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Thread: broken bolt on cast iron toilet flange

  1. #16
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Actually, Jim, if you look at the dimensions of the ring that Terry suggested, it doesn't. All it does is provide a place to insert closet bolts. The actual seal -- the actual wax ring -- is going to sit inside that ring and seal directly to the existing flange.
    Last edited by wjcandee; 03-26-2013 at 06:51 PM.

  2. #17
    DIY Junior Member BackedUp's Avatar
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    Don't fight about it on my behalf, guys. I appreciate all the helpful tips, even if some needed clarification.

    I struck out on finding the desired repair ring at Lowe's, as well. That's always my first choice, but Ace is much closer. Rather than drive around town trying Home Depot, George Morlan, etc., I went with one of the partial repair rings. It's about a third of the full ring, designed for patching broken pieces of the flange. I cut off the bad bolt and secured the partial ring through the lead and through the mortar into the sub-floor. I couldn't follow the advice of a double nut to hold the new bolt in place, as there wasn't enough clearance for it under the toilet.

    And yeah, the wax ring fits entirely inside the bolts, give or take a fraction of an inch, so no extra sealing is needed.

    All in all, I think this will work, but it's definitely jimmy-rigged. Next time I have to do a toilet replacement (hopefully a long time down the road!), it'll probably require hiring a plumber to cut the old flange out and re-do it properly.

  3. #18
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Don't worry, we're not fighting. Maybe I came across as more bossy than usual and Jim was trying to let me know that. I respect him immensely, so it's a privilege to reorient him in the one time out of 50 that I know something he doesn't.

    Anyway, glad it worked out and happy to help.

    PS It's extremely rare, although possible, that you wouldn't have clearance for that nut on the flange. Appearances can be a bit deceiving. But if you dry-fit the toilet and it bumped with the nut, that's pretty conclusive. Hundreds of thousands of toilets are installed every year without that double-nut, but it's a good additional step when it fits.

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member BackedUp's Avatar
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    Good.

    I did dry fit the toilet and the right side was sitting on the nut and raised a quarter inch or more off the floor. Don't forget, my flange is raised a bit and I had to lift it more to get the t-bolt under the repair ring. Plus, the new toilet is a very compact American Standard dual flush unit that has a much smaller profile than the Kohler pressure assist it's replacing. I had to work pretty hard to seat it all the way down on a standard thickness wax ring. There's very little clearance there.

  5. #20
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    FWIW, WD-40 is not a penetrating oil. One of the best penetrating oils is PB Blaster. However, the screw is not rusted into the wood. It's just tight. Doubt that penetrating oil will help much.

  6. #21
    DIY Junior Member BackedUp's Avatar
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    I was thinking it was fused to the flange after 60 years of corrosion, but you may be right. (It occurred to me after spraying the WD-40 that combining a highly flammable spray with highly flammable sewer gases may not have been the best idea.)

  7. #22
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    highly flammable sewer gases
    What?
    I don't see flames coming from plumbing vents anywhere.
    The smell is bad, but it's not going to light.

  8. #23
    DIY Junior Member BackedUp's Avatar
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    Flammable, not flames. That's why I read, at least: highly toxic and highly flammable.

  9. #24
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Show me the link. I could use a good laugh!

  10. #25
    DIY Junior Member BackedUp's Avatar
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    I don't remember exactly where I saw it. I think it was one of the eHow articles on how to remove old closet bolts. There are lots of mentions of methane being present in sewer gases and that being a risk of combustion.

  11. #26
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I think it was one of the eHow articles
    Well that explains it. An eHow article. Never in my entire lifetime has that ever happened. I can see how imaginary things like that are important to some people when they start writing articles.

    At least something like "Don't run with sissors!" I can see happening.

  12. #27
    DIY Junior Member BackedUp's Avatar
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    Well, it didn't happen for me, either, so I can't really disagree with you.

  13. #28
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Use a plumber's sealant on the toilet tank bolt seals for added leak protection. This practice will also extend the life of the seals.
    eHow
    Absolutely do not do this! That may make sense to someone making stuff up, but it's not correct.

  14. #29
    DIY Junior Member BackedUp's Avatar
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    Fortunately, I followed American Standard's installation instructions!

  15. #30
    Retired Machine Repairman wptski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BackedUp View Post
    Flammable, not flames. That's why I read, at least: highly toxic and highly flammable.
    I watched a video from a plumbing supply company on how to replace a closet flange and not one of the many DIY types where they said to use a propane, etc. torch on the flange. I don't remember if this was to melt the lead chalk or burn off old wax.

    I also didn't have room for the extra nuts on closet bolts.
    Last edited by wptski; 03-31-2013 at 07:37 AM.
    Bill
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