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Thread: DIY Toilet Flange and down pipe

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member TheRoop's Avatar
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    Default DIY Toilet Flange and down pipe

    Name:  2014-02-01_15.07.07.jpg
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    I am a new DIY-er and helping my mom remodel her bathroom as much as I can without calling in the pros, but without going too far.

    Tub is out, sink it out, toilet out, drywall/ceiling down and I'm ripping up the two layers of vinyl and plywood floor(s) so we can just do everything right from the bottom up, but I've stopped ripping since I can't get the floor up, or put a new one down without removing the flange.

    I'm curently stuck on what to do about the flange. Its old and I'd like to replace it (one of the screws that holds the toilet down completely came out on its own). However, there is a soft plyable metal downpipe that is holing it loosely in place. This metal folds out around the flange forming a lip that holds it down. The metal pipe then goes down into the toilet drainpipe. The two do not appear to be one and the same. It appears that the pipe that over laps the flange goes down about 10 inches, but is set very snug into the pipe.

    The lip of what I'm calling the down pipe is also cut just under the flange about half way through (perhaps someone before me though about taking it off and decided not to). If the downpipe is a a full moon then the cut makes it a half moon.

    Seems like this pipe and flange should be replaced. My question is should I just continue to cut the lip off thus freeing the flange and then installing a new flange with a fitting inside of the pipe? Or should this down pipe somehow be removed and replaced?

    I've looked all over and I've yet to see images of a flange/pipe combo that look exactly like this. Its a 1950's ranch outside of Buffalo NY.

    Any and all advice welcome. Including if I should just bring in a pro for this one part (which I'd rather not do because up to this point I've done well for myself).

    Again pictures to come later.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by TheRoop; 02-03-2014 at 10:49 AM.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Terrible picture, but it appears to me that you have an old lead pipe. It will need to be replaced and given your apparent inexperience, I would recommend you hire a professional plumber for this. In my opinion, you will be time and money ahead.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member TheRoop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Terrible picture, but it appears to me that you have an old lead pipe. It will need to be replaced and given your apparent inexperience, I would recommend you hire a professional plumber for this. In my opinion, you will be time and money ahead.
    Thanks for the response. I will attempt to get a better picture later on. Best I could dig up for the time being.

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    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    You might try taking a flash picture from below also.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Picture and description are good enough. it is a lead riser, whether it is just a straight pipe into a cast iron hub, or a 90 degree closet bend is the only thing we cannot tell. the flange would normally be brass, but yours appears to be cast iron.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  6. #6
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    It's lead and you need someone experienced in repairing/replacing it.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There are several choices, replace the lead with new if it isn't long enough or intact enough to reuse it. Or, tear the lead out back far enough to either convert to CI or plastic. OFten, there will be a CI hub that has a ring leaded into it, then the lead pipe is soldered to the ring (or stub) up to the flange ring, then the lead is bent over the (often brass) toilet flange and soldered to it (sometimes, they just bend it over). But, when the lead gets old or worked much, it gets brittle, and it will crack when you try to bend it to replace.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member TheRoop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    There are several choices, replace the lead with new if it isn't long enough or intact enough to reuse it. Or, tear the lead out back far enough to either convert to CI or plastic. OFten, there will be a CI hub that has a ring leaded into it, then the lead pipe is soldered to the ring (or stub) up to the flange ring, then the lead is bent over the (often brass) toilet flange and soldered to it (sometimes, they just bend it over). But, when the lead gets old or worked much, it gets brittle, and it will crack when you try to bend it to replace.
    I have an experienced guy helping me now. Will cut lead pipe with sawzall, attach a rubber boot to connect to new PVC extension and fit new flange to that. That's the plan anyway. I'll update on results. But first as promised, more pics:

    Name:  20140203_174633.jpg
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Size:  49.3 KB FYI this last pic is tilted. Pipe coming in from left side of photo is actually the lead pipe that is connected to the main drain pipe.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member TheRoop's Avatar
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    Thanks. Youre 100% right. I've added two pictures below. It is a lead riser that goes straight down into the cast iron hub below the floor. I took the flange off. I have assistance now and will repair it soon. My guy's plan is to cut the riser below the floor, join to PVC with a rubber boot, and attach new flange from there. I appreciate the thoughtful response. I will update later this week, hopefully once we do the repair. (FYI I do have the pipe plugged in the meantime). Thanks

  10. #10
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Just so you know. You can't clamp onto lead.

    There is a brass ferrel where the lead goes into the cast hub. Some plumbers clamp at that point.
    I like to remove that ferrel and work from the inside of the hub.

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