View Full Version : Old Toilet Flange

01-04-2006, 09:57 AM
While remodeling my bathroom I broke the tank of the toilet that was originally installed when my house was built in 1967. After removing the old toilet there are 2 things that concern me. First, the bathroom floor was tiled around the toilet. I plan to complete the job and add tiles around the flange. Will the extra height (about 1/4") cause any seating problems with the flange? Second, my house was built on a concrete slab foundation. The flange doesn't look like anything I've seen. It seems to be cast iron. There is no slot to install new bolts. Instead the existing brass bolts look like they slip into a notch on either side of the flange. If I am forced to use the existing bolts, I am afraid they may be too short since I intend to mount the toilet on top of tiles. What are my options?

01-04-2006, 10:40 AM
1/4" won't hurt you.

You can always slice half of a second wax ring to make your setting seal thicker or just set the wax ring on the flange and squeeze it to make it taller.

Regular 5/16 closet bolts will work..You can also buy longer closet bolts. Those in the picture look like they have been cut off with a hack saw. Those really are brass bolts and not look alikes, like we use today.

I have seen that flange before..If you have to, that flange can be replaced with another cast iron flange.

01-04-2006, 06:47 PM
Thanks for the comments. Do you think I could remove the old bolts by hitting the base of the bolt with a chisel and hammer? If so, it seems I should be left with a notch in the flange where I could slip in new closet bolts. Should I worry about breaking the flange?

01-04-2006, 07:30 PM
Tap them sideways with a hammer and they should loosen up and come out.

01-04-2006, 07:38 PM
The more I look at that picture, I don't like the look of those bolts.

I would get a pair of new bolts and match them up with that flange to make sure that they will seat in those slots.

If it's not too late you might want to reconsider and take the old flange out and redo the floor and then lead on a new cast iron flange.

Bob NH
01-04-2006, 07:40 PM
I would worry about breaking the flange because if you do, it is probably a "call the plumber" job to replace it.

If I were using a hammer and chisel it would be a small hammer and chisel and I would tap it. Before you do it, you might see if a standard closet bolt will catch in the slot if you are successful.

If the bolts are too short, there is probably space (check the bottom of the toilet first) to extend the bolts as follows:
1. Cut the bolts off to about 5/16 high
2. Screw on a coupling nut, available at HD (cut to about 5/8" long if necessary to clear the bottom of the toilet).
3. Cut a piece of brass threaded rod or a closet bolt to extend the bolts to the required length.

01-30-2006, 01:46 PM
If it's not too late you might want to reconsider and take the old flange out and redo the floor and then lead on a new cast iron flange.

I'm facing a similar situation with my toilet flange, which looks like the one in this thread. I'm redoing the floor and have the opportunity to change the flange if I want to. Perhaps I'm unfamiliar with cast iron, but what does "lead on" mean? Is it similar to sweating for copper?

Thanks for the clarification,


01-30-2006, 02:12 PM
It means to slide a new cast iron flange over the old cast iron pipe that is coming through the floor.

To lead it on means to pack the space between the inside of the flange and the outside of the 4" pipe with tared hemp or as its called "oakum".
Pack the oakum down and leave about an inch or just a little less, and then pour in molten lead to fill that space and when cool pack or "cork" that lead in with a corking iron. That's the best kind of connection.

Guess I'm too stubborn, but I don't like to get pvc into this mix....

02-02-2006, 11:42 PM
i have a big problem.... i am doing a tile job in 2 bathrooms and when i removed the toilet, the medal ring was all rotted.... well when i went to remove it with the flange(which should have came out of the pipe coming up through the drain) well,,, it didn't ... someone had abs glued the flange to the drain pipe... and it's concrete floors.... so we tried to cut the top of the flange to see where the abs pipes joined and we made a big mess.... Is there a way to fix the drain coming up through the floor? because I am going to have to cut it straight across to get a clean cut. i'm hoping that they have some kind of coupler to extend another opening for a new flange to fit on the drain.... i sure hope you can understand what i'm trying to say.... or do you need pictures? lol.... :)

Gary Swart
02-03-2006, 12:07 AM
A flange doesn't just slide on to the drain pipe and set there. If it is an ABS or PVC drain and flange, they are "glued". I would suggest you call a plumber to properly remove and replace the flange. Plumber often have ways to deal with such problems that we DIYers either don't know about or have the proper tools to do the job right, and this is a job that you certainly want done right the first time.

02-03-2006, 12:17 AM
I am one of those hard headed ladies that hates to be told that i cant do something... lol.... my moto is where there's a will ... there's a way..... anyhow, my next question would be..... I put the toilet back in the other bathroom after i layed the tile... but the toilet won't fasten down right.... i tried using those new nowax rings.. but can't seem to get the toilet down tight... is this because i should have installed the new medal piece and flange on top of the tile????

02-03-2006, 04:39 AM
What do you mean. Can you be more specific. It sounds like the flange is not fastened to the floor? Is the toilet rocking?

02-03-2006, 05:17 AM
That flange is not damaged that we can see in the picture. The bolts will slide sideways to come out. The new bolts will slide in the same way. If you had had long slots for the bolts those are the flanges that break and have to be replaced. Yours is the right one installed the right way. Regular brass bolts should work, but if not they make 3 1/4" long ones for deep flanges. Use a regular wax ring, with a second one, (one with the plastic funnel on it), on top of it with the funnel inserted into the first one. The toilet rocking has nothing to do with the flange or seal. It is because the tile is uneven.

Gary Swart
02-03-2006, 08:13 AM
:confused: I'm confused! The original poster of this thread was "bigjwman". He included photos and a description of his problem. This more recent poster is "tanyarae", and I think she is describing a different job. Perhaps I've missed something here, but we seem to have a comingled thead. :confused:

02-03-2006, 09:05 AM
You are right. My issue ended with message #8.

Gary Swart
02-03-2006, 10:33 AM
Whew! At least that bit of confusion is laid to rest. Now, Tanyarae. I'm not sure I hav a clear picture of your problem, but maybe this will help you determine what has to be done. A flange set on top of the finished floor. It is slipped over (sometimes into) the drain pipe and is glued to the drain if the drain is PVC or ABS pipe and lead to it if the drain is cast iron. Screws are inserted through the flange and down into the subfloor. This anchors the flange solidly to the floor. The flange has two slots for tee bolts on each side that hold the toilet down, so the flange must be oriented properly so the toilet will set square. A wax ring or a new style waxless ring is placed on the horn shaped projection on the underside of the toilet and the toilet is lowered onto the flange making sure the tee bolts are through the holes in the toilet base and the sealing ring directly over the flange opening. Seat the ring by downward pressure and gently rocking the toilet until it rests firmly on the floor all around. Apply the nuts and washers to the tee bolts and tighten just enough to be firm. There should now be no rocking or movement of the toilet possible.

Now, what you have to do to get to the place where you can do all of the above is impossible to tell with the information given. Not to doubt your determination to DIY, but this may be something better given to a professional. A toilet drain is certainly one job that must done right to avoid a multitude of future problems. If there is an "easy" way to do it, a plumber will know what to do and how to do it. If there is not an easy way, a plumber will know the best way to do it properly.