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Old 02-22-2014, 01:52 PM   #1
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How to cut a toilet flange

I have a rusted toilet flange in my 1961 bambi that won't budge. I have read as many of the flange postings as I can find. I have used liquid wrench, wood, and even made the "flange tool" out of metal and it still won't budge. I am afraid I am applying so much pressure that the flange mount is going to break inside the tank. Everything moves when I put pressure on it except the flange. I saw someone say just cut it out. This is going to sound strange, but how do I cut it out. It is a 1/4" steel flange surrounded by 50 year old fiberglass wet bath connected to a rare fiberglass black tank. Ideas?
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinktankair View Post
I have a rusted toilet flange in my 1961 bambi that won't budge. I have read as many of the flange postings as I can find. I have used liquid wrench, wood, and even made the "flange tool" out of metal and it still won't budge. I am afraid I am applying so much pressure that the flange mount is going to break inside the tank. Everything moves when I put pressure on it except the flange. I saw someone say just cut it out. This is going to sound strange, but how do I cut it out. It is a 1/4" steel flange surrounded by 50 year old fiberglass wet bath connected to a rare fiberglass black tank. Ideas?
Dremel rotary tool with small cutting wheel. Should be able to go all around the drain opening, and cut the flange off that way.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:27 PM   #3
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Get a Sawzall, a Dremmel is for hobbyists, you need a real tool for this. If the tank is fiberglass, it is easy to fix, even if you have to rip out the old fitting. Get some fiberglass cloth and resin and glass in the new fitting. Your tank will be good as new.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:45 PM   #4
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Which parts do you want to save? It does not look that bad. A wire brush would shine it up. It looks structurally sound.

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Old 02-22-2014, 05:53 PM   #5
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I agree with perryg114 above. it looks like a old cast iron flange used before they stamped them out of sheet steel. Probably good for another 100 years.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:45 AM   #6
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Threads close up

Here is a close up of the threads. It truly is rusted on there solid!
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:59 AM   #7
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You are going to ruin the tank to get that off. The newer stuff is plastic and it bends and cracks. I have had problems with them in my house. Looks like there is another cast fitting glued to the tank and the flange is screwed into that?

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Old 02-23-2014, 08:25 AM   #8
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That is true perry

The black tank does have a cast fitting and the flange is cast metal also. I'm going to try some PB lubricant that someone recommended with my tool next. Obviously I've got confidence to rip the entire bathroom apart to fix a rotten floor, but I would rather not go st the thing with a sazall.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:38 AM   #9
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Using a sawzall to cut the flange, and not the threads on the tank fitting would be tricky.

It would take several precise pie cuts and some careful hammer and chisel work.

Frankly it might be easier to deal with the flange and tank on the workbench where you could take your time with solvents and maybe even some carefully applies heat to get the solvent into the threads.
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:51 PM   #10
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I would say a torch is the only way it will come off and the heat might destroy the tank. Heating the flange where the threads are red hot will usually loosen even the most stubborn rust. I still think leaving it is going to be the best solution. What flange are you going to replace it with and is it better than what you have? You will have to section the floor around the flange in order to get support under the flange. As long as you have the seams supported, that should not be an issue.

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Old 02-24-2014, 12:03 AM   #11
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The flange needs to be removed

I neglected to tell everyone that I need the flange off because I need to take out the wetbath because the floor is rotten under the black tank. I don't have a choice of leaving the flange on because I can't get the wetbath out with the flange on. Thank you for the feedback. I like the heat idea. I have a torch. Does a little heat ever help instead of getting it red hot?
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:54 AM   #12
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How to cut a toilet flange

A little heat can help the penetrating oil to get into the threads.

A little heat, then spray the threads.

The idea is that the heat will expel air from the threads as it expands, and that the penetrating oil will quench the heat and get drawn in.

Of course the penetrating oil is flammable so make sure you extinguish the torch before spraying and have an extinguisher handy just in case.

This would be more safe on the bench top, but so long as you proceed with common sense you will be ok.

You would have to get the flange pretty hot to exceed the flash point of the oil but it is possible.

Use wet rags around the tank to wick the heat away from the tank and to prevent wood etc from catching fire.

Repeat the process several times as needed.

Also sometimes it even helps to tighten the fittings slightly to try and get some movement to get things started.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:38 AM   #13
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The heat expands the metal and helps break the bond between the two flanges. You can heat then quench, heat then quench. Putting wet rag around the pipe that goes into the tank will help it stay cool. A propane torch may not cut it. I guess I don't understand how the flange keeps you from removing anything since there is nothing attached to it. Can you drop the tank out the bottom?

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Old 02-24-2014, 12:43 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for the help. If you look at the picture in the first post in the thread, the wetbath is sandwiched between the flange and the threads. I can't drop it because i don't want to ruin the wetbath as I plan on keeping it as it is original. I sprayed the PB last night and no luck. I think I am going to cut the flange. My thinking is going something like this - keep playing with the flange and I may ruin the black tank and wetbath and keep the flange. Cut out the flange and try to save the black tank and wetbath and I can buy a new flange. I'm letting the PB soak all night, so we will see today if it budges with the tool. Once again, thanks for hanging in there with me. This is one for the books! I will let you know what happens!
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