View Full Version : Yet another closet flange question

03-25-2012, 01:08 PM
During a bathroom renovation, I had to replace a section of subfloor, and the closet flange (ABS) which had been incorrectly installed (it "leaned" forward"). This probably explains why the toilet (it was an old toilet, not a high efficiency toilet) never flushed well.

The flange sat on a standard 3" closet bend with a male end (see pic). I had read on a plumbing site somewhere that if you are careful, you can cut and chip off the old closet flange, and actually re-use the closet bend. I have enclosed 2 pics and as you can see, and I think I was able to do that with some success (I'm really, really hoping no damage was done to the main stack).

I have 2 questions

1) I know that some plumbers have misgivings about it, but is it possible to reuse the closet bend ending and simply reglue a new flange onto it?

2) From the bottom of where the old flange had seated to the top of the plywood sub-floor is 2.5" (see pic). Add another 1/2" for the hardiebacker and another 1/4" for the mortar, and I get about 3 1/4" for the new closet flange end to travel to fit over the closet bend. Are closet flanges made with different length ends so I can install one that will reach perfectly down to the bend for a full seating?

Thanks ahead of time.


03-25-2012, 03:14 PM
If it came off that easily it wasn't properly solvent welded in the first place.

03-25-2012, 03:34 PM
If it came off that easily it wasn't properly solvent welded in the first place.

Thanks for your answer, but I have to point out, it WASN'T that easy. It took a deft touch with a hacksaw and screwdriver with a bit of work with a hammer. Took about 30 minutes of work.

Regardless, I appreciate your response, but it doesn't answer of my questions.

Gary Swart
03-25-2012, 03:47 PM
This won't answer the question exactly either, but are you aware that that flange is supposed to set on top of the finished floor? If I follow your description of the measurements, your flange will be recessed below the tile. That would be very wrong.

03-25-2012, 04:52 PM
We cannot see how much room you have between the bend and the stack. My preference would be to cut the arm off and couple in a new 4x3 bend, which would then allow for a short piece of 4" pipe to bring you up to the finished floor level.

You want to finish the floor first, and then set the new flange on top of it.

03-25-2012, 06:09 PM
Also, keep in mind that unless you want a thicker floor, there's no reason to use 1/2" cbu on the floor. The cbu should not be considered a structural member, and thicker doesn't help, costs more, harder to carry, install, and cut. Personally, I'd use something like Ditra, but if you need extra thickness, cbu can do it.

Hackney plumbing
03-25-2012, 07:46 PM
4" closet bends sure make things easy. Take note people.

03-26-2012, 08:53 AM
Gary, yes, you're right about me not counting the tile. It was an oversight, and I did mean to factor it in to my calculation...but it also reinforces my question. Now, I've got another 3/8" (total = 3 5/8" rise) to add to the vertical rise between the spigot end of the closet bend and the bottom of the closet flange.

cacher_chick's solution would take care of that, but wouldn't it add multiple more connections (and potential failure points?). BTW, there is no shortage of pipe between the bend and the stack...The part you see is the beginning of a lengthy downward traverse of the house to the city sewage connection.

So to summarise, this is the final recommended solution, starting from the stack side. 3" waste pipe -> 3" coupling (like this one (http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/Coupling-1WJD8)) -> small section of 3" waste pipe -> 4" x 3" bend (like this one (http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/Reducing-Closet-Bend-1WJH4)), -> small section of 4" waste pipe pipe (do I really have to buy a $43 10 ft. section (http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/MUELLER-INDUSTRIES-Pipe-2DGG3) of this?) to... a flush fit 4" flange (is this what it is called?). Any recommendations for the flange? I'd like a sturdy one, stainless steel ring...like the ones found here (http://www.*******************/toiletflanges.html).

