Home » How to Fix Broken Toilet Flange

How to Fix Broken Toilet Flange

A toilet flange is a pipe fitting that connects the bottom of the toilet to the drainpipe and secures it to the floor. It has a cylindrical shape and a flat surface with holes for inserting bolts that hold the toilet in place. A toilet flange can break due to corrosion, wear and tear, or improper installation. A broken toilet flange can cause the toilet to leak, wobble, or move, damaging the floor, the wax ring, or the drainpipe. To fix a broken toilet flange, you have three options:

  • Use a flange repair ring
  • Use a flange extension
  • Replace the flange

Option 1: Use a Flange Repair Ring

A flange repair ring is a metal ring that fits over the existing flange and covers the broken part. It creates a new, solid surface for the toilet bolts. It is an easy and inexpensive way to fix a broken toilet flange.

To use a flange repair ring, you need to do the following:

Preparing to Remove the Toilet:

  • Turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush it to empty the tank and bowl.
  • Disconnect the water supply line from the toilet and place a bucket or towels underneath to catch any drips.

Removing the Toilet:

Preparing the Flange:

  • Plug the drainpipe with a rag or a T-shirt to prevent sewer gases from escaping and objects from falling into it.
  • Clean the old wax ring from the flange and the bottom of the toilet with a putty knife or a scraper. Discard the wax ring and any debris in a trash bag.

Installing the Flange Repair Ring:

  • Place the flange repair ring over the existing flange and align it with the holes for the bolts.
  • Secure it to the floor with screws or nails that come with the product or wood/cement screws suitable for your floor material.

Installing the Toilet:

  • Place a new wax ring on top of the flange repair ring, ensuring it covers the pipe’s opening. The wax ring will create a watertight seal between the toilet and the flange.
  • Lower the toilet carefully over the flange repair ring, aligning it with the bolts. Press firmly on the toilet to compress the wax ring and secure it.
  • Screw nuts onto the bolts and tighten them evenly with an adjustable wrench or pliers. Do not overtighten them; this can crack or warp your toilet base.

Finishing the Installation:

  • Reconnect the water supply line to your toilet and turn on your water supply valve.
  • Flush your toilet several times and check for leaks around your toilet base, water supply line, and drain pipe.

Option 2: Use a Flange Extension

A flange extension is a plastic ring that fits inside or over the existing flange and extends it down to match the floor level. It can also cover the broken part of the flange and provide a new surface for the toilet bolts. It is another easy and inexpensive way to fix a broken toilet flange.

To use a flange extension, you need to do the following:

Preparation:

  • Turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush it to empty the tank and bowl.
  • Disconnect the water supply line from the toilet and place a bucket or towels underneath to catch any drips.

Removing the Toilet:

  • Remove the toilet from the floor by unscrewing the nuts from the bolts that hold it to the flange.
  • Lift the toilet carefully and place it on a tarp or towel nearby. You may need a helper to assist you with this step.

Temporary Plug:

  • Plug the drainpipe with a rag or a T-shirt to prevent sewer gases from escaping and objects from falling into it.

Removing the Old Wax Ring:

  • Clean the old wax ring from the flange and the bottom of the toilet with a putty knife or a scraper.
  • Discard the wax ring and any debris in a trash bag.

Installing the Flange Extension:

  • Choose a flange extension that matches your drainpipe size and shape.
  • Attach your flange extension to your existing flange using screws, bolts, glue, gaskets, or soldering, depending on your type of connection.

Installing the New Wax Ring:

  • Place a new wax ring on top of the flange extension, ensuring it covers the pipe’s opening. The wax ring will create a watertight seal between the toilet and the flange.

Reinstalling the Toilet:

  • Lower the toilet carefully over the flange extension, aligning it with the bolts.
  • Press firmly on the toilet to compress the wax ring and secure it.
  • Screw nuts onto the bolts and tighten them evenly with an adjustable wrench or pliers. Do not overtighten them as this can crack or warp your toilet base.

Final Steps:

  • Reconnect the water supply line to your toilet and turn on your water supply valve.
  • Flush your toilet several times and check for leaks around your toilet base, water supply line, and drain pipe.

Option 3: Replace the Broken Toilet Flange

The third option is to replace the flange entirely with a new one that is lower and fits your drainpipe. This option is more complicated and may require cutting or soldering the pipe. It is recommended to hire a plumber for this option.

