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Thread: Toilet Flange / Elbow repair - Professional advice needed!

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member allthingsgiant's Avatar
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    Default Toilet Flange / Elbow repair - Professional advice needed!

    I am in the process of a bathroom remodel, and was replacing a toilet flange that [would have] sat too low into the subfloor when I put new, thicker underlayment and thicker tile than previously. I went at the project incorrectly, and now have a more serious predicament. Here's a picture, for starters...

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    I was successful in cutting off the top flange, but as I was chipping away at the flange's lip over the top elbow, the top elbow cracked down about 2" into the elbow. That now needs replaced. In an effort to save the second elbow (coming out of the joist), how do I remove the top elbow and the lip that goes over the second elbow? These guys are solvent welded together, so this is going to be a bear....

    Thanks for your assistance.
    Jeff

  2. #2
    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    At this point you might be out of luck and have to dig out into the next joist bay and replace from there over. You cannot chip out PVC from a hub. If you're in that situation again, the best thing to do is cut the pipe off flush with the end of the fitting, then go buy one of these... http://www.*******************/pvcsaver.html for the size you need to drill out.

    Problem is, if you don't do a lot of plumbing, those tools aren't worth the cost, so you just end up cutting it out and redoing it anyway.

    I think, had you not cracked the top hub, that there are also flanges made that can be solvent welded to the outside of the hub fitting, but not sure about that one. Now that its cracked, you pretty much are best off just cutting out those fittings and putting in a few new pieces.

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    DIY Junior Member allthingsgiant's Avatar
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    I was afraid you were going to say that. I am royally screwed...

    It is impossible to get beyond that doubled up floor joist from the top - there is about 3" of subfloor to the wall, then there is wall studs then a full bathtub / shower just on the other side of the wall.

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    I can't even cut out the second elbow from the inside, because then there will be no pipe left to attach a new elbow to, they buried the pipe into the joists....

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    Last edited by allthingsgiant; 12-17-2011 at 11:24 AM.

  4. #4
    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    Wish I could help you more... I'm not a pro plumber though, so maybe one of the more experienced plumbers on here will have a suggestion. I don't know of any legal ways to fix this problem w/o tearing out those fittings and whatever is required to get to them (ceiling below, probably).

  5. #5
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Not all of my colleagues will agree with this. But you are in a situation which may be over your head to do the structural work necessary to fix it "right". But there no law against assuming some risk on your own home: I would consider repairing the upper elbow with epoxy/fiberglass pipe repair tape such as: http://www.fernco.com/plumbing/pow-r-repair/pow-r-wrap
    There is a good chance this would last for the life of the house. The downside is , if it leaks, then you have a ceiling repair.

  6. #6
    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    If you could get the remainder of the pipe out of the fitting, glue in a new pipe with a new flange, and use that stuff to repair the hub, that might be a decent fix. You might want to hire a plumber to do it though... They'll already have the tools required and such, and will almost certainly do a better job at it. It will cost a bit more, but probably not a lot more compared to some of your other options.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member allthingsgiant's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the tips, guys. I have to repair the waterlogged kitchen ceiling below anyway from a Thanksgiving day turb backup, so I'm going to cut out the ceiling and repair the pipe the right way. Thanks again.
    JAS

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