Plumbing in the Home/Toilet Flange



Is replacing a toilet flange intalled on a concrete subloor a difficult job? My sister wanted my grandfather's bathroom to have tile, so she did it herself, but somehow messed up the flange. The flange now freely moves, is bent, and there are globs of grout underneath the flange in two or three places.

How do I get the flange off? It is iron and has a black, plastic piece on top that seems glued to the toilet drain. There also seems to be some kind of u-shaped metal ring underneath the plastic. Here is a pic, but it is hard to see anything because the flange is rusted and there's still wax in some places:


ANSWER: Hello Ian,
This looks like a standard glue-on ABS plastic closet ring. Since it is solvent welded onto the pipe, it is pretty difficult to remove without special tools such as an "inside" cutter for the pipe.  Even if cut off, the pipe will then be too short.

There are replacement flanges available that have an O-ring and just press down into the existing pipe.  Check this page >> Scroll down the page a bit,there are several versions. You would need to cut away the old metal ring by removing the black plastic rim that is holding it on.

Good Luck,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


To my surprise, when I tried removing the rim on the plastic, the whole plastic piece came out. The flange, however, is still stuck on because of some kind of soft, pliable, metal piece on top of it. In this pic, I put a red line right next to the metal piece I'm talking about:

It almost looks like the pipe going into the concrete is metal. The pipe that runs to the sewer, at least the part I saw, looks like it is made of some kind of clay. I think the house was probably built in the '50s.


It is possible that the closet bend (the pipe in the floor) is actually lead. This might be something you should have a pro look at. Working with lead pipe, especially old lead pipe is very difficult.

Vitrified clay sewer pipe is not uncommon outside the house.
Good Luck,

Plumbing in the Home

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dana Bostick


Pretty much any residential plumbing questions. For "item specific" details such as a specific model of fixture, I will need to research and there may not be any useful information available. Note: I live and work in Southern California. We do not, as a rule, use hot water or steam heating systems, oil fired boilers or private water wells so my knowledge in those areas is pretty limited. There are others here on AllExerts that can probably answer those questions better.


Retired, Licensed General Contractor with Plumbing license. Active Home Inspector, Litigation Consultant and Infrared Thermographer, Online Marketing specialist.

Publications "Rain Maker" as "Inspector Dana", about making money online.

30+ years in the building trades, Licensed General Contractor (Retired), Certified Infrared Thermographer Internet Entrepreneur, Amazon & eBay Merchant (deals-by-dana)

Awards and Honors
Listed FHA Fee Inspector, FHA 203(k)Consultant, HUD Mobile Home Inspector

Past/Present Clients
Home buyers, sellers and owners, Investors, Commercial roofing companies (infrared roof scans for moisture intrusion, Litigation Consulting for "Slumlord" laws in SoCal

©2016 All rights reserved.