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Thread: Advice needed - Toilet Stuff

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member 4x15mph's Avatar
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    Default Advice needed - Toilet Stuff

    Here is the story and then some questions. Thanks in advance for any help!

    My main floor bathroom was periodically clogging and in once case, it overflowed. This is a 20 year old toilet and I think it is the 6+ (maybe 8 or 10) gallon type. The flush is very weak although there is a lot of water in the tank.

    Following the overflow, I used a plunger and a closet auger. I don't know that I fixed anything since I had the overflow following my auger work. I also used drain cleaner during this debacle.

    I got fed up and felt that this may be due to the older toilet and the weak flushing. I then ripped out the toilet along with the hardwood flooring in preparation for a total overhaul.

    Now the questions:

    1) The toilet flange is rusted and is a female type flange that is glued around a 3" PVC pipe. What are my best options for replacing this? I see that they make a "male" insert flange that gets inserted inside the 3" pipe which would seem to be an easy option. Considering my clogging problem, is reducing the diameter to under 3" a bad idea? What other options are there other than cutting off the old flange and doing a whole pipe rework? Lastly, is it best that I call a plumber to replace a glued, rusted flange? I do have access to the pipe since I can easily cut out the underlayment since it is exposed.

    2) If I do install the flange, they used spacers under the screws that hold the flange to the underlayment since the flange needed to be raised to fit over the hardwood. I will need the same height since I am putting tile in place of hardwood. Are spacers the right approach (metal sleeves that go around the screws) or should I be doing something different?

    3) How can I test to see whether I have a real problem with the main drain before I just put a new toilet in place. Originally my thinking was that the problem was more with the toilet but this may be a big oversight. The toilet is out at this point. Should I bring in a plumber to "investigate" and will they really be able to diagnose anything at this point?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Jeff1's Avatar
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    I'd bring in a plumber to check and clear the line before deciding on the next steps.

  3. #3
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    To check the drain, I would dump a couple 5 gallon buckets of water down in succession. The water should go down the drain just as fast as you pour it with no standing water.

    I would not use an insert flange on a 3" line. Depending on the existing plumbing, the existing flange could be replaced a couple of different ways. Without seeing what you have, it is impossible to say which method to use.

    The flange should be screwed down to the top of the finished floor using stainless steel screws which are long enough to go all the way through into the subfloor.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member 4x15mph's Avatar
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    I think I need to bring in the plumber to check the line. While they are here, I will have them professionally install a new flange.

    I have a 3" pvc pipe with a flange that is inserted on the outside of the pipe. I was thinking I would have to cut off the flange and then install a new coupler, section of PVC, and a new flange.

    Thanks for the advice! This is definitely the right way to go about this.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Since you're hiring a plumber, how it is done is not your problem. While you are into this, you really should get a new, quality toilet. Most of us are fans of the Toto line. You should never use drain cleaners.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member 4x15mph's Avatar
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    I am definitely replacing the toilet. I am now only learning or hearing about Toto.

    Any recommendations? I want a comfortable height for teens and adults (16"?), strong flush, and it would be great to get a new dual flush type.

    I see some prices for Toto going upwards of $1000K. I would like to keep it to no more than $250.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member 4x15mph's Avatar
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    I see I was off on the pricing and the Toto is in my price range. I like the reviews of the Drake although I would prefer a 1-piece design. Please send any recommendations

    Also, I don't want the ADA height since we have a 16+ in our master bath and my wife doesn't like to have her feet dangling

  8. #8
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The you are looking at a standard height bowl.
    $250 or less? in Toto that would be the Drake two piece.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member 4x15mph's Avatar
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    I would spend more if you have an option that may be better than the drake. I like the look of the drake (2-piece traditional)

    If the ultramax or others have a superior flush capacity, quiteness, etc. I would consider spending more. Thank you!

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Not everyone is into the TOTO. I have only installed about 4 of them since they started selling in this area a decade or more ago. You made the best choice calling a plumber before you started cutting things apart. I had a customer last week who did NOT follow that advice and turned a 10 minute job into a 2+ hour project.

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