I've removed a toilet that was not attached very well, and found that the flange was partially detached from the pipe. In trying to replace it, I've found that the pipe seems really messed up. I'm trying to think of a way to get a good seal on this thing, but the strange shape and bumps make that seem difficult.

Has anyone seen something like this? Do I need to use a shallow flange with some sort of glue? Thank you so much, I really appreciate any help!

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  • 1
    If you look around you should be able to find funnel shaped reducers to go with the wax ring the toilet mounts on. I'm not sure from the pictures if the ones I've seen would be adequate, but they're along the lines of what might solve your problem. I'd put a wax seal under the mounting ring as well just in case of backflow or flood.
    – K H
    Apr 26, 2021 at 7:09
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    what is the pipe made out of? is that copper ot lead?
    – Jasen
    Apr 26, 2021 at 10:08
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    Yeah, lots of purple PVC pipe joint cleaner in that elbow.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 26, 2021 at 11:28
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    Where are you located the flange and elbow look modern but lead in between. There are repair flanges that can be dropped into the pipe but I am not sure if they will make past the lead work.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 26, 2021 at 13:32
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    That looks very much to me like old lead "flashing" that's been used. Weird to see that with the 'newish' PVC pipe below - is it possible that there's a stub of cast-iron in there? Are you able to remove any of that and replace it with an offset flange instead?
    – brhans
    Apr 26, 2021 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


I would be looking at using a toilet flange replacement/ extender.

The problem may be you will have to remove the lead. Most of the old timers that did use lead were not using it by the late 70’s but if they came into a problem they would still use lead as they were more comfortable with lead than plastic. Another thing there were not as many available repair options like “flex on”or “twister” that both flanges have extended tails to tie into old pipes.

You may be able to use a 3” to 4” repair where the 3” flange drops down and seals to the 4” pipe. This might be a way to get past the lead bulges.

Putting in a 3” won’t be a problem as many homes are completely plumbed in 3” and have a standard “closet” or toilet flange.

The high end extended flanges can run close to 50$ but many are available for 1/2 of that but I think an extended replacement would do the trick and get past the mess of the lead.

If you have access you might consider cutting the entire mess out and replumbing but the cases where I have seen lead used it was because there was no access and lead is not that hard to work with but is really a lost art if you consider plumbing drains an art form.


For posterity:

I ended up using a lot of the steps from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Szlhjn1Hfe0

I had to put some Quikrete down, and use a 3" flange that I cut shorter and at an angle so it would fit in the shallow bend. The flange was then glued into place (with tons of glue, to get a seal). Then we drilled into the concrete with a carbide bit, and screwed it into place. Got a standard wax ring, put the toilet in place, used a few non-wood shims to compensate for the wonky floor, and caulked it all up.

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