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Thread: Replace or fix cast iron toilet flange???

  1. #1

    Default Replace or fix cast iron toilet flange???

    I have removed my toilet to install tile flooring. During the removal of the old tile, I damaged the cast iron flange and figured, no problem, I'll just replace it. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the flange is practically integral to the cast iron elbow drain pipe. So, now I have a damaged flange and I'm not sure which direction to go next.

    The flange appears to be about 4" I.D. and the drain pipe measures about 3" I.D. Between the flange inner circumfrence and the outer circumfrence of the drain pipe, appears to be about a 1/2" filler of a very semi-hard, maleable, metallic substance (lead?).

    Should I continue breaking off the flange and leave the rings and then install a flange fixer over top? Or, should I try to bang the whole flange assembly off so that I can install a new one?

    See attached photo.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Craif; 06-11-2006 at 11:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Break the flange off completely and lead on a new flange...........

  3. #3

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    I suppose breaking off the flange means good old hammering at it. How deep down is the collar of the flange? How does the lead come off, or doesn't it? Is there a more convenient way to getting a new flange? Is there a non-lead option?

  4. #4
    In the Trades brownizs's Avatar
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    To get the lead out, break out your trusty drill and start drilling holes into the lead packing.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If it is a 4" pipe, you can get a flange that fits inside. If it is 3", you must go outside. Either way, the best is to lead a new one on. Failing that, they make cast iron ones with neoprene gaskets and expanding clamps to hold it onto or into the pipe. It should fit on TOP of the finished floor and be anchored to it. If you are tiling, you can notch the tile before laying them around the hole, and then avoid having to try to drill through a hard porcelain tile.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default flange

    Forget the drill business and just take a 3/4" cold chisel and whack the flange from inside to out, right at the outside of the lead but from the inside of the joint.

    Then pry the broken flange off and cut the lead into with a wood chisel and pull it out with your channel locks. Should take less than 60 seconds normally.

  7. #7

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    jadnashua-

    Thanks for the info. I understand that you're recommending to use the same "leading" method to install a new flange. But, once I get the old flange off, are you also saying it's okay to use any of the other available flanges that have the 2" pipe extension?

    I did purchase a cast iron "collar" one that is a 2-piece tightening model that appears to fit around the outer side of the pipe, and it has a rubber type gasket on the lower portion.

    Why is the lead method the best? It seems complicated.

  8. #8
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    In my book, it's the only way. It's probably the easiest way and the most permanent way.

    You can use a flange that's 2" to 3" deep.

    See if you can just buy a couple strands of "oakum" and a "pound of lead" to add to what you have left from taking off your old flange.

    Pack it tight with oakum and melt your lead and pour it back in the joint.

    Then when cool, pack the new lead joint with a blunt tool because you probably won't fond corking irons.

    You can do it.

  9. #9

    Default lead closet flange

    It is the best method as Plumber1 states because it is permanent,once leaded at the proper heighth it will not move and it will not be as critical to fasten the flange to the floor,with the compression type repair flange that i think you purchased it is very important that the flange be set properly and fastened to the finished floor so there is no movement.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the added suggestion. However, after talking with the parts counter guys, I'm going with the 4" PVC 2-finger flange that sits tightly inside the pipe and easily fastens to the floor with no chance of rot or rust. And, no muss no fuss! Actually it was work to get it in. I have to say that "leading" in a flange is not something that most handy homeowners are set up to do, and I put myself in the upper 90 percentile of very handy homeowners. (think about it - get a small amount of oakum and lead, melt the lead down in some crucible, set the flange depth, pour the lead, smooth the lead) In all of my research, I could not find an overwhelming reason to do it the "lead way", except that a few of you purists said it's the best way. Besides, in all reasonableness, I think both ways will outlive me!

  11. #11

    Default J-Tech plastic toilet flange

    I need one of these expanding seal plastic toilet flanges or equivilent for a 4 inch cast iron pipe drain pipe. Its the plastic flange he shows in this video. Dennis
    http://www.ehow.com/video_2329602_re...er-toilet.html

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member greenpoint's Avatar
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    I just removed the old collar (it was well below the finished floor, and tilted), cleaned it up, and I would like to have it leaded back in place. Will it be a problem if the pipe is below the top of the collar, by a half inch or so? The photo doesn't show the difference in height, to well.

    Any help would be appreciated





  13. #13
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    That looks like a cast iron flange. If it is, you will not be able to "lead it" the way you are thinking. You would need to have a HUB to insert it into or use a hubless coupling.

    In your case you will need a brass repair flange so that you can lead from the old lead to the new flange.

    I'm not sure about the US, but in Canada the leading is now discontinued and not allowed any more. We CANNOT purchase any lead bars, lead solder sticks or anything related to lead soldering. The only thing available is 50/50 solder and we are very limited as to where we can use it,

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member greenpoint's Avatar
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    Yes, it is cast iron. I drilled the lead out and saved all of it (some of the lead is clean, and some is contaminated with dirt and wax), not sure if I can recycle all of it, or not? I did find a supplier for plain lead, it is still available, and they have 3/8" oakum also.

    Is plain lead correct or was babbit lead used?

  15. #15
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    To start , you need to have the existing lead surfaces clean of any dirt/wax and shiny before it will accept any type of soldering/leading. Then I would highly recommend a brass repair flange that has a collor approx. 2" long. Get some lead bars that is suitable for your project. At that point you can start to build up your existing lead bend to the new flange.


    CAUTION: you need to be very careful when heating the existing lead. You could potentially melt the lead to the point of no return.

    In most cases, its just simpler to replace the lead with PVC or ABS (depending what is mostly available in your area). It would last you as long as you own the house

    EDIT: I just want to clarify the material that is below that flange. I'm under the impression that it is a lead bend. Or am I mistaken?

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