I went to replace a toilet recently and I found the following situation (images below):
- The toilet flange was brass and connected to a lead pipe
- The brass flange had a crack in it, possibly because
- A previous repair had crammed steel inserts under the brass flange.
- These inserts were totally rusted to a black/brown, crumbly, mess.
- There was a pvc wax-less seal stuck in the middle of the flange.
There was no way to install a new toilet with this mess, so I removed the rusted inserts and wax-less seal. Then, I hammered the brass back into place and installed the toilet with a wax ring. It seems to be working alright for now.
However, because the brass is cracked, this won't be a long-term fix. The "right way" to fix this would be to replace the flange with another brass one. What steps are required for this? Does it look like the lead pipe is soldered to the flange? I have actually brazed brass before, so I'd at least consider doing this type of repair on my own.
Short of doing things the right way, do people have any suggested fixes? I could imagine leveling the top of the flange and putting some sort of repair ring (like a SuperRing) on top. If it's not too hard to separate the flange from the pipe, I could also imagine installing a new, expanding flange in its place. (Although maybe the expanding flange would damage the pipe? Also, the pipe immediately does a 90 degree bend, so maybe I wouldn't be able to get a good seal with an expanding flange.)
- Initial top view:
- Initial left-side view (that brown stuff is actually rusted steel):
- Initial right-side view:
- Top view after cleaning:
- Left-side view after cleaning:
- Close up of joint between the pipe and flange --- possibly showing poured lead or solder between the two?
I do not have access from below. It would also be extra complicated to replace because the drain pipe from the sink joins the lead pipe a few inches below the flange (would be visible in the fourth picture if the contrast were better), so that would have to be replaced too.