How to remove and replace rusted toilet flange?

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Old 07-29-18, 06:48 AM
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How to remove and replace rusted toilet flange?

First some quick background - I noticed ants in the bathroom, placed some Terror baits and by the next day I confirmed they were coming from under the toilet. Floor is square tile with grout and there is no silicone seal lining the toilet bottom; so you can easily slide a sheet of paper underneath until it hits the wax ring. The ants were actually walking along one of the grout lines which gave them even more space to get under the toilet

I gave it a couple of days for the ants to die off - I might see a random ant here and there, but nowhere near the amount seen before and the baits are still out. Next was to lift up the toilet to see what's going on.

After peeling off the wax ring I could immediately see the problem. About a 4 inch section of the flange is rusted, and edge of the rust spot lines up with a cracked grout line which I assume provided the main opening or the ants. In advance of lifting the toilet I had purchased the Danco Next Perfect Seal, but obviously now I want to replace the rusted flange first.

The flange was secured by 4 screws which came out without much issue. However when lifting the flange it appears to be connected or held down by the piping which feels like some sort of metal as opposed to plastic. I didn't want to tug with too much force yet, but from what I can tell it appears the piping lip is purposely made to be larger than the flange opening to help secure it down. Either that or it's just stuck with wax residue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKI3NC674MA - Skip to 2:19 in the video and that looks very similar to what I have.

So what are my options right now? This is a multi story condo where I only occupy a single floor - I will not have access from below.

Thanks.
 
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Old 07-29-18, 06:56 AM
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Attaching photo of the flange - you see the upper left side of the flange is rusted. The ants were walking down the grout line in the upper right corner and turning down the grout line leading to the flange. It's hard to see in the photo, but there is a crack in the grout under the flange.
 
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Old 07-29-18, 09:18 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

It looks like a bit of water had leaked by the old wax seal.
Personally.... I wouldn't mess with that flange. Sand it and paint it. The integrity looks fine.
If you have ants originating there..... then they are coming in thru the floor and squeezing under the flange.
 
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Old 07-29-18, 09:44 AM
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The metal flange is part of the PVC drain fitting. It is generally not removable. As PJmax said, I would use it. If the new wax ring seals well it will take care of the moisture causing the rust and will probably help discourage the ants as well.
 
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Old 08-01-18, 01:56 AM
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It's hard to tell, but I don't think I see any screws holding the flange down. You should screw it down, caulk around it as well as you can with silicon, and use a thick wax ring.
 
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Old 08-07-18, 05:38 PM
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Thanks for the tips. After some consideration, I think I will keep the rusted metal ring and try to coat it best I can with some POR 15 (I already have a can which I'll never fully use so why not).

I hadn't realized before that the metal ring was bonded to the PVC, and so my initial thought was to get the corroded piece out and replace it.

Steve_gro - I took the screws out thinking I could decouple of the metal ring from the PVC pipe.

Now the main thing I will do different than was suggested was go with a wax less seal. I'm sure some of you will hate that idea. But I want to give it a try - Fluidmaster Better than Wax. I was thinking of the Danco Perfect Seal which is similar but does include a wax ring as extra protection. I kind of feel that the wax failed me on this toilet - even though it was installed ~17 years ago.
 
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Old 08-07-18, 09:57 PM
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17 years is a pretty good track record. Why fix it it it ain't broken? Caulk any openings to keep the ants out.
 
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Old 08-07-18, 10:01 PM
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I've tried the rubber seals. I no longer use them or recommend them. Stick with the wax seal.
 
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