How to Repair a Cast-Iron Toilet Flange | Ask This Old House

How to Repair a Cast-Iron Toilet Flange | Ask This Old House

This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows how to replace a badly corroded cast-iron flange. (See the shopping list, tools, and steps below.)
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Shopping List for How to Repair a Cast-Iron Toilet Flange:
– Plastic expansion closet flange [], to replace old cast-iron flange
– Large sponge [] and bucket [], for sopping up water
– Four wood blocks [], used as spacers beneath the new closet flange
– Rubber gasket [], for sealing toilet to flange

Tools for How to Repair a Cast-Iron Toilet Flange:
– Wrench [], to loosen and tighten hex nuts []
– Close-quarter hacksaw [], for sawing through bolts
– Stiff-blade putty knife [], to scrape off wax gasket
– Screwdriver []
– Hammer [] and cold chisel [], for chopping out the cast-iron flange
– Pliers [], to pull out the old flange
– Wet/dry vacuum [], for collecting dust and debris
– Ratcheting hex-key wrench [], to tighten the flange screws

Steps for How to Repair a Cast-Iron Toilet Flange:
1. Close the shut-off valve behind the toilet to stop the flow of water.
2. Remove the lid from the toilet tank. Flush the toilet and hold down the flush lever to drain as much water from the tank as possible.
3. Reach inside the tank and unscrew the ball float.
4. Use a large sponge to sop up the remaining water from inside the tank and from the bottom of the toilet bowl.
5. Remove the nuts from the closet bolts on each side of the toilet base. If the nuts are rusted in place, cut through the bolts with a close-quarter hacksaw.
6. Unscrew the water-supply line from the underside of the toilet tank.
7. Rock the toilet back and forth to break its wax seal with the drainpipe. Lift the toilet and carry it out of the room.
8. Use a stiff-blade putty knife to scrape away the wax gasket from the closet flange.
9. Unscrew and remove any extension rings to expose the cast-iron closet flange.
10. If the flange is badly corroded, use a hammer and cold chisel to chop out the flange.
11. Pull the loosened flange out of the cast-iron drainpipe with a pair of pliers.
12. Vacuum up all dust and debris from around the drainpipe and bathroom floor.
13. Set four wood blocks around the drainpipe to hold the new closet flange at the correct height.
14. Install a plastic expansion closet flange into the cast-iron drainpipe.
15. Use a ratcheting hex-key wrench to tighten the four screws on the inside of the flange until the flange is tightly wedged into the drainpipe.
16. Slide two new closet bolts into the slotted keyways in the flange.
17. Place a rubber toilet gasket over the bolts and onto the closet flange.
18. Set the toilet back into place on top of the gasket.
19. Onto each closet bolt put a plastic washer, stainless-steel washer, and hex nut. Alternately tighten each nut with a wrench, being careful not to crack the toilet base.
20. Trim off the excess bolt with the hacksaw.
21. Snap on the plastic caps to conceal the closet bolts.
22. Reattach the water-supply line to the underside of the toilet tank.
23. Screw the ball float back onto the flush valve.
24. Open the shut-off valve and flush the toilet to ensure it’s working properly.

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Repair a Cast-Iron Toilet Flange | Ask This Old House



Wendy Yu says:

Thanks for the video. What is the brand of the flange you have used and where I can buy them? Appreciated.

Gabriel Gilbert says:

Why you not used glowes?

Ash Okla says:

Just a wild guess here but won’t that toilet break from the crack and leak again?

David Sky Walker says:

Thank you for this extremely helpful video.

Jonathan Toro says:

What is the cost for this job?

Michael Gronski says:

Richard, I'm a Master Plumber and I always had a shop vac which I used to remove the water as well as clean up the area. Works Great!! Better than a Dixie cup and sponge.Try it, you have one there, use it man.

Cuban Jorge says:

I think a real man does not show a lady weakness by wearing gloves .. Rich is an alpha male plumber! Lmao 😂

weelgunny says:

I would have taken a wire wheel and spun off some of that rust inside the iron pipe where the gasket mates in.

Paul Didzerekis says:

All that work on the drain with no gloves. Then he puts back the broken toilet.

Tundra Jockey says:

She totally blew him after…..

Alleriea says:

Ever considered to buy a small shop-vac to remove the water off the toilet? Takes a second instead of 15 minutes with a sponge.

Jason Lambert says:

What about the crack bowl too .. What joke ..

Jason Lambert says:

You can tell he only works on tv .. No deases ever on that was ring uh .. He does no real work evidently he has no cuts on his hands .. Hmmm

GigaGregTV says:

@3:18 A germaphobes nightmare 🦠🤢🤢🤢🤮

James Osagie says:

Love your professionalism…

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