Is there foul sewer odour in your toilet that never goes away, or do you see water overflowing near the base of your toilet?
Either way, your toilet flange might be broken; if that’s the case, you must repair or replace it immediately to save your home from water damage. For those who don’t know, a toilet flange secures the toilet to the floor and keeps the drain sealed.
However, don’t worry because repairing the flange ring can solve your problem and save you from shelling out hundreds of bucks on structural restoration. If you don’t know how to fix a flange and find the manufacturer’s instructions too confusing, this guide is for you. We have broken down the procedure into simple steps.
Read on to learn how to repair or replace a toilet flange!
Signs Of Dysfunctional Toilet Flange
A broken toilet flange can cause major damage to your plumbing system, leading to water leaks, toilet backups and whatnot. Some signs indicating your flange needs repair are:
- There’s a foul odour in your washroom
- Your toilet pot rocks back and forth when you sit on it
- There are leaks at the base of your toilet and in the subflooring
- There are loose tiles near the base of the toilet pot
A damaged toilet flange can go undetected for months. However, you must watch out for the above signs if you suspect the flange is broken. Invisible leaks can cause water to seep into your subflooring and wreak havoc in your bathroom. Therefore, regular washroom inspection can help you save thousands of dollars in the long run.
Preparing Toilet For Repair
Before fixing the toilet flange, prepare your washroom for the procedure. This could be a hefty task for a few, as it entails removing the toilet seat altogether. So, don’t hesitate to hire professionals if you know little about the plumbing system.
For those who are confident to do it themselves, here are the steps to follow:
1. Cover The Floor
First, place paper towels or newspaper on the bathroom floor next to the toilet base, as you will place the toilet bowl atop it after disconnecting. Make sure you leave enough room for flange replacement.
2. Shut Off The Water Supply
Next, you must shut off the water supply by turning the valve by 90°. If the water supply to the toilet isn’t shut off completely, you’ll have to disconnect the water supply farther down the line, possibly next to the water meter.
3. Drain The Water From The Bowl And Tank
Moving on, you need to empty the toilet bowl and the tank before repairing the broken flange– so flush the toilet. If flushing doesn’t empty the two toilet parts, you can drain the remaining water with a turkey baster or wet vac. And since the water supply is shut, the tank won’t refill, so you need not worry about it.
4. Disconnect The Hose
The water supply hose connects the toilet tank to the shutoff valve and supplies water to the toilet. You will have to detach it at the coupler from the lower side of the tank. If you cannot loosen it by hand, use an adjustable wrench or pliers to turn the coupling until it is disconnected.
5. Lift The Toilet Seat
Next, remove the bolt covers at the toilet base to access nuts and bolts. Use adjustable pliers to loosen screws and free the toilet bowl from the flange. Once that’s done, lift the seat and place it over the towel or newspapers.
6. Block The Outflow Pipe
Lastly, you will have to block the exposed outflow pipeline using a cloth to prevent sewer gases from spreading into the bathroom. Gently push an old t-shirt or towel into the cast iron pipe, but not so tightly that you won’t be able to remove it later.
7. Clean And Inspect The Existing Toilet Flange
Now that you have clear access to the toilet flange opening inspect it properly before cleaning it. But if you see any signs of damage, replacing it with a new one is best. Here’s how you can inspect the old flange:
- Use a putty knife to scrape off the existing toilet wax ring and remove all the old wax
- If your existing flange is made of PVC and sealed with a gasket or silicone sealant, wash it properly after taking it off
- If you have a cast iron flange, call professionals for inspections
How To Repair Toilet Flange
Once you are done prepping up the toilet, you can repair or replace the new toilet flange. You can do it by following these five simple steps:
1. Insert The Repair Ring
After removing the broken or corroded sections of the flange, apply a generous amount of silicone sealant. Now, secure bolts into ring slots and insert the repair ring into its location for proper bolt alignment– you may require solvent cementing, so keep it handy. Wipe off excess silicone and give it enough time to cure.
2. Fit The Repaired Or New Flange Into The Drain Pipe
Push the flange through the supply hose so its lip rests snugly on the floor while its neck slides flush into the outflow pipe. Ensure the correct bolt alignment with one at 3 o’clock and the other at 9 o’clock position. Note that the neck of the flange should have a rubber gasket to form a seal against the interior of the outflow pipe.
3. Tighten The Screws
Drive closet bolts through the lip of the flange and secure them into the existing holes on the bathroom floor using a screwdriver. You can create new pilot holes in the floor if the current ring slots are too large or too small for new screws.
4. Unplug The Outflow Pipe
The repair work is pretty much done, so pick up any spare pieces of the old wax ring, flange repair ring, loose washers or screws before unplugging the outflow pipe. Once the area is clear, remove the towel you used to obstruct the pipeline.
5. Adjust The Wax Ring
Tilt the toilet bowl and adjust the new wax ring into the right place by pressing the bulging side of the ring over the pipe stub. Apply pressure on all sides of the repair ring, but push it gently to avoid deforming.
6. Reinstall The Toilet
After adjusting the repair ring, it’s time to reinstall the toilet in its place. Set the seat straight onto the top flange, aligning its holes with the bolts on the floor. Once you place it in the correct position, fasten the closet bolts clockwise, connect the water supply hose, and you’re done! Test your toilet to ensure it is installed properly.
Toilet Flange Is Now Repaired!
Repairing a toilet flange can look like a daunting task for those who don’t have any experience. If you are one of those, contact Woolf Plumbing Ellenbrook, whose licensed plumbers can easily pull off plumbing-related tasks. As such, our licensed and professional plumbers are experienced in repairing broken toilet flanges.
But fixing toilet flange won’t be much of a task for seasoned DIYers. So, give our step-by-step procedure a shot if your flange is broken. If the flange seems beyond repair, you can buy a new one from a hardware store.
That’s it for today. Until next time!