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donkeyk 12-27-2011 02:34 AM

toilet flange question
 
2 Attachment(s)
I was considering a DIY toilet replacement in a 1968 house and pulled the old toilet today. I figured it was time to replace it since it had been broken for no less than a decade :thumbsup:.

The way the toilet connected to the waste pipe looks a bit nonstandard and I was hoping to get an opinion before installing the new toilet. Obviously I want to make sure this critical connection to the waste pipe is the right one.

First, the pipe looks like galvanized steel and is apparently quite flexible (might be aluminum). In fact it looks like someone has made their own homebrew flange by bending over the last inch of pipe. This looks very unprofessional. EDIT: Actually after browsing DIYChatroom posts it looks likely this is a lead extension pipe or sleeve which was rolled over a flange ring.

I would have expected something more solid like cast iron. Perhaps this is some kind of a liner to something more solid? The flange ring is completely separate from the pipe and appears to be bolted into the floor but presently moves around a lot as the screws (philips head in photo) look like they dont make contact with the flange ring... Strange, but I've seen many things. I guess the flange ring is really held in place (translational motion anyways) by the bent metal at the end of the pipe. Also, the 'galvanized' waste pipe is quite irregular in its diameter (see photo) and makes be worried that it will be hard to interface to (if necessary).

So here's my take: I would expect one approach would be to replace the flange ring (assuming these can be found somewhere) and secure it properly to the floor. But somehow I dont expect that's a 'pro' method to interface to a toilet. Shouldnt some kind of flange with pipe segment attached be used? I would expect having to demolish the old flange ring and perhaps drill the new one over top of the home brew pipe edge. Alternately, I could leave everything as is and simply secure the old flange ring to the floor (if possible).

Any comments are very welcome.

joecaption 12-27-2011 06:08 AM

Looks like a an old lead lined cast iron pipe to me.
The best way would be to remove any of the old cast you can from below the floor and replace it with PVC. If it's not leaking now it will at some point.

oh'mike 12-27-2011 09:01 AM

That is a lead elbow---the flange is not original---Is the wood still solid enough to hold screws?

If it is--I would add a brass flange---reform the lead around the top---pack the flange/lead connection carefully with a thin layer of wax---then add the new wax ring with a plastic horn--and mount the toilet.

If the piping is accessible from underneath--consider repiping the drain with PVC.

ben's plumbing 12-27-2011 11:17 AM

don't just consider replacing.....replace it ...that should have been replaced long ago....nows the time....

Bud Cline 12-27-2011 11:38 AM

From the looks of things...
That is a close-sweep lead pipe. Just be sure you have room to get rigid PVC in there before you go to wacking up the lead. There may be a good reason that drain pipe sweeps away as quickly as it appears to.

donkeyk 01-01-2012 02:31 PM

3 Attachment(s)
thanks for your fast responses.

1st off I should have mentioned that the pipe is on a 2nd floor washroom. And as far as I can tell, the only way to see what is going on is to start pulling up the floor. :mad:

On a second look I would have to agree that it's a lead extension pipe and not a lead liner in cast iron. This conclusion is based on being able to see a small amount of the pipe at the flange and no cast iron (or other pipe) appears visible.

I took some shots down the pipe using a mirror and looking at these shots you can clearly see a transition to COPPER pipe (there is a tinge of copper visible and some green oxidation if you look closely). There is a point where the uneven nasty lead extension stops and then a short (a few inches) of copper and then a longer run to the stack I suppose. Not sure what this smaller extension is for. I guess being able to see the outside of the pipe is unfortunately required to know what's going on.

The whole house looks like it has a lot of copper piping. For example you can see a first floor toilet waste pipe in its entirety and it's all copper with no lead extension.

