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Thread: Question about toilet flange extender

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  1. #1
    DIY Member LBrandt's Avatar
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    Default Question about toilet flange extender

    Hello,

    When I tiled our bathroom a few years ago, the level of the tile caused the toilet flange to be slightly below the level of the tile. As a result, we have encountered a slight leak, which I am in the process of fixing.

    I have removed the toilet and am preparing to add a flange extender and new wax ring. Here are my questions:

    First, I was able to find two different heights of plastic flange extenders. Using the thinner one will put the top of the extender just about 1/8 to 1/4 inch above the floor. Using the thicker extender, it will put the top of the extender from about 3/8 to 1/2 inch above the floor.

    Question: Which should I use, and should I use it with a standard wax ring or with a extra thick wax ring?

    I'm thinking that the taller extender would go with the thinner wax ring, and that the shorter extender should go with the thicker wax ring,
    but I need your help and advice.

    Thanks,
    Louis

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The proper place for the flange is on top of the finished floor. But, that's too late now. If a toilet rocks, it will eventually leak, which may be the source of your original problem. Level with the floor should have worked with a jumbo or two standard wax rings if it didn't rock. If you get the extender sealed well, you may find the thicker one would work, but it is getting close to max, and on some toilets might give you grief. The thinner one and a jumbo wax ring is probably your better bet. Next time, reconfigure, and install it on top of the tile...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Member LBrandt's Avatar
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    Jim,
    Thanks for your reply. I'll take your advice and use the thinner extender and the thicker wax ring. But what I don't understand is how I would have been able to get the flange on top of the finished floor. I'm not a plumber, just a novice. Was I supposed to be able to remove the existing flange, then reinstall it? I guess that I don't understand how I would have done that, unless you meant that I should have had a plumber do it.
    Thanks,
    Louis

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Well, yeah, Louis, if you want to raise the flange you have to take it off. How it is attached in the first place makes a big difference in how hard that job is. Very often it's not a DIY job, but it's a straightforward job for a good plumber. As evidenced on this forum, handymen and hacks screw that same job up all the time, and so are to be avoided.

    If the top of the flange is only a little below the finished floor (like the range you are talking about) forget about the flange extender (assuming that you are talking about the kind that goes on top of the flange). Unless you coat the crap out of the thing with silicone, it's likely to be a future leak source. Here on the forum, we don't recommend them.

    Instead, just use two wax rings. It sounds like the first wax ring is going to get you to at least 1/4" off the finished floor, which isn't far off from where you want to be. (The proper way to install a flange is to install the floor and then mount the flange on top of the finished floor -- i.e. the bottom of the flange sits on the finished floor. This puts the top surface of the flange about 3/8" off the finished floor.) The second wax ring on top of that should be more than enough to form a nice seal with your toilet. We usually recommend the wax rings without the horn built in.

    Here, you would put the plain wax ring on the flange and one with a horn on top of that so it doesn't move around.

    As should be evident from our posts, you put the ring(s) on the floor and then put the toilet down on top of them. Regardless of what any instructions say, don't try to stick the ring to the bottom of the toilet and then set it. This is asking for an unnecessary hiccup.

    You can also stack two plain ones as well. You wouldn't want to stack two with horns.

    Alternatively, you could use an Extra-Thick Jumbo wax ring in lieu of the two. Just make sure it's thick enough so that it yields the equivalent of a regular wax ring at about 1/4" off the finished floor. The waxier your seal the better.

    Also, some folks here have had good results with the Sani-Seal gasket. If the top of your flange is less than 1/4" below the top of the finished floor, you can probably get away with just one Sani-Seal, but it will be easy to tell whether it's sealing or not. Sani-seal claims you can easily stack them; I have not seen what Terry and others think about that; what I do know is that stacked wax rings make a perfectly-fine seal and would be probably the route I would use if I didn't just reset the flange.

    Again, I don't think you want to stack two rings where each has a horn, however. (If you're worried that you're not getting where you want to be, you could always drop a regular hornless wax ring on the flange and top it with a jumbo with a horn.)
    Last edited by wjcandee; 11-24-2012 at 10:17 AM.

  5. #5
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I've been installing with two wax rings for 38 years without problems.
    The flange extenders, unless you clean the flange and then goo on the Silicone is just one more place to leak. You can't stack them on dry.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBrandt View Post
    Would pvc cement work when attaching a pvc extender to a metal flange?
    No...PVC cement works by melting the plastic on both sides, then when the solvent evaporates, they're bonded, or welded together. It isn't a glue.
    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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