A toilet flange is a fitting used mount the toilet to the floor as well as connects the toilet drain to a sewer drain pipe. This is one of the most important part of the toilet’s draining system and is attached to the floor with a hub surrounding the pipe. The toilet is then placed on top of the toilet flange and not to the floor. It also has a wax ring in between the flange and the floor. When it breaks, water leak might result and replacing it can be a major job .However, in some cases, a broken toilet flange can be repaired.
By buying repair plates, broken plates can be fixed by replacing the broken plate pieces with the new ones.
Turn the water supply to the toilet and unscrew the hose. Make sure to empty the tank by flushing the toilet. Get a wrench and remove the toilet from the flange by lifting it and setting it aside on newspaper or cloth so as not to mess the tiles.
Get a paint scraper or a putty knife to remove wax remnants from the flange. Mild detergent can also come in handy to clean wax. Remove the bolts that secure the toilet to the flange and floor. Clean the underside of the toilet as well as the floor. Measure the inner diameter of the sewer drain pipe or take a photograph using a camera phone so you can buy the exact flange in case you need to replace it. Check for breaks in the tracks so you can fix it with a repair plate. However, if it needs more than repair plates, you may have to buy a push-in flange replacement or a repair ring.
- If the toilet flange is broken but is still securely bolted onto the sewer pipe, you will need a spammer flange to replace the broken or missing pieces. These are metal pieces shaped like a half moon which can be attached by simply sliding them under the broken flange.
- As for a toilet flange attached to a floor that is stable, the solution might be to replace the flange collar. Since thin metal is the typical material of these rings, they can be placed on top of the old flange collar without having to remove the broken ones at all.
- If the flange collar needs to be replaced due to extensive damage, they will have to be removed and replaced. Do so by using a hammer and chisel to make it easier to break the old cast-iron flange. Get a power drill and attach an internal pipe cutter to remove PVC flanges inside the pipe.
Remove the screws securing the toilet flange to the floor and pry the broken track with a screwdriver so you can slide the repair plate. Align the flange and the tracks of the repair place and with screws that you have removed, secure the repair plate to the flange by driving them into the holes from where they were removed earlier.
If you are going to repair the toilet flange with a repair ring, it is not necessary to remove the flange from the floor. By simply sliding the new ring on top of the old flange, the problem can be fixed. Just make sure to align the tracks so you can securely screw the ring through the offset screw holes.
If you are using replacement toilet flange that is the push-in type, you need to remove the old ring first. With the use of a hacksaw, cut the ring after you have unscrewed it from the floor. Next, with the use of a slot screwdriver and a set of pliers, pry the metal away until it is loose and can now be pulled from the flange. For a twist-on tapered flange, there will be a rubber seal found on the outer part of the flange which needs to be inserted into the existing pipe. Right on the outer edge of the flange, there is a rubber seal that is pulled up to secure the flange.
Get the replacement ring and insert it into the opening of the flange and press it down until it is on top of the floor. Secure it by using the bolts from the old ring.
Connect the heads of the toilet to the underside of the repair ring or replacement ring tracks. On the opening of the toilet flange, put the new wax ring and bolt back the toilet to the flange. Screw or clamp the water hose back to the toilet and check if the problem is already fixed by turning on water supply.
It is important to know that if you are going to use a push-in replacement flange, it can narrow the opening for draining waste materials. That said, it should only be used to replace 4-inch toilet flanges.
It is imperative to check for damage to the subfloor when the toilet is removed. If you find any area that is soft or spongy, it should be repaired to secure the toilet.
Unsecure Toilet on the Floor
If you notice that your toilet is wobbly and water seeps through the bottom of your toilet, chances are, your toilet flange is not really leaking.
Check the base of the toilet to determine where water is coming from. It could be that it is from the tank and the toilet bowl itself.
Check if the toilet bowl for sweating. It might this is just due to summer months.
With a set of pliers, try tightening the nuts. This might just be a case of loose nuts and simply tightening them can solve the problem.
Broken toilet flanges can be quite a challenge especially if you do not know what to do. But for simple concerns, fixing your toilet flange can be a DIY project if you use the tips mentioned above.