I'm putting a bathroom in my basement, and had a plumber come in and lay the PVC pipe after I cut out part of my floor. After pouring new concrete, he came back in and said there was a problem with the pipe for my toilet and it was too high. He said it must have shifted somehow (it did not -- it was like that from the beginning and my ignorance didn't know it was incorrect).

Short of breaking up the concrete and re-running the pipe, is there anything I can do to make this work properly?

Here's what it looks like. You can see the collar of the elbow sticking a good two inches above the concrete.


  • Depending on how thick the finish floor will be at the pipe, you may be able to set a flange that goes to the interior dimension of the pipe, as suggested by Michael Karas sketch below, not the outside diameter ... You will need to cut off the connector that receives the pipe that is above the floor. The radius of the elbow may try to get in the way.
    – Jack
    Apr 11, 2016 at 3:38
  • @Jack - I can see the elbow if i look down in the pipe. I don't think there's enough room to saw off the end of the elbow to try and fit a flange in. My other option is to raise the floor around the toilet, but I fear that it'd look bad. I want it done right and I guess if that means ripping up the floor, then I'll have to do that. I just didn't want to go that route if there was a different (but still effective) way. Thanks for your response.
    – SenorAmor
    Apr 11, 2016 at 14:45
  • Make sure the pipe will have some pitch to it when it is adjusted. Hopefully the elbow is not that high because that is what was needed to get the proper fall... FWIW, that straight piece should be just set in the elbow. No sign of it being glued in.
    – Jack
    Apr 12, 2016 at 2:44
  • Just checked it and the vertical pipe is definitely glued in. I couldn't budge it at all. As for the pitch, I couldn't tell you. I relied on the plumber to measure that so everything drained properly into my pit.
    – SenorAmor
    Apr 12, 2016 at 3:08
  • Can you get toilets with a horizontal outlet where you live? If so might that be a soloution? May 12, 2016 at 18:37

3 Answers 3


Were this my project I'd cut off the fitting flush with the floor and find out exactly how close to normally the flange fits. The inside of elbow should be the same size as the inside of the pipe. If possible, I'd make slight adjustments to the flange by sanding or grinding, then glue it in using primer and PVC adhesive.

I'd then be sure to securely anchor the flange to the concrete to minimize stress on the joint by the toilet mounting bolts.

This solution won't likely meet applicable codes, and will probably generate a few downvotes from sticklers who think there's only one right way to do things, but if done well will not create problems. If so much material needs to be removed from the flange as to leave a poor connection or structural weakness, or if the curvature of the elbow prevents a good fit, you'll need to remove the concrete and start fresh.


If you already paid the plumber there may not be much on that front as the cost of that job was probably less that the cost of taking a dispute to small claims court. If you have not made payment yet then you have the option to withhold till they come back and make it right or fire then off the job.

In either case you are most likely facing having to knock out some of that concrete again and then hiring another plumber to re-do the pipe.

Note that if the bathroom floor is going to be essentially at the concrete level then you should probably be planning for a recess around the pipe that is below the nominal concrete level as the top of the toilet flange plate wants to be approximately at floor level or just a little above it. This picture should help to show this:

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  • I have no plans (or desire) to try and recoup money from the plumber. I like the guy. He's done good work for me in the past and I believe one of his helpers did this and it was just missed prior to me pouring the concrete. I just wanted to know if there's an easy way of fixing it or if I'd have to tear up the floor again to do the fix. I'm not against doing it that way if it's the only way to do it so I don't have future issues. Thanks for the suggestion. :)
    – SenorAmor
    Apr 11, 2016 at 14:43

I would cut it flush to the floor . Install a flange ring (ring only no PVC) stick the wax on the pipe and bolt it down.

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