Originally I was going to simply plop the new toilet down and oh'mike's suggestion of reforming the lead about a new brass flange would be a good solution (might even be the solution I would receive if calling a pro). I think the bolts on the brass ring would secure to something solid. Interestingly, the old AS toilet had a total of 4 fasteners in its base which would have provided an nice support for the toilet. (the new toilets usually have two bolts)

As Bud Cline mentions you dont want to start pulling out the lead extension unless you know it is feasible (enough space) to add PVC.
I am thinking it might be the best idea to pull the floor and get it dealt with properly, as the long term goal is to redo the bathroom. I suppose even if the bathroom will be mostly gutted, I wonder if there is a more modern solution to this flange assuming I eventually find that there is little space available. Arg!

Is it common to interface copper pipes to PVC? Or is it a better idea to use a copper extension with flange added? It would appear that copper piping is more durable than PVC.

plummen 01-01-2012 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bud Cline (Post 804368)
From the looks of things...
That is a close-sweep lead pipe. Just be sure you have room to get rigid PVC in there before you go to wacking up the lead. There may be a good reason that drain pipe sweeps away as quickly as it appears to.

:thumbsup:

oh'mike 01-01-2012 03:35 PM

Copper is not superior to pvc---Expect copper to fail after about 40 years--less if chemical drain cleaners are used--

plummen 01-01-2012 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 809261)
Copper is not superior to pvc---Expect copper to fail after about 40 years--less if chemical drain cleaners are used--

It seems to me that ive read someplace years ago that they dug up some old copper plumbing from back in the time of the pharohs that was still in tact :)

ben's plumbing 01-01-2012 03:39 PM

reguardless of what is there ...that old lead NEEDS TO COME OUT....to make a proper repair or replacement of piping for commode....

oh'mike 01-01-2012 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plummen (Post 809262)
It seems to me that ive read someplace years ago that they dug up some old copper plumbing from back in the time of the pharohs that was still in tact :)

Crystal Drano was not invented in the days of the Pharaohs.:laughing:

plummen 01-01-2012 04:00 PM

Acid doesnt do cast iron much good either! :laughing:
If more people could see what the pop that gets spilled in the drains of mountain machines at burger king does to the L-copper drain pipes running from them pepsi/coke stocks would take a major beating! :):)

TheEplumber 01-01-2012 04:46 PM

@ donkeyk, Your next move depends on your wallet and skills-
You can repair the flange as Mike suggested- the lead should last if the transition joints are good. I have removed 100 yr old lead pipe that looked as good as new. Or you can tear up the floor and remove the lead pipe back to the DWV copper stack and replace with plastic.

donkeyk 01-01-2012 05:26 PM

Thanks again for the input.

Given that I dont have a full picture of where toilet waste pipe connects to the stack, I guess it's hard to determine if I should (could?) run PVC to the end of the old lead pipe or even all the way to stack (ie, is the entire run accessible?). Running the PVC the shorter distance and making some kind of transition to the copper pipe is probably going to be an easier fix if the stack is not accessible.
I am starting to think that exposing this mess under the floor will be generally be a good thing. I'll post back what happens in case anyone is interested :-)

I am DEFINITELY not going to start doing any pipe work myself. Money isnt a big deal, I find getting competent people at any price is the issue. I would be simply happy if the job was done in the most logical manner.

ben's plumbing 01-01-2012 07:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by donkeyk (Post 809362)
Thanks again for the input.

Given that I dont have a full picture of where toilet waste pipe connects to the stack, I guess it's hard to determine if I should (could?) run PVC to the end of the old lead pipe or even all the way to stack (ie, is the entire run accessible?). Running the PVC the shorter distance and making some kind of transition to the copper pipe is probably going to be an easier fix if the stack is not accessible.
I am starting to think that exposing this mess under the floor will be generally be a good thing. I'll post back what happens in case anyone is interested :-)

I am DEFINITELY not going to start doing any pipe work myself. Money isnt a big deal, I find getting competent people at any price is the issue. I would be simply happy if the job was done in the most logical manner.

thats the right choice...work from the copper back to the old lead and install new flange I don't think you have to worry about going back to stack...


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