There are a couple of reasons why you might need to make a toilet flange repair. The toilet may start to leak around the base. This will usually be evident when the toilet is flushed. The other problem is that the toilet may loosen up. The topics included in this series are listed below. You can take a quick jump here or you can read the overview to get a better idea of what this repair involves.
For some related topics, see the articles 'Troubleshooting Toilet Problems', 'Toilet Leaking At the Base' and 'Tightening Toilet Flange Bolts'
Tightening up a loose toilet may be accomplished by tightening the tee bolts if they are not too old and corroded. If the tee bolts need to be replaced, you will have to pull the toilet up and put new ones into the flange.
There is a wax ring that seals the base of the toilet to the floor. Over time this seal may be compromised and the toilet will leak. A new wax ring only costs a couple of dollars, but it requires that you pull the toilet up to replace it. Taking a toilet up is a little more challenging than other toilet repairs.
Doing your own toilet flange repair will save you money and increase your skills around the house. Why not give it a try, if your toilet is not working correctly. With patience you can make your own toilet flange repair.
Toilet Flange Repairs - The Issues Involved
What Can You Save? - Tightening tee bolts that are still working can be done on a service call. $50 to $100 depending on where you are located and who you call. Pulling the toilet and replacing the tee bolts or the wax ring is a bit more involved. Probably between $125 and $200. So your savings could range between $50 to $200 plus the mark up that the shop charges you on the parts.
How Hard Could It Be? - Tightening loose tee bolts is not hard at all. A fifteen minute project. Pulling the toilet to replace the tee bolts or the wax ring is more involved. Allow two to three hours. The toilet is kind of heavy, up to fifty pounds for a standard toilet. More for a one piece. It may be wise to have some help available. These repairs will have a Difficulty Level of: A Bit of Work; These repairs require a Skill Level of: Handyman; For and explanation of the terms in this section, see 'How to Use This Site'.
Check the Simple Things! - Tightening the tee bolts is the simplest task. Tightening the bolts may stop a leak if it is not too bad. Try this first and wait a day or two. If the toilet still leaks or the bolts break off, then more drastic action is required.
What Can Go Wrong? - Making a toilet flange repair will not be worth the effort if something is damaged. The toilet uses water to operate. Take steps to drain the toilet tank down and flush the water out of the bowl. Anything that can be damaged by water should be removed from the area before the repair is attempted. The area around the flange will be dirty, wear rubber gloves as a precaution. Being without a toilet is not good, allow enough time to complete the repair in one session. Your whole family will thank you.
Troubleshooting Toilet Flange Problems
Replacing a toilet flange when they crack or break is very important. A broken toilet flange can allow the toilet to loosen and start leaking. A toilet that will leaks at the base will get dirty water on your floor.
Toilet Leaking Around the Bottom
The first sign of trouble with a toilet flange is when you start to see water around the base of the toilet. This is not always a sign of a toilet flange problem, but it is usually not good news.
The first thing to do is try to figure out what the trouble is. See the article 'Toilet Leaking at the Base' for instructions on what to do.
Replacing a Wax Ring
The wax ring is the item that seals the toilet to the floor. Over time the seal can break and water will start to leak around the flange when the toilet if flushed. Sometimes, you can tighten the toilet flange bolts and solve this problem. See the article 'Tightening Toilet Anchor Bolts' for instructions on what to do.
If the wax ring is too far gone it will need to be replaced. See the article 'Replacing a Toilet Wax Ring' for all of the information needed.
Removing a Toilet
You cannot work on a toilet flange or any of its components without removing the toilet. This is a job in itself. First you have to drain all of the water out of the toilet. See the article 'Draining a Toilet' for instructions on how to do this.
After the toilet is empty, you can remove it. This involves, shutting off and unhooking the water supply, removing the anchor bolt nuts and lifting the toilet off of the flange. For complete instructions, see the article, 'How To Remove a Toilet'.
Toilet Flange Anchor Bolts
The anchor bolts hold the toilet to the floor. Sometimes called tee bolts, the are specially made to fit into the toilet flange and protrude up high enough to secure the toilet base. Nuts and washers are used for this task.
See the articles 'Tightening Toilet Flange Bolts' and 'Replacing Toilet Anchor Bolts' for instructions on what to do with the bolts.
Replacing a Toilet Flange
Replacing a cracked or corroded toilet flange can be a difficult task. A better solution is to put a retrofit toilet flange sleeve into the existing flange. This a lot eaier to do and will work in most cases.
For information, see the article 'Replacing a Toilet Flange'.
Toilet Flange Repair – Summary
Toilet flange probems are a bigger repair. This is mostly due to the fact that you have to remove the toilet to work on the flange.