Toilet Flange Newbie: Lead Sleeve w Brass or ABS?

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JanSolo

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Hello, wise plumbing elders!

I'm remodelling my bathroom and I'm redoing down to the subfloor! It's my first time plumbing a toilet, so I've lots to learn; hopefully you can set me on the right path!

On pulling out my old toilet, I noticed that it had a brass flange with a lead sleeve that was hammered over the flange and the wax seal was on top of that. I had to straighten it out to get the brass flange off, so it's a bit bruised, but potentially salvageable. The lead sleeve goes straight into vertical cast iron pipe that leads to the sewer. (This is called hub pipe, yes?)

So I think my options are:

A: Try to keep the existing lead sleeve, reuse the brass flange and reinstall it all after refinishing the floor. There's maybe 2 or 3 inches of lead still protruding above the subfloor; I'd probably have at least an inch or so available after the floor is finished. I might have cracked it a bit though when I straightened it.

B: Take out the lead sleeve from the hub pipe, install a donut or bushing (curious; what's the difference?), a short ABS riser and ABS flange. I feel like this is the 'cleaner' way to go. I'm familiar with ABS cementing; it doesn't scare me, unlike all this messing about with lead.

So here are my questions:

1. I'm leaning towards option B; am I nuts? Should I stick to A? Maybe there's an option C I'm not aware of? Help me, wise plumbing elders!

2. How is the lead sleeve attached to the cast iron pipe? Is this one of those lead + oakum fittings that I've heard about? Can I just drill it out?

3. In the picture, it looks like the lead sleeve goes into some kind of fitting on the cast iron hub. What is this? Presumably, I'll need to get it out before I can install a donut, no?


Thanks again, O wise plumbers!

Jan.
 
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JanSolo

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F077152B-8F4D-4E4B-955C-6842488E9963.jpeg
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Here are some pictures to help you see whats going on...
 
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Terry

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I would remove the lead and the ferrule and build it back up using a donut made for that size and new pipe. Either ABS or PVC.
It looks like you could get by with just doing the vertical into the cast iron hub.
 

JanSolo

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Hi Terry,

Thanks for replying. Excuse my ignorance, but which bit in my picture is the 'ferrule'?

Cheers!
 

JanSolo

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Here you go:

759CA280-E515-461B-9A48-B7C102AF9421.jpeg


In this one I'm pointing at what I think is the 'Ferrule' that Terry mentioned. Correct?
7C07226A-9846-40EB-A6A4-5E5F1774B342.jpeg


I was scraping around a bit and there's a ring of soft material around it... it almost looks like rotted granulated wood. Is this what's holding it in?
091DCBF3-8224-4F3E-8D42-CE06F8051769.jpeg
 

Reach4

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I was scraping around a bit and there's a ring of soft material around it... it almost looks like rotted granulated wood. Is this what's holding it in?
I think so. Could it be lead wool? It could be oakum, but that is not normally in the top layer.
 

JanSolo

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I think so. Could it be lead wool? It could be oakum, but that is not normally in the top layer.

I'll have a little dig around in there and report back :)

Edit:

I scraped off all the soft ‘wood’ and sure enough, its lead underneath!
Whats the plan for getting this out? Drill? Torch?
C52C7790-332F-41AC-A50D-08D35C18E58A.jpeg
 
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Reach4

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Drill and pry. Find posts to that effect. I would put drill lead donut into a search
 

JanSolo

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O wise plumbing elders; progress has occurred!

Behold:
46654041-7865-4E7F-8945-009F2A9D4F06.jpeg

I used a 1/4 drill to make a bunch of holes and then levered the lead out with a screwdriver.

1269FF7E-D18C-4A63-9127-BA3B81D3B026.jpeg

Once it started coming. it was relatively fast.

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I scraped out a bunch of the oakum; it had congealed to the consistency of Play-Doh.

FA238F3B-FEE3-4D77-937F-736D13131DDD.jpeg

After cleaning out the hub and hitting it with a wire-wheel.

The whole thing took less than 30mins; I'm quite pleased with the result so far.
 
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Jadnashua

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While the ID of a donut for plastic pipe is standard, the ID of your hub is not, so you need to measure carefully so you get the right size. Too big, you'll maybe never get the abs in the inner hole. Too loose, it will leak. It usually makes it easier to insert the pipe if you put some liquid dish soap on it. It can take a good press, maybe a board and a mallet. It doesn't hurt to run around the end of the pipe with a piece of sandpaper to take the sharp edge off. Only need a very small amount, if at all.
 

JanSolo

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While the ID of a donut for plastic pipe is standard, the ID of your hub is not, so you need to measure carefully so you get the right size.

So I measured the ID of the cast iron fitting and it's exactly 5 inches... I noticed that the donuts all have a size A x B; I'm assuming that A is OD of the donut and B is the ID, correct? So assuming that I want a 4inch ABS pipe coming out, I need a 5x4 donut, yes?

Thinking it would be easy to find a donut, I ran off to Home Derpot. Big Mistake!
The Canuckistanian gods have smited me yet again! Turns out that Home Derpot (Canadian edition) does not stock rubber donuts of any variety. Nor does Canadian Tire. Nor does Reno Depot. Or Rona. Or Patrick Morin. Or any of the other bigbox reno stores. :(
You can buy a solid ABS step-down bushing; but that's not going to seal against my cast-iron hub, is it?

Anyone have any ideas for how I can acquire a donut up here? And don't say Krispy Kreme!

Thanks.
 

Jadnashua

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For all I know, it may be that Canada does not allow that fitting...I think the donuts are available in about 1/16" increments. The internal diameter will be designed for the plastic pipe, which on 4" would be 4.5" OD, so your donut won't be very big OD. I suggest calling them to verify what size you need and to find out where to buy the right one. 810-503-9000
 

JanSolo

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Hello, wise plumbing masters! More progress to report.
I managed to chase down a donut bushing at a local supplier. (Future readers from Quebec: search for Nelco in Montreal; they have many sizes in stock)

ABE871D5-6E5D-44C8-B104-464C95E95758.jpeg


Getting the donut into the hole was easy enough.
C77BFA5F-B181-4233-AFCC-A8404ADC4FAC.jpeg


I was warned that getting the pipe in might be rather tough and they were not kidding. I came up with this contraption to help twist and jiggle the pipe into the donut.
4B715CA9-3BF0-43F9-B0F7-CCA35D8689E6.jpeg


After about 30 mins of jiggling and twisting, I got it in about 2 inches! (Hello ladies!)
Anyone know what the correct depth should be?
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Terry

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Funny, I have always put the donut in the hub, taken a knife and beveled the end of the pipe, found some liquid soap in the house and smeared it on the inside of the donut and the outside of the pipe I'm installing, and using a 2x4 on the end of the pipe tap it in with a hammer. Gently.

Hey, whatever works.
 

Terry H

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The lead is poured and don’t venture to pour lead this early in your plumbing career or it might be your last. Honestly I’ll lay out the options:

1) cut pipe back where you can then use pvc and a pvc flange connecting the two with a fernco or no hub band whichever you prefer

2) use a push in flange that have little rubber gaskets to sill the connection. Then screw to the floor.

3) they make a twist-n-set flange that work pretty good same concept as above essentially.

4) run cast iron and have someone lead you a flange.

number 1 is my go to route. I pour lead very little but they are super sturdy to sit a toilet on but if you screw your flange off the the floor it won’t go anywhere and I’m sure pvc would be more comfortable and you’ll have the tools for pvc but you probably don’t for cast.
 
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