In general terms, a flange is a projecting flat collar or rim that is used as an attachment when assembling things. As for the toilet flange, it is fundamentally a metal pipe fitting that is attached to the toilet floor and adjoins the bowl to the drain pipe underneath the floor. When installed, it is placed on the floor over the hub that is in the pipe, and then the toilet is mounted right on top of it. For a sealer, a wax ring is placed between the bottom of the toilet and the flange, with the bowl being bolted onto it.
Now, there is a lot of reasons why you need to remove a toilet flange. For one, it should be done if your toilet bowl moves or rocks too much, which can easily cause damage to such a component. Also, it could get damaged if you are removing your toilet floor to do any re-decorating in your bathroom. Take note that a damaged toilet flange would result in leaks, which are really unpleasant in terms of both appearance and smell. All these things mean that it needs to be replaced. Here are the steps to take in raising a toilet flange:
1. Turn Off The Water Supply.
The first thing you must do is to switch off the water supply of your home, which you can do by either shutting off the master valve outside your home or in the street or switching off the shut-off valve that is in line with the pipes leading to your toilet. This will make sure that the water will not continue to fill up your toilet.
2. Empty Or Get Rid Of Any Water That Is Standing In The Toilet.
You should empty the water out of your toilet by pressing the handle to flush it. Because you have already turned off the water supply, the bowl will not fill up with any extra water. This is very important to avoid making a mess from splashes or spills.
3. Loosen And Undo The Toilet.
In most cases, the toilet is fixed to the floor with two nuts that are located on each side of the toilet. Remove these nuts and make sure to keep them safe, as you will need them by the time you are going to reinstall the toilet. If it is very difficult to loosen and remove, given your toilet is quite old, then you can saw them off. However, this method will require you to do some drilling later on.
4. Remove The Toilet.
Once you have managed to remove the bolts, you can then start rocking the toilet. Take note that the toilet is sealed against the flange with a wax seal, so it may take you some time before it will come away. After you have removed it, put it somewhere safe in the bathroom or in another area in your home. Also, remember to lay it on top of a towel or put it on the carpet outside the room.
If your toilet is one type that is too heavy for you to easily lift alone, you might need to get help from someone to be able to lift it straight from the wax ring. Take note that, if the wax ring gets damaged or if it is inadvertently shifted, your toilet could leak after you replace it.
5. Remove The Wax Ring.
Wearing a pair of disposable gloves, remove the wax ring. Wearing gloves is essential, as things can get extremely sticky because they could be under your toilet for a very long time, which also means that you need to allow plenty of ventilation. Using a plastic putty knife and a rag soaked in mineral spirits, clean the remaining wax from around the toilet bowl anchor flange and the drain on the bottom of the toilet. Remove the mounting bolts and check the flange for any cracks, damage or missing pieces.
After you remove the wax ring, make sure you plug right away the drain with an old towel or ball of rags that is large enough that it does not fall into the drain pipe. Remember that an unplugged drain will allow harmful or toxic sewer gas to enter your home.
6. Clean The Toilet Flange.
Clean any wax that could remain around the toilet flange and remove the screws that are fixing it to the floor. And again, keep the screws in a safe place, as you will need them for replacing the component later on.
7. Remove The Toilet Flange.
When removing the flange, the method you are going to use will vary depending on the type of material it is made of. The most common method for this task is either using a dremel tool to break the pipe by cutting into it or breaking the glue that bonds the pipes using a certain type of solvent. When cutting the pipe, how you position the cut will depend on the area of the damage. But most ideally, you should cut it off at floor level, so you can easily fit the new connector inside the pipe later on. If you are using solvents, you should take proper measures because these chemicals could eat away at the pipes. When choosing from the many different types of solvent that you can use, go for one that will work on the glue used on your pipes, but not on the pipes themselves. One product that is often recommended is the all-purpose adhesive remover, which should be able to break the bond between your pipes without you having to worry about the pipes getting damaged.
Tips on Re-Installing Your Toilet
If you are not able to fix a rocking toilet by tightening the bolts of the flange, the most probable reason would be that the flange is not able to hold down the toilet. If you find that the component is so broken up that you cannot use a repair kit, you need to replace it. Installing a new toilet flange can be a very straightforward project.