To replace the flange, you need to do the following:

Preparing for Flange Replacement:

  • Turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush it to empty the tank and bowl.
  • Disconnect the water supply line from the toilet and place a bucket or towels underneath to catch any drips.

Removing the Old Flange:

  • Remove the toilet from the floor by unscrewing the nuts from the bolts that hold it to the flange.
  • Lift the toilet carefully and place it on a tarp or towel nearby. You may need a helper to assist you with this step.
  • Plug the drainpipe with a rag or a T-shirt to prevent sewer gases from escaping and objects from falling into it.
  • Clean the old wax ring from the flange and the bottom of the toilet with a putty knife or a scraper. Discard the wax ring and any debris in a trash bag.
  • Remove any screws or nails that secure the flange to the floor with a screwdriver or a hammer. Set them aside in case you need to reuse them.
  • Remove bolts or screws that attach the flange to the drainpipe with an adjustable wrench or pliers. Set them aside in case you need to reuse them.
  • Lift or twist the flange out of the drainpipe. If it is glued or soldered to the pipe, you may need to cut it with a hacksaw or call a plumber to do it for you.

Choosing and Installing the New Flange:

  • Choose a new flange that matches your drainpipe material, size, and shape.
  • Choose a new flange that fits inside or over your drainpipe.
  • Choose a new flange with holes for inserting bolts to hold your toilet in place. The bolts should be long enough to reach above your finished floor level.
  • Attach your new flange to your drainpipe using screws, bolts, glue, gaskets, or soldering, depending on your type of connection.
  • Attach your new flange to your floor using screws or nails that come with your product or wood/cement screws suitable for your floor material.
  • Place a new wax ring on top of the new flange, ensuring it covers the pipe’s opening. The wax ring will create a watertight seal between the toilet and the flange.
  • Lower the toilet carefully over the new flange, aligning it with the bolts. Press firmly on the toilet to compress the wax ring and secure it.
  • Screw nuts onto the bolts and tighten them evenly with an adjustable wrench or pliers. Do not overtighten them as this can crack or warp your toilet base.
  • Reconnect the water supply line to your toilet and turn on your water supply valve.
  • Flush your toilet several times and check for leaks around your toilet base, water supply line, and drain pipe.

FAQs

What is a toilet flange, and why is it important?

 A toilet flange is a circular metal or plastic ring that connects the toilet to the drain pipe. It is important because it prevents leaks, wobbles, and odors from the toilet.

How do I know if my toilet flange is broken?

Some signs of a broken toilet flange are water seeping from under the toilet, rocking or shifting of the toilet, an unpleasant smell from the bathroom, or visible cracks or damage on the flange.

Can I fix a broken toilet flange without removing the toilet?

It depends on the extent of the damage and the type of flange. If the flange is broken but firmly attached to the pipe, you can use a repair ring or plate to fix it. If the flange is loose or detached from the pipe, you must remove the toilet and replace the flange.

What tools and materials do I need to fix a broken toilet flange?

You will need some basic tools and materials such as adjustable pliers, a wrench, a screwdriver, screws, a hacksaw, a paint scraper, a putty knife, a repair ring or plate, a wax ring, a rag or towel, and silicone sealant.

How long does it take to fix a broken toilet flange?

 The time it takes to fix a broken toilet flange depends on your skill level and the complexity of the repair. Generally, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete the job.

Conclusion

Fixing a broken toilet flange is important for preventing leaks, odors, and damage to your floor and subfloor. You have three options for fixing this problem:

  • Use a flange repair ring that fits over the existing flange and covers the broken part. This option is easy and inexpensive but may not look neat or professional.
  • Use a flange extension that fits inside or over the existing flange and extends it down to match the floor level. It can also cover the broken part of the flange and provide a new surface for the toilet bolts. This option is easy and inexpensive but may not be compatible with all flanges or pipes.
  • Replace the flange entirely with a new one that is lower and fits your drainpipe. This option is more complicated and may require cutting or soldering the pipe. It is recommended to hire a plumber for this option. This option is more durable and reliable but may be more costly and time-consuming.

The best option depends on your situation, budget, and preference. You should always consult a plumber before attempting any plumbing repairs or replacements. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with doing it yourself, you can always hire a licensed plumber to do it for you.

Resources

Bath Arcadia
Bath Arcadia