Gary Swart
03-26-2012, 11:19 AM
A properly solvent welded ABS joint will not leak or otherwise fail. I don't know where you are shopping for ABS pipe, but $43 per 10' joint is way out of line. If it was me, I'd check with some plumbing companies and see if I could get a scrap piece from them. Most likely they would give it to you, but even if they charged for it, it wouldn't be much.

03-26-2012, 11:28 AM
The big box stores where I live will cut a section of pipe for you...price/foot is higher than if you bought the whole thing, but if you only need a short piece, it's less, and easier to carry home, too!

03-26-2012, 04:36 PM
I don't know where you are shopping for ABS pipe, but $43 per 10' joint is way out of line.

The quotes I had pasted came straight from Grainger. Not sure if you've got them where you live, but here, one can find most things at Grainger. The problem for them is in the shipping. No one out here stocks ABS stuff any more. Even 1 plumber I contacted to fix this said he would have a hard time coming up with ABS fittings. Crazy.

I like your idea of contacting plumbing houses, but was afraid they would think it ballsy of me to ask them for some pipe while I am keeping service business from them. I'll give it a shot.

03-26-2012, 05:13 PM
In Lynchburg, Lowes stocks both ABS and PVC fittings and pipe. HD only has PVC. If you are in a bind, I could probably pickup what you need and send to you. If you have a Lowes around there, you may want to take a look (if you haven't). If you were dealing with PVC, I have some 3" and 4" stuff that I would give you.

03-26-2012, 05:28 PM
I would be more inclined to pick up a new ABS 4x3 spigot closet bend. There is quite a bit of length on them. You can cut it down to size and then glue a hub 4" closet flange over it.
Of course, like anything plumbing, you have several ways to do this depending on the materials on hand. There may even be a 4x3 hub closet flange that will work over the 3" that you have there.

03-26-2012, 08:46 PM
Thanks Terry! I didn't know you could cut down a spigot closet bend.

How far does a hub closet flange have to seat into the spigot to be considered a valid connection?

My original question had also asked whether I could get a good connection by re-using the old spigot. Your answer indicates that would be doable. Why don't closet flange and bend manufacturers list, as part of the specs, the length of the hub, or spigot?

03-26-2012, 09:01 PM
If all you have is pvc, cut enough back, use a no-hub connector, and build the rest with pvc...the transition cements should be avoided, but a no-hub is fine and meets code.

03-27-2012, 11:53 AM
Well, I thought about and researched this (as well as my Shower P trap) so much that I burned myself out. I've got so much other stuff to worry about that I'm going to let a pro do this.

His suggestion on both putting in a new Shower P-trap and the closet bend/flange fittings is to use a Fernco coupling on both, and then do the remaining work in PVC. I'm a bit worried about having a non-solvent-welded connection under the floor(the bathroom sits above the kitchen) in both of these, but I'm assuming he knows what he is doing.

I hope he is going PVC because he thinks that is the best solution. ABS fittings are readily available online, though he doesn't seem to know or want to go in that direction.

Thanks everyone for your help.

03-27-2012, 05:01 PM
I can't say I blame him really, I wouldn't want to add complexity to a simple job.

PVC vs. ABS it really only has to do with what the supplier stocks.

03-27-2012, 05:16 PM
Fernco is a brand name like Kleenex (they make lots of things, many of which aren't proper for this task)...make sure the connection is a banded no-hub connector and it should be fine, last a long time, and not give problems.

03-27-2012, 06:17 PM
Fernco is a brand name like Kleenex (they make lots of things, many of which aren't proper for this task)...make sure the connection is a banded no-hub connector and it should be fine, last a long time, and not give problems.

This is key, above grade.

Gary Swart
03-27-2012, 10:36 PM
Many folks use Fernco to refer to the neoprene sleeve that uses just 2 hose clamps. These are fine for underground connections because the soil will hold the pipes from shifting. Above grade requires the banded no-hub coupler which has a compression band over the entire coupler. As noted, Fernco is a brand name and is not an individual product.