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LeviDIY 05-31-2009 01:30 PM

Toilet Flange Questions (w/ pictures)
2 Attachment(s)
OK... took out old toilet a few weeks ago as part of bathroom remodel, now in the final stretches of putting back together :thumbup:. We did not replace the flooring, and we are on the bottom floor of a condo building (so no access underneath, piping hard/impossible to access). Hoping to get some advice on this.

I have my new toilet, wax ring, etc ready to go, but want to know if I need the flange replaced or not, and also if its in good condition. Also wouldn't hurt to know the various part of it. :wink:

Below is an overhead look. I've color coded various areas so you can compare to second picture below...
Attachment 10834

This is a side profile. Colored areas match up to first picture...
Attachment 10835

Here are my questions by color:

Red Arrows/Box: this is where the previous toilet screws/bolts were, and where the new ones need to be to line up... does that look correct? The bolt just slides in like that, nothing holding it in from the side? (I left 1 screw from the old toilet in on the right side)

Yellow boxes:: small "dimples"... two of them on opposite sides... not sure what they do? Place for wax ring to settle?

Blue ovals/outline: this is hard to tell in pictures, main reason for the side angle I took. They are random ridges around the inner edge of the flange. Honestly, it looks like there originally was an entire "lip" all the way around, but only there in pieces now.. like it was broken or chipped... is this correct? If so, does this mean I can't install a new toilet on this?

I'm also assuming that rust color inside the pieps (appears cast iron) is OK and not to worry.

The main overaching question is: can I proceed with the new toilet (:whistling2:)at this is or consider replacing this, or getting one of those flange fixer things I've heard about on here? Also, if I am using this flange as is.. you think I need to get ALL the wax off or its in decent condition now to make the seal? Thanks in advance!

ONE THING TO ADD: also noticed the flanged isn't "screwed" into the floor/subfloor... but it is solidly not moving... issue?

LeviDIY 06-02-2009 09:57 AM

I shamelessly wanted this thread to get a little more attention, so I'm moving up to the top :)

Mike Swearingen 06-02-2009 10:34 AM

Normally, to seal properly, a toilet flange should sit right on top of the finished floor level with only the thickness of the flange above the finished floor level. However, your's look like the tile was added after the original toilet flange installation. You may need to use a thicker wax ring, or if it were me, I would just use two, one on top of the other.
When I double wax rings, I use a plain ring on the bottom and a ring with a plastic horn on top.
As long as your bolts fit the toilet at 3 and 9 o'clock, you should be good.
Everything else looks OK to me, as long as the flange is solidly fixed.
Level the toilet with a level across the bowl, and beveled plastic shims made for the purpose if necessary.
Use new brass toilet bolts, washers and nuts. Set the toilet straight down on the rings pre-placed on the flange. (Some prefer sticking the ring to the horn on the base of the toilet.) Snug the nuts down on the washers on the bolts so that the toilet can't move at all, but not too tight. (That can crack the porcelain base.)
Good Luck!

LeviDIY 06-02-2009 10:52 AM

Thanks Mike... you've allayed some horrible fears of a massive plumbing repair bill... just wanted to clarify, at 3 and 9 o'clock, if you see on the picture, are spaces to slide the bolts in from the side (as opposed to those channels from 4-6 and 10-12 o'clock... is that good enough? Also, I gotta go pick up new toilet bolts from the local home center... are these a standard size?

And the ridges along the inner part? No concern there?

Thanks again (if you've seen some of my other posts, I tend to freak out a lot and so far, seems to not be as big a problem as I had thought...) !

majakdragon 06-02-2009 12:19 PM

I have never seen a flange installed that way. The closet bolts are supposed to go into the slotted openings and slide over to lock them in. The slotted openings should be at 3 and 9 o'clock with the back wall. The yellow areas you highlighted are for screws to secure the flange to the floor. It is possible for the toilet to tilt and break the piping in the floor if not used. I discourage using two wax seals for novices since it is easy to have the top one slide and block the drain opening. The blue area is not a concern since it is normal.

al's sewer 06-02-2009 05:41 PM

DO not use 2 wax rings. they make a flange extender that fits on top of the old one. Just put some silicone caulk between the existing flange and the flange extender. If by chance your supplier does not have a flange extender they now make a jumbo wax ring which is much thicker than a single and you do not take the chance of the top ring sliding off and causing a blockage. 3 and a half inch closet bolts should be sufficent.

