABS or PVC.
    Most of the time we can make what you have work.

    https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/replacing-a-lead-closet-bend.38003/

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
  8. kplescia

    kplescia New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Is my pipe all lead and not cast iron? The crack on the flange is on the other side from where the closet bolt goes so it may not be affecting it.
    The pipe itself has one minor crack and opening on the upper portion of the pipe that has bent a bit. I am not sure if this causes any leaks.
    Is it recommended to push the pipe back down to floor level to be flush with the flange and floor? How is this done?
    Should I not use the new 4 inch pvc inside flange I purchased and just get the repair flange? Would sticking with the rusted metal be better than going to PVC?
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    1. Probably only a fairly short way, and then you hit cast iron.
    2. As best as you can.
    3. I would wear gloves and be gentle as you can and still be effective. Maybe something blunt like a softball bat could be covered with plastic and used as a tool to help form the lead. You would use the bat as a push tool. Don't swing the bat.
    4.Yes.
    5. Yes, but you are not sticking with the rusted metal exactly. Leaving the rusted metal in place is a way to not fatigue the lead more. The repair ring is doing the actual securing of the closet bolts, but you will need to align the repair flange over the holes and slots in the rusted metal to let the closet bolts to be placed while leaving the rusted metal in place under the repair flange.

    It seemed possible that the metal could be dirty brass from just looking at the pictures, but you have seen it for real.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    If what you have is a lead bend, then no internal toilet flange is designed to work with it. When it gets old, it can get somewhat brittle, it can bend still, but not s much as when new. Exceed its limits and it will crack.
     
  11. kplescia

    kplescia New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I had a plumber look at it and he recommends not using the pvc flange with the lead pipe, but to remove the old flange and put in a new outside repair flange that goes flush over the tile since the hold is a bit too large. The pipe was bent inward to remove the old flange and will need to be bent back after the new flange is put on. For the crack in the pipe, he recommends a lead pipe "repair collar."

    Estimate is $175 for the new flange installation and repair collar.
    Is this reasonable?

    Is this job something a professional is required for or could I take it on, having no experience.
     
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
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    Yes.
     
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    WOrk hardened lead can become brittle when you try to bend it. You might be able to do this, but then again, even a pro might end up cracking the lead. It's not the easiest thing to repair. Often, assuming you have access from below, you'd cut out the existing lead bend back to the hub and replace it with either a new one, or with PVC (or ABS, if that's what's more common where you live). If things are still ductile, then a new ring can work. In either case, you do not want an all-plastic flange, you want one with at least a SS ring for anchoring it and not rusting out. All-plastic tends to be just too weak and can crack - sometimes during installation, but often later if things get bumped, or from fatigue over time as the tension from the anchor bolts finally cause it to fail.
     
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