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Old 08-04-2012, 07:23 PM   #1
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en Flange bolt. Not sure how to proceed.


Hello all!
This is my first post on this site, thanks in advance for all help provided. I am very new when it comes to toilet removal, so I hope my pictures clear up my confusion on part names!

My toilet was rocking recently, so I found online that I should tighten the two bolts that secure the toilet to the ground. I removed the plastic caps from each bolt, and had a different problem with each side. When facing the toilet, on the left side, the cap removed easily and pulled out half of the bolt I was supposed to tighten, with the bolt head stuck in between the plastic cap and an inner plastic "cap protector?" (the remains of this bolt in pictures 1 and 2 the red circles bolt on the left). When facing the toilet, on the right side, the plastic cap was not secured at all, and had no inner "cap protector". When I just lifted this cap off, the bolt head was severely rusted and would not budge - nor could I fit a wrench around it... After significant WD-40 and a lot of scraping off of the grime, I was able to fit a wrench around the bolt head, only to discover that the bolt continually turns in circles freely, but does not unscrew (nor tighten). You can see this bolt in pictures 1 and 2 with the red circle on the right. I was able to get the toilet up and over this bolt by lifting it at an angle to get over the bolt head. Having only seen a flange before in pictures while researching this problem, I found something vaguely similar. The flange is visible in all pictures, and is after much scraping and cleaning. I am no expert on anything with metals, pipes, or plumbing, but it seems that everything is very rusted. As I scraped away the remnants of the wax ring, it seemed as though pieces of metal were coming up with it! At this point, I can make out similar holes and slots that I see in flanges online. I was told by a guy at a hardware store (before lifting the toilet), that it was likely a broken flange. I thought I could examing the flange and see if parts of it were cracked, but I do not see anything wrong with the flange (other than it being severely rusted, which may be cause for replacement?).

Anyways, where I stand now is asking for advice on what to do. I guess first would be 1.) how to remove these screws from the flange. From what I had read online, I thought the were designed to just slide out to the side... From what I can tell, each screw is in a round hole, with no opening on the side to slide the screws out. Additionally, the remaining part of the screw on the left does not budge at all (even with WD-40, and trying my hardest to get a good grip on it with pliers). The full screw on the right just keeps turning and does not pull out at all (horribly reminiscent of my stripped drain plug on my motorcycle a while back...). I figure these screws will need to be replaced at the very least, so any advice there is helpful. 2.) If I get these screws out, is all I need new screws and a wax ring? Or should I be looking at removing the flange and installing a new one? I also do not see how this flange is secured to the floor. I do not see any holes or screws besides the two sticking out that secure the toilet to the flange. Could the flange be cemented or soldered to the floor? Or are the screws hidden?

Again thanks for all advice in advance. I know it is annoying in forums to have questions repeated, but I did search to see if there were similar issues, and nothing quite aligned, or at least in a manner I understood!
Pictures 1 and 2 have the screws/bolts that secure the toilet to the flange highlighted in red. I tried to highlight the holes/openings that looked similar to the flange pictures I saw online in blue. The remaining pictures are just different angles without highlighting to give better views. I am happy to post more pictures if needed.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:42 PM   #2
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en Flange bolt. Not sure how to proceed.


Couple of options depending on how involved you want to get.

The best way is to go under that floor cut off the old cast iron pipe, slide out the old tail piece and rotted flange.
Install a new PVC flange with a stainless steel reinforcement ring and a new PVC tail piece glued to it and reconnect with a Hubless connector (also called a Fernco.

You can rent a chain pipe cutter at Home Depot, it goes around the pipe and with a simple twist the pipe will snap off nice and clean.

Keep in mind at some point all that old cast will need to be replaced. It will leakm and start to close up on the inside.

The other option is to use a repair ring. It gets screwed down to the floor with Tap Con screws using a masonry bit in a hammer drill to get through the tile then a reguler wood bit. Not the best or longest laasting way to fix it but it should work.

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Old 08-04-2012, 08:06 PM   #3
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en Flange bolt. Not sure how to proceed.


latenight-i don't have anything to add to what Joe said. But i gotta say, that was one of the most well written questions i have ever seen on here, man
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:16 PM   #4
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en Flange bolt. Not sure how to proceed.


http://www.quickfixplumbingproducts.com/prod06.htm

A first time almost poster that posted pictures and did not say something silly like toilet broke what do I do as the whole question.

Good job.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:01 PM   #5
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en Flange bolt. Not sure how to proceed.


Thank you for the advice and compliment guys!

Sorry for the delay in response, my work is Sunday-Wed 12 hour days, so I don't check the internet as often as I should!

Anyways, I always prefer to do things the best I can, so I would be interested in the first option. Unfortunately this bathroom is on the ground floor with no way to access the pipe from below. I am assuming this means I would have to rip up significant tile to be able to get a pipe cutter down and around it... I have not cut pipe or used Ferncos before, but after doing some research, I think that is something I could manage. The prospect of tearing up tile and concrete and refinishing however, is probably a bit outside of my learning curve... Would there be any other method of being able to install a new PVC flange with tail piece? Also, if I could just clarify... when you say eventually the old cast iron will need to be replaced, do you mean the hole piping, or just the part by the flange? An image of needing to tear up the whole piping system just flashed through my head when I read that...

I appreciate the advice on the repair ring as well. Also just some clarifying questions... In this case, I would leave the current flange as is and just screw the repair ring through the old flange? If so, what do I do with the two current screws/bolts that are stuck in the flange (one that is broken off and does not budge, and the other that just turns in circles but does not move up or down.)

It's frustrating that I cannot just unscrew the flange from the floor like I keep seeing in online how-tos! Oh well.

Again, thank you for the advice and help!
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