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Thread: Toilet not level/toilet flange won't seat flush to floor

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    DIY Junior Member The Advocate's Avatar
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    Default Toilet not level/toilet flange won't seat flush to floor

    I was helping a lady get her store established in a new location. The toilet rocked very badly and leaked around the base. When I pulled the toilet, I saw that the flange ear on the left was broken into many pieces. The flange was glued inside of 4" waste pipe that is set in a concrete slab. I removed the old flange and dry fitted the new flange, but it would not seat to the floor on the right side. I finally realized that the vertical pipe was out of plumb.

    I told the lady that the slab needed to be chipped away and the waste pipe needed to be relaid so that the vertical leg of the pipe was plumb. (It is more than 5 degrees out.) Since she is renting the space short term and is not sure that her business will continue in this location, she wanted me to set the toilet as best as I could.

    I did manage to work the base of the toilet down to within 1/3" of the floor, then I shimmed the high side of the toilet in three places with cedar shims. I felt that the toilet would be alright since only the employees would be using it. THAT IS, until I saw the owner's 500 pound husband.

    Knowing this heavy man might seat himself on this throne, I would feel a whole lot more comfortable if I could fill the gap with a bedding compound that would set hard, have minimal shrinkage, and would resist water and grunge. I understand that old-time plumbers used such a product that came in a cartridge. I have not been able to find it in town or on line. Does anyone know of this product-- name and source?

    I also heard of another fix that seems promising. A man told me he remembers a 3" insert surrounded by a rubber seal which would allow the flange to settle to the floor, yet seal to the inside of the 4" pipe. Here, again, I have been unable to locate this product. Does anyone know a source/product name for this? Also, I would be interested in hearing comments about using this type of fix.

    My thought was also that there might be a flange that would pivot, then could be locked to the correct angle to compensate for a pipe that is set in concrete at an angle to plumb. Does anyone know of a product like this?
    Last edited by The Advocate; 09-05-2009 at 07:42 PM. Reason: clarify problem description

  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Advocate View Post
    I did manage to work the base of the toilet down to within 1/3" of the floor, then I shimmed the high side of the toilet in three places with cedar shims.
    Assuming the floor is level, the toilet needs to sit flat on the floor. You might be able to temporarily remove your new flange and break away a little concrete at the side of the vertical pipe where the flange first hits the floor so you can get the overall flange low enough to let the toilet sit flat on the floor.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member The Advocate's Avatar
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    @leejoesephjo-- I now see that your method will work. The flange can sit off-axis yet be below floor level. The wax ring will take up the angle and allow the toilet base to sit flush to the floor. I do appreciate your insight. I would have never gotten there myself.

    Even though I will pull the toilet and reset it, I would still like to know about bedding compound, 3" gasketed insert, and a pivoting flange.
    Last edited by The Advocate; 09-06-2009 at 09:56 AM.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    If this is rental property, it is the owners responsibility to make plumbing repairs and the renter should not mess with it.

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    DIY Junior Member The Advocate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    If this is rental property, it is the owners responsibility to make plumbing repairs and the renter should not mess with it.
    Good point. I told the franchise owner this as well, but she wanted to take care of the plumbing, since she considered it a small matter. Normally, it would have been quick and easy fix, but....

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I might have been considered a "small matter" if it had just been a failed wax ring, but what is needed here is to break out some concrete and fix the thing right and that is more than a "small matter". You are sticking your neck out by working on this especially knowing the ownership situation. Sure, it's possible the owner would appreciate someone else fixing the problem, but you don't know that. I see no way to band aid fix this problem.

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