A flange is the part of the toilet which connects it to the drainpipe in the floor. You may need to change the flange if it is cracked or broken and the water is leaking from around the base of the toilet. It might seem like an easy task, and is so, but requires a high amount of strength and precision.
If you are not sure about it, it is advisable to get some professional help, or some advice from someone more experienced. However if you are hell-bent on doing it yourself (it will save you money if you do) and you take pride in being a skilled repairman when it comes to things around the house; follow these steps to efficiently replace a broken flange.
Step 1- Preparation
Now, first of all, it is going to be messy. You are advised to cover the bathroom floor with newspapers, which can be cleaned up easily afterwards. This step is pretty much the rule for any toilet repair related activity. Disconnect the water supply and flush the remaining water in the bowl. If some water still remains, use a sponge to get rid of it. Unscrew the toilet from the ground and remove it and place it on the newspapers.
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Step 2- Out with the Old
To remove the old flange, first, you will have to scrape off the wax on the flange seal. Use a sharp object such as a putty knife to peel off all the wax from the seal. Then unscrew the flange from the floor using a screwdriver. As a precaution against the sewer gases, which may back up into your bathroom from the opening- it is advisable to stuff a rag cloth over the opening of the drain while you work.
Step 3- The Store
Clean up your flange, (use a disinfectant) so that you can take it up to a hardware store to get a replacement. Additionally, measure the diameter of the drain pipe to be sure. Flanges can be easily found in any plumbing supply or home improvement stores as well. While buying the flange, do not forget to purchase a new wax seal to go with it.
Step 4- The Installation
Remove the rag from the drain so that you can install the new flange. Place it on the floor and tighten the bolts around it, the bolts stick out of the floor and attach with the toilet. Secure the flange by using a screwdriver and screws. They must come with the product. Place the wax seal on the bottom of the toilet in its designated space.
Now carefully position the toilet over the drain in such a way that the bolts are right below their respective holes. Push it into place and tighten the nuts around the bolts to secure the toilet to the floor. In case there is some minute space between the toilet and the floor, you can insert some pennies to even it out.
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Make sure that the toilet is stable. Reconnect the water supply and flush it once to see if it is working properly. If it is still leaking then you need to consult an expert as to whether it is some other problem or improper installation.
In case the new flange is slightly thicker, you can use a hacksaw or an angle grinder to slice off the extra. Be very careful while bolting and screwing your toilet. Too much pressure can crack the porcelain. Hope this guide helps you in successfully changing the flange without much damage to your pocket and/or to your bathroom.