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Old 06-26-2015, 04:10 PM   #1
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Is this a plant growth under the toilet foot?


I am pulling tile in a powder room from the concrete slab and look what I found when I pulled the toilet that was set down 24 years ago? At first I thought it was the remainder of some kind of fiber cushion but on closer inspection it looks to me like plant matter was coming up from beneath the slab. I think between the concrete and the ABS. Anyway, I am just going to dowse the area with Roundup and after it dries seal it with silicon unless anyone has a better suggestion.

We thought that a musty smell was due to cat stains on a carpet, that lingered even after the bad spot was cut out. I think I found the source of the smell and it has nothing to with the cat.

I was concerned that the toilet flange would need to be replaced but it looks good to me, although I am not happy with how it was installed so that the back is much higher than the front, where the flange is on the concrete.

Anyhow, muy questions are does that look like plant growth and does my plan of using silione sound good? Also, is the flange fine as is, even if it would have been nice had it been originally insalled flush all around with the slab?
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Is this a plant growth under the toilet foot?-stink-001.jpg   Is this a plant growth under the toilet foot?-stink-005.jpg   Is this a plant growth under the toilet foot?-flange-001.jpg  

Last edited by Klawman; 06-26-2015 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:50 PM   #2
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Do you have a tree or maybe a bush of some kind, somewhere outside , near this room.

If so Round up will kill the entire thing.

I have seen tree roots follow a sewer line for 40 feet or more then come inside, due to the slight leak from a poor flange that is leaking .

Just scrape away as much of that root as possible even down the side under the slab if possible, then fill the gap with epoxy.

Silicon will still allow some seepage both ways, then get the ring trimmed to accommodate the slight variance due to the un-level flange. or get a level flange installed.

ED
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:11 PM   #3
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Thanks de-nagorg. By scraping the ring do you mean to trim the wax ring so that the top is level?
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:51 PM   #4
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Wow, that's quite a find. Bet your S.O. was happy-or not. It certainly looks like plant growth, both grossly and with such arborization.Could the flange be uneven due to the roots pushing it up?
Thanks for posting this.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:51 PM   #5
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I got it cleaned up around that ring and while the front is down on the concrete the rear is up just over 1/3 of an inch. On close inspection it was never screwed to the concrete; not even with a single screw.

I am thinking of leaving it as is or cutting off the old flange from the inside of the 4" and using a new flange that glues to the inside of the 4". While I have the old one off I should be able to epoxy around the inlet pipe, which may be needed not just to try to stop the root from invading but to give me something to screw the flange bolts into, assuming that the existing hole under the concrete was dug so wide that there was nothing to screw the flange down on. I hope this makes sense.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProGreen View Post
Wow, that's quite a find. Bet your S.O. was happy-or not. It certainly looks like plant growth, both grossly and with such arborization.Could the flange be uneven due to the roots pushing it up?
Thanks for posting this.
Sure its possible that the root pushed everything up. I won't know for sure unless I cut out the old flange and I don't know if I want to. I am especially reluctant to cut or drill into the slab since it may be a post-stress slab.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klawman View Post
Thanks de-nagorg. By scraping the ring do you mean to trim the wax ring so that the top is level?
By scraping I meant to clean all the roots of as far down the pipe as you could go, then epoxy the hole around the outside of the pipe sealed.

And then either shaving the wax ring in a wedge shape so that the bottom is flush with the slanted flange, and level on the top, to seal out the sewer gasses, and to prevent any slight leak like the one that is the "root" (pun intended) of this problem.

Myself I would just cut the thing off from the inside, then glue on a level replacement, as getting the wax trimmed just right might be a mother dog to get right.




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Old 06-27-2015, 01:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by de-nagorg View Post
By scraping I meant to clean all the roots of as far down the pipe as you could go, then epoxy the hole around the outside of the pipe sealed.

And then either shaving the wax ring in a wedge shape so that the bottom is flush with the slanted flange, and level on the top, to seal out the sewer gasses, and to prevent any slight leak like the one that is the "root" (pun intended) of this problem.

Myself I would just cut the thing off from the inside, then glue on a level replacement, as getting the wax trimmed just right might be a mother dog to get right.




ED
I think I will go with cutting off the flange from the inside and gluing one in that slides inside the 4" intake. Unless the original flange is removed, there is no way to clean and epoxy up any voids between the pipe and concrete. By poking through the holes in the flange I can tell there is no way to fasten the flange down with screws because too much of the concrete around the pipe is missing. Once it is epoxied in I will have something to screw into.
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:54 AM   #9
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Sounds like a winning plan.


And that way you will guarantee that the root will not be back inside.


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Old 06-27-2015, 11:25 AM   #10
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If you have plant root in your underground like that you also have leaky pipe.
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Old 06-27-2015, 01:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostmaker View Post
If you have plant root in your underground like that you also have leaky pipe.
Is the pipe leaking? I think the root is on the outside coming up outside the pipe wall. See the first picture. The second and third show how one side the flange is up in the air but down on the concrete on the other side. The fourth is just to get a better overall look at the flange.

I am also wondering that if I replace the flange, isn't it still going to have the same problem as long as the inlet isn't perpendicular to the floor? The one side will still stick up. If so, wouldn't I have to cut the slab open to correct the angle without busting the ABS?

Thanks everyone for all the help.
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:28 PM   #12
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Is that flange even glued? Or did the stick a plastic flange into a cast iron pipe?
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Old 06-27-2015, 03:34 PM   #13
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I'm Thinking that you live in a sub-division of tract housing, built as fast as possible, where the contractors built at such a speed that care was not in the area.

If so they slapped everything together as quick as they could, and did not take the time to get it level, or it was not dry yet and it got pulled up a bit by installing the toilet too soon.

And I also figure that you have a high water table, to allow the roots to spread far under the slab, thus causing an encroachment of the roots inside.

And some plants spread out roots quite a way to gain access to water.

You could get a plumber with a camera on hit snake, and have a video taken of the inside of your sewer all the way to the street, and that will show you any roots that have penetrated the pipes.


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Old 06-27-2015, 04:14 PM   #14
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The pipe is definitely ABS and not CI, Ghostmaker. I carefully tried to pry the flange off and I am as certain as I can be, without cutting into the piping, that it is glued.

And yes, it is somewhat expensive tract housing but is still tract housing. I don't think the water table is that high. I think a root found its way into the under slab pipe channel and followed it.

Not that it matters, but since the flange was never screwed down it can be spun when the pipe is pushed so as to take tension off the concrete at the point where the flange rests against its surface.

I am sorely tempted to cut the existing flange off as high as possible. If it is glued, I wonder if there is any way of gutting the existing bottom of the flange and removing it from the male end of the elbow? I am sure it would be a PITA, but if that can be done I am thinking of probing down along the sides to see if I can seat the elbow down lower and so it is perpendicular to the top of the slab?
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:50 PM   #15
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It looks like your flange may be on the outside of the pipe is that correct?

Also is the pipe 4 inch? inside diameter
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