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Thread: Broken toilet flange replacement question

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    Default Broken toilet flange replacement question

    Hi, I have a PVC toilet flange that was set in place before the concrete floor was poured. The outside metal ring was supposed to be able to be turned, but the concrete stopped it from turning. In my attempts to turn it, I cracked it, as well as the PVC flange. I have tile on the floor, so cutting the concrete around it and repouring is not an option. I would like to take the whole flange out, and replace it. My thoughts are to take a Dremel, and carefully cut the flange away from the waste pipe. The flange sits inside the pipe, not on the outside. Is this a feasible way of doing this?

    Thanks!!

    Roger

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The Dremel tool will probably work OK, and there are other tools plumbers use to make cuts like that. I don't know if these are available at rental shops or not. The flange should not be resting on the concrete floor anyway, it should sit on top of the finished (tile) floor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart
    The Dremel tool will probably work OK, and there are other tools plumbers use to make cuts like that. I don't know if these are available at rental shops or not. The flange should not be resting on the concrete floor anyway, it should sit on top of the finished (tile) floor.
    Gary - thanks for the fast reply!

    The flange was set before we decided to tile. it originally was flush with the concrete but the toilet sat up too high, when it was there. So now the tile is cut around the flange, fairly tight.

    Is it possible to bolt the new flange to the toilet, with the wax ring in place, and then glue it in place to the waste line, after getting the old flange out?

    And what kind of tool would the plumber use to cut the old flange out? I did a search, but couldn't find anything.

    Thanks again!

    Roger

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    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcav8or
    cutting the concrete around it and repouring is not an option.
    Why not? It's noisy and dirty, but really not all that bad. Since the new flange should be on top of the tile, you'll have to replace the tile surrounding the drain anyway, and as long as you'll have the old tile up, there's the concrete slab just asking to be broken, or sawed out.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcav8or
    Is it possible to bolt the new flange to the toilet, with the wax ring in place, and then glue it in place to the waste line, after getting the old flange out?
    Possible, but IMHO a bad idea. You would then be depending on the flange/pipe connection to secure the toilet, rather than the flange/floor connection which is conventional. If you've gotten the old flange out (see below) then putting the new flange in place properly is little trouble.

    OTOH, you can remove the existing flange. A post on another thread (http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...74&postcount=3)suggested sawing the old flange into a lot of strips, which could then be pried away from the pipe with a screwdriver. There is also a drill-like gizmo designed to drill out PVC pipe from fittings -- there may be one sized to drill out your flange. You would then sand the pipe smooth to receive a new flange, lay patching cement where the old flange was to bring the floor up to the level of the tile, and cement in the new flange. I don't know how the old flange was fastened to the slab, but you may be able to use the same fasteners for the new flange.
    Last edited by Mikey; 08-05-2006 at 09:17 AM.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If you just need a way to hold the bolts,
    Then rotohammering a red ring onto the flor will do that.

    If you are worried about the flange being a bit low, then the fluidmaster waxless seal works.


    Fluidmaster waxless seal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey
    OTOH, you can remove the existing flange. A post on another thread (http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...74&postcount=3)suggested sawing the old flange into a lot of strips, which could then be pried away from the pipe with a screwdriver. There is also a drill-like gizmo designed to drill out PVC pipe from fittings -- there may be one sized to drill out your flange. You would then sand the pipe smooth to receive a new flange, lay patching cement where the old flange was to bring the floor up to the level of the tile, and cement in the new flange. I don't know how the old flange was fastened to the slab, but you may be able to use the same fasteners for the new flange.
    Mikey - thanks, this will probably be the best way. The tile I laid was left over from someone else, and I don't have a single piece left over. The original flange was not bolted to the concrete - the concrete was poured around it, it held it pretty good, until I had to turn it. I changed the direction the toilet was facing, because I decided to put in a urinal as well.

    I will look for a "red ring", and bring it up to level. I will also use the waxless seal, and keep the existing flange. It is cracked, but I think I can glue it well enough.

    Thanks Mikey and Terry for your help!

    Roger

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It sounds like the riser is 4" and the existing flange is installed inside of that pipe. You can buy a realatively inexpensive bit to basically bore out the flange (it is the inside diameter of the pipe. If you use a hack saw blade and cut through the flange in several places, you could probably peel th existing flange out of the pipe. It will take some of the riser with it, but probably not enough to kill the seal. Then, find a flange with a long throat and you could replace it. Note, flanges and toilets are designed so thatwhen installed correctly, the bottom of the flange sits on the finished flooring and is anchored through it into the subfloor or in your case, the slab.
    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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    The 4" riser is exactly what I have, with the flange inside. I couldn't find the red ring anywhere today, but haven't given up on one. I did pick up some molly bolts, and two "spacers" like the top of a flange, that can mount above the existing flange (what's left of it), and I will check on lagging those down, and I picked up a waxless seal. If it all fits together ok, I should be on my way! If not, I will have to try to find a better plumbing supplier, and go with either replacing the whole flange, or the red ring.

    A special bit has been mentioned - where would one find one of those? I don't mind buying tools (if I DID, then I wouldn't have had to build the 28 X 40 pole barn!!)

    Thanks again, for all the help!

    Roger

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Drilling holes in concrete is easy with a rotor-hammer drill. You can rent one at any tool rental store. There are various ways to anchor into concrete, but my favorite way is to use lead ferrells with stainless steel screws. Others will suggest Topcon bolts, and while they certainly will do the job, to me the ferrells and screws are easier and will hold just as well. You drill a hole the size required for the ferrell, so find them first. I strongly advise SS screws. The red repair ring is usually available at the Big Box stores or any plumbing supply. Even hardware stores should have them. The tile under the flange and toilet does not have to be exactly the same as on the rest of the floor, it's under the toilet and will never be seen. You just need the same thickness as the rest of the floor.

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    Gary, I have a roto-hammer (tool nut, remember??), and I have the ferrels, that I will be using.

    I understand about the tile - it's just that mine has been cut out around the existing flange, and it's 12 X 12 tiles, so I can't pull any up. I'm pretty sure the spacers I bought will work.

    I DO like the idea of SS screws - hadn't thought about that one. I'll be using 1/2" ferrels, with 1/4-20 thread, so they'll be easy to find.

    If I can't get it to work like I think it all will, I will cut out the old flange, and put in a new one, after building it up to the top of the tile level.

    Again, what a great place for help! I originally came for specific help on this subject, but have spent a large part of today in all the forums. Looks like I've found a new home...and new friends.

    On the lighter side, all my plumbing is inside the walls, so I don't have to heat the whole barn, just the bathroom come winter. Except where it dives behind the wall about a foot, for the urinal flushometer. Got a deal on a G2 Optima, automatic, and a Kohler urinal. You can't get a better deal than...FREE! Brand new...

    Roger

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