Fixing a Leaking Flange
Regardless whether you want to repair a leaking flange yourself or call a professional plumbing service to do it for you, it pays to know what needs to be done. Although it is true that with the right parts on hand repairing a leaking flange will be cheaper, you need to be confident enough to do the procedure completely. Let’s take a look at what needs to be done.
Leak at the Flange
How do you know if your toilet has a leak at the flange? Normally, you will observe a small pool of water accumulating at the point where the toilet meets the floor. It is possible that the floor around the toilet will feel spongy or the finished flooring is coming up.
The most common part that you would have to replace would be the wax ring. Aside from a replacement wax ring you will also need two sets of 5/16-inch water closet bolts, silicone-based caulk, and plastic toilet shims. To fix the leaking flange you would have to pull out the toilet.
Pulling Out the Toilet
Make sure that the water supply to the toilet is completely shut off. Take note of old water supply valves and corroded water closet nuts that have to be replaced as well.
Remove the water line that is leading to the tank. Make sure that there is no more water running in the tank. Any excess water in the tank and stool should be sponged out. Proceed by loosening the water closet nuts. If these are corroded and just continue to spin with the nuts you would have to cut them off using a hacksaw.
What to Look For
After you have pulled out the toilet you have to stuff a rag in the drain line. This is to make sure that sewer gases do not get into your home and the wax chunks do not fall into the pipes as you are cleaning off the excesses.
Ensure that all the old wax are scraped off from around the toilet horn and flange. Caulk and other debris should also be cleaned off the floor. Inspect if the flange is broken on the outside of its slot or if it is set too low. This is your chance to do some remedies. Rotting around the flange area of the toilet as well as possible wax ring failure can also be inspected at this point. You are in luck if you just need to reset the toilet and put in place a new wax ring.
Addressing these problems at this point will help you to avoid more headaches and expenses down the road.
Preparing the New Parts
Once you have completely cleaned off the wax residue around the toilet flange area, you can now set the reinforcement ring over the flange. This is done to make sure that all the water closet bolt slots are completely lined up. You may also mark the screw locations on the floor if it will make it easier for you.
A clearance hole should be drilled using a ¼-inch masonry bit. The hole should be deep enough but not reach the level of the subflooring. Keep in mind that plastic and old cast iron flanges are susceptible to breakage, which means they are not designed to last forever.
To minimize damage to the new flange, make sure that the toilet does not rock and you do not overtighten the flange nuts. Reinforcement rings are great help when you have a broken flange. Choose an oval head stainless steel screw when installing the reinforcement ring.
This should help you fix a broken toilet flange. It is important to remind you though that sometimes the problem can be more than just a broken flange. This is why it is often suggested that the best toilet repair option is to always call on a licensed professional plumber to handle such problems.