How to Replace a Toilet Flange

Replacing a toilet flange might seem like a daunting task to tackle, but with the right tools and a bit of know-how, it’s a project you can DIY over the weekend. A crucial component of your toilet is the flange. This connects the bottom of the toilet to the drainpipe in the floor, ensuring a leak-free and stable connection. Over time, flanges can become damaged or worn out, leading to leaks and instability in your toilet. If you are a DIYer – here are a few tips to do it yourself!

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Putty knife
  • Wax ring
  • New toilet flange
  • Closet bolts
  • Hacksaw
  • Rubber gloves
  • Towels or rags
  • Plumber’s putty or silicone sealant

Step 1: Prepare the Area

Before you begin, turn off the water supply to the toilet. Flush the toilet to drain as much water as possible from the bowl and tank. Disconnect the water supply line and soak up any remaining water with towels. It’s also a good idea to wear rubber gloves to keep your hands clean during the process.

Step 2: Remove the Toilet

Carefully remove the caps covering the bolts at the base of the toilet, then loosen the nuts with an adjustable wrench. You might need a hacksaw to cut off rusted bolts. Once the bolts are removed, rock the toilet back and forth to break the seal with the floor and lift it away. It’s heavy, so you might need help with this step. Place the toilet on a towel to avoid damaging the floor and to catch any drips.

Step 3: Remove the Old Flange

With the toilet removed, you’ll see the old flange. Scrape off any old wax ring material from the flange and the floor using a putty knife. Remove the screws that secure the flange to the floor. If the flange is glued to the outside of a drainpipe, you might need additional tools to cut it off. Inspect the drainpipe for damage and ensure it’s in good condition before proceeding.

Step 4: Install the New Flange

Place the new flange over the drainpipe. The flange should sit flush with the floor—if it doesn’t, you may need to use flange extenders or spacers. Secure the flange to the floor using screws. If you’re installing a flange that fits inside the drainpipe, ensure it’s sealed properly with plumber’s putty or silicone sealant.

Step 5: Attach the Wax Ring and Toilet

Place a new wax ring on the flange, ensuring it’s centered. Carefully lower the toilet back onto the flange, aligning the holes at the base of the toilet with the closet bolts. Press down firmly to seal the wax ring, but be careful not to rock or move the toilet, as this can break the seal.

Step 6: Secure the Toilet and Reconnect the Water

Once the toilet is in place, put the washers and nuts back on the closet bolts and tighten them gradually, alternating sides to apply even pressure. Avoid over-tightening, as this can crack the porcelain. Trim any excess bolt length with a hacksaw. Reconnect the water supply line, turn the water on, and flush the toilet several times to check for leaks.

Replacing a toilet flange can seem complex, but it’s a manageable project with the right preparation and patience. Remember, if you encounter any issues or feel unsure about the process, it’s always best to call a professional plumber. At BPI Plumbing, we’re here to help with all your plumbing needs, ensuring your DIY projects are successful and your home’s plumbing system is in top condition.

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