3 Ways to Tell if Your Toilet Flange Needs to Be Replaced

rusted wax ring below toilet

It can be hard to determine if a toilet flange is broken because it sits beneath the toilet and is out of view. Fortunately, there are some symptoms and warning signs that might indicate a problem with a toilet flange. To start, you should familiarize yourself with three of these symptoms and what they might mean.

1. Leakage From the Base of the Toilet

If the toilet begins to leak around its base, there is most likely a problem with the flange. The tricky part is figuring out what the problem is. Usually it is one of two things: a crack in the flange or a flange that is the wrong size for the toilet. If the toilet has just been installed, it could be either problem. However, if the toilet has worked for many years and has started leaking only recently, it is probably a cracked flange.

The reasoning behind this is that if the flange is the wrong size, it probably would have been leaking ever since the first time the toilet was flushed. A cracked flange is generally easy to fix, but may require the homeowner to replace the wax ring as well.

2. Toilet Moves

If the toilet rocks back and forth, there is almost certainly something wrong with the flange. Since the flange connects the toilet to the floor, the bolts that hold it down may have been broken or may have not been installed correctly in the first place. It is also possible for a flange to crack or break away from its bolts and cause the toilet to move.

3. Floor has Been Built Up

This is only a problem if the floor is ever going to be replaced because once the original floor is torn up in order to lay down the new floor, the flange will likely be mounted too high up on the drainage pipe to attach correctly to the new floor.

Luckily, this problem is easily fixed. If the flange and pipe are cast iron, simply hold a wood block on the flange near the drainage pipe and tap it down towards the floor with a mallet. If the pipe and flange are made out of PVC, simply cut the pipe near the floor and install a new flange.