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 (yet another) closet flange question
Author: pfun100 (CA)

I'm working on an upstairs toilet in an old house that originally had a lead closet bend. A plumber replaced the lead bend with a 4" cast iron pipe, cutting the vertical part shorter because there was tight clearance below the floor to a beam. They installed an outside clamping cast iron flange. First try after placing the toilet it leaked heavily, so they piled on a second wax ring, and then said it was done.

I'm now trying to fix this properly. Removing the toilet, I found that the top of the flange is a bit below the tile surface and not flat. I plan to build up the floor/tile so that the flange can rest on top of the tile. I have a few questions:

1) The outside clamping gasket arrangement bothers me, as any water/sewage that lands outside the pipe will want to flow downwards and might seep past the gasket. It seems much more natural to have the flange empty inside the closet bend. I imagine that the outside clamping must actually work or they wouldn't be used, but would it in fact be "better" to have the flange empty inside the pipe?

2) The inside clamping designs that look possible are the Oatey 43539, the Oatey Twist-N-Set, and the Sioux Chief PushTite. The Oatey 4339 has hex bolts to tighten the gasket, which seems like it might provide a tighter seal, but they also are spots for stuff to hang up on, maybe making for clogs. Anyone have opinions on these three?

3) Because the bend was cut short, the curve cuts into the vertical line not that far down from the top opening. So the inside gasket style flanges may not be able to be placed far enough down--it might hit the bend. Anyone know of an inside style flange that has a short outlet? Alternatively, I was thinking that I might take one of the ones I mentioned in #2, cut a section out of the middle and glue it back together to make a short one.

4) An additional problem with one flange that I tried is that it would not fit into the pipe. Although the pipe is I think 4" lower down, near the top the wall is thicker, causing a narrower diameter, too narrow for the flange. Was this not the correct kind of pipe (closet bend) that they used?

5) If I stick with the outside clamping style, I'm thinking it may be difficult to keep the top of the flange flat to the floor, as the clamp wants to follow the angle of the pipe, which is not vertical where it clamps on, due to it being cut short. Any ideas on this?

Thanks for your comments on these nitpicky questions, and apologies for my lack of knowledge....

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 Re: (yet another) closet flange question
Author: steve (CA)

Replace the bend with one that's cut to the proper length, so the flange sits on top of the tile. I've never had a problem with the outside clamping style flange. After installing the flange, you could smear wax around the top edge of the pipe, to help keep water from possibly migrating down.

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 Re: (yet another) closet flange question
Author: PlumberLoren (CA)

What ever you decide to do be sure you utilize a level so the flange will be flat on the tile and block both top and bottom of the bend so it can't be pulled up by the closet bolts. The top block needs to be securely screwed to the floor joists because you don't want any movement once the toilet is finally set. You may have to cut the santee out and start over making sure you use the correct fittings for your job. A No-Hub band on the horizontal part of the closet bend will allow you to (use Brass or Stainless Screws to) secure the flange down flat. Can you fir down the downstairs ceiling to get more room? I don't understand your clearance concerns from your post. Just asking? A few photos would help us help you. Don't get in a hurry do it right the first time. Good luck.



Edited 2 times.

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 Re: (yet another) closet flange question
Author: packy (MA)

i agree with steve.. call the plumber back and have it done correctly.
they make PVC closet bends that are easier to work with for plumbers with limited skills.

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 Re: (yet another) closet flange question
Author: bernabeu (SC)

The BOTTOM (underside), yes the BOTTOM, of the flange should sit ON TOP OF the finished floor.



= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638 ~ Measure Twice & Cut Once



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: (yet another) closet flange question
Author: pfun100 (CA)

Here is what the current installation looks like:




An additional problem is that there is no wood under a third of the flange to tie it down to. That's another reason why I'd prefer an internal clamping flange, as that would leave more room around the pipe to reconstruct some supporting structure.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: (yet another) closet flange question
Author: packy (MA)

isn't it sad that plumbers today do not know how to do this job with a 4 x 4 cast iron flange that gets packed with oakum and has molten lead poured into the space.
anyway, chances are an internal flange with rubber ribs to make the seal will do that job.

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 Re: (yet another) closet flange question
Author: pfun100 (CA)

But as I mentioned in the first post, the Oatey fitting like this:



won't fit into the pipe, because the pipe wall is thicker near the top, making the ID a little too small. Does that mean that the pipe used was not a proper "closet bend" pipe?

Also, the curve of the bend starts so close to the floor that even if it fit, I think it would hit the curve before it seated down on the floor.

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 Re: (yet another) closet flange question
Author: sum (FL)

Is that a structural support floor joust? That is a lot of wood removed to make room for that elbow.

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 Re: (yet another) closet flange question
Author: pfun100 (CA)

Yes it is! But that was done a long time ago, not during the recent lead bend replacement. It's a little hard to tell from the photo, but the joist continues down, behind that reinforcing 2x4. So the notch is about 40% of the height of the joist. Probably a more serious reinforcement should be installed?

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 Re: (yet another) closet flange question
Author: bernabeu (SC)

Your existing flange is WAY WAY WAY too low.

Raise it up so the BACK is flush to the finished floor tile,

or at least high enough that the compression elements are on a 'straight' section of the ell.

It might then clamp on properly.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638 ~ Measure Twice & Cut Once

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