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Thread: Moving a toilet flange?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member abernat's Avatar
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    Default Moving a toilet flange?

    Yet another "how do I move this" thread.

    We have a toilet with a 14" rough-in. We're looking to replace the toilet (on a budget), and instead of getting a cheap 14" toilet it seems that it would be easier to shift the closet flange back. I have full access via a basement to the plumbing.

    Picture 1: plumbing overview. To the right the pipe heads upstairs to a bath, toilet, and sink. To the left it heads towards the street.



    Picture 2: close-up. Notice that whoever installed the toilet cut out the joist to get it in. We want to move the flange two inches to the right.



    The current drain is 4" cast iron. Since I want to move it 2" to the right (relative to the picture) I think that I need to rip out everything up to and including the wye, then patch in ABS plastic with a couple of no-hub fittings. Is this right?

  2. #2
    Master Plumber-Gas Fitter shacko's Avatar
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    Default Moving Toilet

    I don't see where you have a wye? looks like a tee to me.

    Anyhow you have to cut the bell off the pipe to the left, then cut the pipe to the right leaving a couple of inches of bare pipe to make your new tie-in ( don't cut it too short), you need a short piece of 4in. ABS; unless you can bum this from someone it is expensive. I would go to 3in for the toilet rough-in, I would use a 4x3in wye, a 3in.45, a 3in. 1/4bend and a 3in toilet flange. You also need 2-4in. Fernco couplings.

    If you decide to do this, make sure you have it straight in your mind, and all the parts that you will need; real PITA if you have to run for parts just when you start

    Make sure you secure your pipes when you're done, luck.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default pipe

    Cut the bell off that tee and you will probably find yourself in the middle of a major project, starting with removing the destoyed tee and starting over. A plumber could remove the elbow, install a new one piece closet bend into the tee, with a new riser, and not cause any problem with the system, house, or water lines above it.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    I think you'd be better off removing the elbow. They make rubber donuts that would fit into the cleaned up hub that will seal a new abs (or pvc) pipe in there. A plumber might do this with cast iron and a leaded joint, but you probably aren't capable of making a leaded joint, thus the market for those rubber donuts. Thing is, it needs to be the right size, and CI hubs can vary quite a bit so you may have to order one if you can't find the exact size you need.

    Cutting out the T would be a lot more work and open you up to other problems...CI is very heavy, and snapping it doesn't always make a clean cut if it is corroded inside (you can't tell until you try).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIY Member Alan Muller's Avatar
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    Default Why bother??

    (Opinion of an amateur)

    There's no law saying a toilet can't sit a couple inches out from the wall. Many "14 inch" hoppers just have a thicker tank but use the same bowl. If the looks are bothersome, you could build out the wall behind the tank, put a shelf over it, or something like that.

    You can cut out that bend, transition to plastic with a donut, patch the floor--which may be rotten judging from the indications of leaks in the photo--and install a new flange. It might not be worth the effort.....

    If I was doing it, I'd cut the bend near the tee with a sawzall (leave an inch or so for a rubber cap, as you may need a break...), drill many holes in the lead, pry it out, rake out the oakum, clean the hub out with a scraper and wire brush, put in a donut for 3 or 4 inch plastic.... Maybe add a couple of hangers first to make sure the main line isn't partially supported by the toilet bend and flange. Point is: disturb as little iron as possible and use gentle methods, or the job could get out of hand.

    am

  6. #6
    Master Plumber-Gas Fitter shacko's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Cut the bell off that tee and you will probably find yourself in the middle of a major project, starting with removing the destoyed tee and starting over. A plumber could remove the elbow, install a new one piece closet bend into the tee, with a new riser, and not cause any problem with the system, house, or water lines above it.
    HJ: I think you are reading the OP wrong, he wants to move the toilet to the right facing the picture,

  7. #7
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default

    While this is a forum to assist folks on how to DIY plumbing projects, some jobs are best left to professionals. It is true that there are DIY ways to deal with cast iron, but there are also pitfalls. A wise DIYer knows when his limit has been reached and calls for help.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    When you have access, removing a pipe from a CI hub isn't all that hard. I've only done it a few times, one had limited access, and I ended up cutting out more CI than I wanted since I had trouble locating a proper donut in the time I had, but the second one came apart in probably 15-minutes of work since I had good access all around. I used a drill bit that would fit between the hub and the pipe to make swiss cheese of the lead until I could remove it. Once that's out, it's fairly easy to clean the rest of the lead and oakum out. Then you need to measure carefully to get the proper donut. The ID is not the problem, it's the OD. If it is too loose (small), it won't seal. If it is too big, you'll have a bear of a time (if you can) get it into the hub with the pipe inserted. The actual diameter of the hub varies by the foundry, and there's no standard except that the proper pipe will fit into it. There's a lot of leaway when pouring a lead joint, so it doesn't matter. That's why them make lots of sizes of donuts.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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