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I've been working on a bathroom renovation for a while now, and I'm getting near the point where we are ready to put some self leveling compound on the ground preparatory to new tiles.

Before I do that, I was planning on replacing the flange for the toilet. The original flange is not bolted to the ground, and I've replaced most everything else – so I figured I'd get this, too. However, I can't seem to find a simple method to remove it. It's attached to a copper pipe, and I can't tell what the flanges made of – but it might be soldered.

The bottom edge of the flange does float about a quarter inch above the concrete below, but the copper pipe to which it's attached is rather long (6 feet or so?) so it can lever a little bit – I assume the weight of the toilet keeps it down.

I have attached pictures, any info you can provide is appreciated. Does it look to be in decent shape? Obviously it's dirty, and I need a new wax ring. Does it need to be affixed to the floor? Does it need to be replaced? If so, how do I detach it? (Is the simplest way going to be cutting the pipe underneath (I have pretty easy access) and using a fernco to go to PVC?)

Flange from above

Flange from below

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It looks remarkably well, considering the age it must be.

There are no signs of leaks. You didn't indicate you had any leaks.

I would add a couple of nylon shims under the ring and screw it to the floor. With a new seal you're good to go.

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  • I suspect this might have been redone when some of the bathroom was, but I'm not entirely sure on the timetable for that. No leaks as far as we're aware, but if you think it's looking good enough that's good enough for me! I won't bother replacing it.
    – user112697
    Jul 26, 2023 at 1:36
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    "no signs of leaks" - pretty sure I don't know as much about this as you, but the picture from the bottom shows the wood around the pipe is pretty clearly wet - do you think this is new / just from removing the toilet? Also, what's going on with the board to the left (looking up)?
    – sǝɯɐſ
    Jul 26, 2023 at 12:04
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    Good observance. The answer was in regard to the toilet flange only. the darkness around the hole would indicate that some water had gotten into the end-grain of the boards. Since they are not stained, this must have been recent and is not unexpected if the toilet was recently removed. The board to the left does raise some suspicions, but again the OP indicated they had no problems with a leak. This too may be old, and should be cleaned.
    – RMDman
    Jul 26, 2023 at 12:17
  • @RMDman gotcha, thanks for the response!
    – sǝɯɐſ
    Jul 26, 2023 at 13:13
  • If there's nothing to screw into (the hole looks fairly large), screw some plywood under the floor first, cut closer to the shape of the pipe. Use longer screws to reach it. And spend a little extra for stainless ones. It looks like a brass flange welded to a copper pipe and might very well outlive all of us.
    – Olivier
    Jul 26, 2023 at 18:54

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