LeviDIY 06-02-2009 05:59 PM

For the flange extender, are you referring to the one with the rubber gasket you tighten with a hex wrench?

majakdragon 06-02-2009 09:38 PM

LeviDIY, I think Al misread your post and thinks that you are looking to increase the seal by using two wax rings. Since you did not raise the level of the floor, you do not need an extender.

al's sewer 06-03-2009 06:59 AM

I didn't misread the post I was just looking at the picture. If you notice the flange is at least a 1/4 inch below the finish floor. It needs to be raised by that much for it to work properly.

Mike Swearingen 06-03-2009 09:01 AM

Al is right. (I shouldn't have advised Levi to use two wax rings, although I've done it for years.) There are better ways to go. I saw that the notches were being used instead of the slots that are supposed to be, but the flange apparently is fixed in that position, so Levi, you can just go back to the notches with new bolts.
Is that flange in concrete right up to the outside of the closet bend drain pipe? If so, you can pre-drill through the Yellow Box "dimples" and use Tapcons to secure the flange better.
Good Luck!

LeviDIY 06-03-2009 09:31 AM

Appreciate the discussion here... The cement floor slopes right up to the edge of the pipe/flange, leaving just enough space to slide the bolts under/into those "red" notches. In thinking about it, I'm going to combine advice (unless you tell me otherwise):
- I bought at HD last night an extra thick wax ring (figured this combines Mike's, Majak's and Al's advice - can it be "too much" wax ever?)
- I bought regular closet bolt set, not the snap off kind... that EZ Snap didn't instill confidence in me.. I'll use a hacksaw to remove excess boltage. ;)
- I will predrill and secure "yellow" areas with tapcons screws as Mike suggests.

Going to hook it all up tonight and pour some water through a few times before caulking and hooking up supply line to make sure no leakage... I want to be double sure about that :) Thanks in advance, I'll report what happens!

ratherbefishin' 06-03-2009 10:29 AM


Originally Posted by LeviDIY (Post 282095)
- can it be "too much" wax ever?

Yeah, it can, if it squeezes down into the pipe and partially blocks it. Use an extender to bring it up a little above the finished floor level, 1/4" is good, and seal the extender to the flange with a bead of silicone.

That said, your extra thick ring will likely work, but why not do it right the first time and be sure?:whistling2:

Just FYI, code requires the underside of the flange to be installed flush with the finished floor.

majakdragon 06-03-2009 12:33 PM

Sorry Al. Guess the eyes are going bad (or worse). Levi, if you lay a straight edge across the bottom of the toilet while it is off the floor, you can measure how much space will be between the floor and seating area of the seal, just for an idea.

LeviDIY 06-04-2009 01:22 PM

Install success!
1 Attachment(s)
I figured I'd update you all... dove in last night given all the helpful advice...

- Used the thicker wax ring.. it had that reinforced collar that goes into the pipe to prevent the wax from clogging, spent some time making sure the ring was firmly sticking to the toilet bottom before flipping it over.
- Had the fiance keep her eye on the wax ring from a better angle (:wink:) as I was lowering onto the flange.
- Pressed down for a good minute or two on the toilet... checked level... was dead on side to side (parallel with wall), but front to back was off like less that 1/8"... went a bit nuts about that for a while cause I didn't really want to mess with shims if I didn't have to (seemed to be unstable).. then just said the heck with it, didn't seem like 1/8" across the toilet was a big deal to me (I hear the pros groaning when they read that)
- Voila....
Attachment 10950

Believe me, I flushed it about 5-6 times before I was satisfied there were no leaks.. and checked again this morning!

By the way, I was installing a "Flapperless" Niagra system... you can see the bucket where the water collects and the handle tips the bucket over, causing the flush... supposedly saves some water... I'm not *convinced* its as powerful a flush as I may need (:eek:), but at $100... worth the experiment. I started a thread here to ask others what they thought:

Thanks again to Mike, Al, Majak and ratherbefishin for the help, advice and confidence to do dive in. :thumbsup:

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