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I had a leaking bottom seal for my first floor half bath toilet, buckling linoleum tiles. I took up the linoleum and 0.7 in composite board that sits on the primary subfloor.

As part of this renovation I used an oscillating saw to cut away the upper portion of the toilet flange from the 3"PVC pipe. I now have the female portion of the flange to contend with in replacing the flange.

view of plumbing from below

I've tried a little using a chisel to remove outer portion of the flange, but it's slow going and I haven't made any real progress.

Is it easier to just cut the PVC from below and use a female-female coupler?

Additionally, what kind of saw should I use? I assume the cut should be pretty straight and without void space.

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    The cut dosent have to be absolutely straight but should be chamfered inside. I usually cut the pipe use a coupler and new flange that I set when the sub floor and cement backer is finished for tile jobs.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 21, 2016 at 20:37

2 Answers 2

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Is it easier to just cut the PVC from below and use a female-female coupler?

That's the way I would do it.

Cut the pipe no less than 1.5 inches above the elbow fitting. 3" PVC has a hub depth of 1.5" so you need at least 1.5" of exposed pipe to properly connect a coupling.

Additionally, what kind of saw should I use? I assume the cut should be pretty straight and without void space.

A hacksaw will make quick work of it and you should take care to make the cut square. One trick is to mark where you will cut then put a worm gear clamp on the pipe just barely below the mark. Tighten the gear and the clamp will serve as a guide keep the cut even. An even better way is to use two clamps, one on either side of the mark and only far apart enough to fit the saw blade between them.

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  • huh... Using a hose clamp as a saw guide. That's... genius!
    – FreeMan
    Oct 1, 2021 at 14:21
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cut the closet elbow off then use a coupler to add the new elbow and flange

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  • Is this 3 or 4" pipe? Adding a coupler may give you too much pipe vertically such that the flange won't be where you want it. I would go to my local hardware store and look into flange replacements that sit inside the old pipe. They often have red or black rubber gasket on them which may or may not be used, depending on your needs. There are other flange replacements that sit on the outside, but then you may have to chisel or use a hole saw to cut off the old outer part. This in turn endangers the pipe...you don't want to crack it. So explore more options b4 you cut any further.
    – DAS
    Feb 2, 2021 at 21:17
  • See Oatey twist and set flange at orange box box
    – DAS
    Feb 2, 2021 at 21:20

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