One of the most important parts of your toilet is the flange. While out of sight and out of mind, this small part is the unsung hero of a functioning toilet. Unfortunately, just like any other plumbing component, it can break and cause major problems in your home. If you suspect you have a broken toilet flange, call your Houston plumber for assistance.
What is a Toilet Flange?
You may have thought we were exaggerating by calling the toilet flange a hero of your plumbing, but it’s actually pretty accurate. The toilet flange does a couple of really important jobs for your plumbing. First, it connects the toilet to the drain pipe, which allows you to flush away waste. Also, it helps connect and stabilize the toilet to your bathroom floor.
This important plumbing part sits underneath the base of the toilet. It’s generally made of plastic or metal and is between three and four inches in diameter. The bottom part of the flange sits just inside the drain pipe under the floor. The top part of the flange is a flat, circular ring that should sit at the same height as your bathroom floor. The toilet sits on top of this flange, with a wax seal between the flange and the toilet base to provide a water-tight seal.
In some cases, your toilet flange may break or deteriorate, or the wax seal may wear out. In these cases, it’s often best to call your Houston plumber for help. Repairing or replacing a toilet flange yourself can be difficult and may lead to expensive damage in your home.
Signs to Call your Houston Plumber about Your Toilet Flange
A broken toilet flange can cause several different issues for your plumbing and your house. If you think your toilet flange is broken, it’s important to get Houston toilet repair as soon as possible. Some signs you may need toilet flange repair include:
- Toilet rocking back and forth
- Sewer odors
- Leaks from the base of the toilet
- Leaks in your subflooring
- Loose tiles around the base of the toilet
Because this piece connects your toilet to the waste pipe, ignoring toilet flange issues can cause major problems. Broken toilet flanges can cause leaks that can create major water damage. Sometimes, these leaks are even invisible, slowly seeping into the subflooring in your home. In many cases, home owners don’t discover this until their subflooring has rotted and started to sag. This can lead to thousands of dollars worth of repairs to make your home structurally sound again.
Also, a broken toilet flange means there’s no water-tight seal between your toilet and the waste pipe. This can let sewer gas into your bathroom and lead to unpleasant odors throughout your home. Often sewer gas is the first sign before a major leak.
Common issues with Toilet Flanges
There are several things that could lead to an issue with your toilet flange. For example, it may break or crack. This is more common if your toilet is loose and rocks back and forth. Eventually, this pressure and stress can cause a full break that will need toilet flange replacement.
Also, in some cases your flange may corrode, rust, or deteriorate. Depending on the type of material your flange is made out of, it may, over time, start to degrade. For example, aluminum flanges might start to corrode, cast iron might rust, and PVC might become brittle over time. When this happens, you might notice your toilet seems loose or you might get leaks or sewer odors.
In addition, if the flange is the wrong height, this can also cause major problems for your plumbing. If the flange is too short, then it leaves a gap where water, waste, and odors can escape. You might notice leaks at the base of the toilet. When the flange is too tall, the toilet might rock back and forth and leak. These leaks are sometimes under the visible flooring and in the subflooring, which generally requires a professional carpenter to repair. When flanges are too high, your Houston plumber can simply cut them down to the right height. For flanges that are too low, it’s often best to replace the flange with a taller version.
Check the Wax Seal
However, not all these signs mean you need toilet flange repair or replacement. In many cases, it’s actually the wax seal between the toilet and the flange that causes leaks. These seals make the connection water-tight. However, the seal might become compressed or simply worn with time. When this happens, it can cause many of the same issues as a broken toilet flange. If this is the case, then you may not need Houston toilet repair, but simply a replacement seal to fix the problem.
Replaced Your Bathroom Flooring? Call your Houston Plumber to Check the Flange Height!
One of the most common reasons we see issues with the toilet flange is because homeowners have recently replaced their bathroom flooring. Now, we’re not saying you should never put new floors in your bathroom, but we recommend calling your Houston plumber to check the flange after the new flooring is in place.
Why might putting in new tile cause problems for the toilet flange? The issue is that the top of the flange is supposed to sit flush with the floor. Often, different tile styles will be different thicknesses. This means that the toilet flange may need to be taller or shorter depending on the type of flooring you choose.
Unfortunately, many floor installers are unaware of this issue. Therefore, they often simply remove the toilet and place it back on without realizing that it can cause damage. Those that do realize the issue often believe they can fix it by simply doubling up on wax seals or using a toilet flange extender kit. However, neither of these solutions are desirable. Having two or more wax seals on the toilet flange often means that the seal isn’t water-tight and doesn’t provide a long-term solution to the problem. Also, while you can certainly buy toilet flange extender kits, they generally fit inside the current flange, which can narrow the opening to the waste pipe. This may make your toilet more prone to clogs.
Instead, having your Houston plumber do a quick inspection of the toilet flange between having your floor put in and replacing the toilet can help protect your home against these issues that can end up costing you a fortune in repairs.
Trusted Houston Plumber since 1974
As a leading Houston plumbing company, we are here to help you keep your plumbing in great shape. Whether you need regular maintenance, emergency repairs, or want to add to existing lines for a remodel project, our team is here for you! As a family owned and operated business, we value our customers and are committed to providing prompt, outstanding, and affordable service. Call us today at (713) 665-4997 to request service 24/7.