You wake up in the morning to find water on your bathroom floor. You realize the toilet is leaking at the base. Upon a closer look, you realize the flange may have corroded and it’s time for a toilet flange replacement. If left untreated, the leak can turn into a plumbing disaster. Our team of expert plumbers is here to help. In this blog post, we’ll go over how our plumber replaced a toilet flange in Lincoln Park Chicago.
What is a Toilet Flange?
What is the Difference Between a Toilet Flange and a Wax Ring?
The main difference between a toilet flange and a wax ring is the material and its placement. A flange can be plastic or metal and attaches to the outflow pipe. A wax ring is made of wax and seals against the toilet. Both wear out over time.
In some cases, a plumber will install a rubber gasket instead of a wax seal. A rubber gasket looks like a large plastic washer and keeps water from seeping out as well.
How to Know if You Need a New Toilet Flange
One common issue that can lead to a toilet leak or other damage is a worn-out flange. Here is how you can identify if you need to replace a toilet flange:
Water Leaking From the Base of the Toilet
Flanges last for about 5-20 years. Worn-out flanges will no longer create a tight seal between the toilet and outflow pipe.
As a result, when you flush, the toilet will leak at the base. By replacing the closet flange you will be able to stop the base from leaking. It would surprise you how much water is wasted from a toilet leak.
Loose Tiles Surrounding the Base
A water leak from the base can loosen tiles over time. We have seen many lovely new tile floors destroyed from poor flange installation
Also, when you install a new tile, the flange should never be below the tile. Using plastic flange extenders to raise the existing toilet flange to the required height is not correct. Doing so will cause leaks. If a flange is below the floor grade it must be brought up to floor grade to avoid leaks.
Cracked Toilet Flange
A flange will crack because of the constant pressure it endures. Water will start to leak out causing extensive damage to your bathroom floor.
A flange can also crack as a result of uneven flooring. If the tile floor is uneven you may notice the toilet rocks back and forth. The constant moving will break the flange and wax ring.
How to Replace a Toilet Flange
We recommend you call a professional plumber to ensure proper installation. Here are some steps for how to replace a toilet existing flange.
Step 1: Shut Off the Water Supply to the Toilet.
The first step is to shut off the water supply hose to the toilet. You can locate the water supply behind the toilet. This step will stop the toilet from filling. Remove as much water from the tank and bowl as possible by flushing the toilet several times.
You can buy a flange kit at a hardware store. The kit includes the flange itself, the screws, and the washers.
Step 2: Remove Toilet
Then remove the plastic caps and unscrew the nuts that hold the toilet to the floor. Use a socket wrench to unscrew the nut that connects the toilet to the pipe.
Toilets weigh heavy so, have someone to help you and place the toilet in a safe place where it will not break. If the toilet tank breaks or the seal between the toilet tank and bowl cracks, the toilet will need to be replaced.
Step 3: Clean Up and Removal
You should now be able to see the old flange and wax ring. Use a screwdriver or another tool to remove the screws that are holding the flange.
Once you have removed these parts, clean the area around the old flange with a brush and cleaner.
Step 4: New Toilet Flange
Place the new flange over the outflow pipe to align to the pre-cut holes where you will screw it in place. Additionally, make sure the toilet flange is level with the bathroom floor.
If there are no gaps, proceed to screw it in place. Then place the toilet on its side. Apply the wax ring to the toilet horn. Place the wax ring on top of the flange and set the toilet in place.
Step 5: Set the Toilet
Now it is time to re-install the toilet. The toilet should not tilt back and forth or shift. Once it is set, screw the toilet bolts back on.
Finally, reconnect the toilet back to the waterline. Test the toilet by flushing until it refills. The toilet tank water should reach 1 inch below the overflow pipe. Look at the toilet base for any leaks.
How to Prevent Future Problems with Your Toilet Flange
Here are some tips you can use for toilet flange repairs:
Tip 1: Use a Good-Quality Wax Ring
A good-quality wax ring can help prevent a leak because it creates a better seal. Also, makes sure to always replace the wax ring when you replace the flange. Doing so will create a better seal between the toilet bowl and toilet flange.
Tip 2: Tighten the Screws and Nuts
Tighten each nut bolt to hold the toilet to the floor using an adjustable wrench. Not only will the toilet be in place but it will prevent the flange from cracking.
To avoid stripping screws you can go the extra step to use tap plastic anchors. This will give the screws an extra grip.
Tip 3: Clean the Area Around the Flange
When installing the flange it is important to clean the area. Removing the debris will create a good seal between the toilet flange and the toilet bowl.
Toilet Flange Replacement in Lincoln Park Neighborhood Chicago
If your toilet is leaking and you are in Lincoln Park Chicago, Rescue Plumbing is here to rescue you! Rescue Plumbing will have your toilet up and running again. A customer called, luckily our plumbers were ready to respond nearby on North Avenue.
The Lincoln Park homeowner called explaining that the base of the toilet was leaking. Our plumbers headed out there the same day to fix the problem.
Upon arrival, the plumber noticed the customer had used an old towel to absorb all the moisture. This was not a permanent solution and the toilet would continue to leak.
The plumber removed the toilet to get to the bottom of the issue. Our plumber suspected the leak may be occurring from a broken toilet flange or a worn-out wax seal.
Corroded Toilet Flange
After removing the toilet we saw the flange had corroded. The plumber removed the lead and broke the concrete.
The plumber installed a brand new cast iron flange and disposed of the previous flange. The plumber made sure the flange aligned to the outflow pipe and leveled with the floor.
The plumber then set the toilet on its side and replaced the wax seal as well. This would ensure a tight seal and no leakage.
The plumber took the extra step of caulking around the toilet to prevent any future leaks. The customer was very happy with the results.
You can read more on how we have assisted other customers with toilet flange replacement.
Let Us Rescue You!
Experiencing a leaky toilet? Don’t hesitate to call your local plumber, Rescue Plumbing. Our expert plumbers can solve the problem quickly and efficiently. We pride ourselves on our customer service and expansive service areas.
We will work hard to ensure that you are happy with the results of our work. So if your toilet is giving you trouble, please don’t wait – contact us today at (773) 799-8848!