Repairing a Drain Flange on a Toilet

It is not difficult to replace a toilet drain flange although it might need you to do a bit of work before you can get started. You have to remove the toilet above it in order to replace the flange. These flanges are usually made from iron or some other metal, but mostly nowadays they are manufactured out of using PVC material instead. It is commonly installed to the floor in the flange opened by two bolts screwed into the subfloor. Here are the steps on how to repair the flange.

You will need:

  1. Sponge.
  2. Adjustable wrench.
  3. Pry bar.
  4. Needle nose pliers.
  5. Silicone caulk.
  6. New flange and hardware.
  7. Towels.
  8. Pliers.
  9. Putty knife.
  10. Block of wood.
  11. Anchors.
  12. Caulk gun.

Drain Flange


  1. First, turn off the water supply to the toilet, which is located on the wall behind the toilet and beneath the toilet tank. To shut off the water, turn the water supply valve clockwise. Hold down the toilet handle while flushing the toilet to allow all of the water to flow out of the tank. Use a sponge or towel to wipe out any remaining water.
  2. Then, unscrew the coupling from the bottom of the tank. Remove the tank bolts by unscrewing the nuts on the underside of the tank before lifting the tank up and off the toilet.
  3. Take off the plastic caps from the base of the toilet to expose the flange nuts. Use a wrench to unscrew the flange nuts. Rock the toilet back and forth gently to loosen it from any caulk that holds it to the door. Pull the toilet off the flange and set it aside.
  4. Unscrew the hex bolts or the flange bolts that hold the flange to the floor. Slip the edge of the pry bar underneath one side of the flange.
  5. Put a block of wood underneath the bar to protect the floor and gently pry the flange up and off the floor. Continue to pry the flange until it comes out from the flange opening.
  6. If the old flange is stuck in the hole and cannot be removed out. Cut it with a rotary tool and metal cutting blade.
  7. You can stuff an old towel in the flange opening and open all the windows in the bathroom while you are working to prevent the buildup of sewer gasses, which are harmful.
  8. Next, clean the flange opening by using the putty knife to scrape up any old putty or caulk that stick to the floor.
  9. Use the needle-nose pliers to pull out any old anchors from the floor. Replace with new anchors into the bolt holes in the floor.
  10. Turn the new flange upside down. Place the silicone caulk into the caulk gun and trim off about ΒΌ inch of the end. Squeeze out a line of caulk around the perimeter of the flange. Then, turn the flange right-side-up before inserting it into the flange opening.
  11. To be sure the holes in the flange line up with the anchors in the floor, make sure to align it. Place the flange bolts and tighten it according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC

Additional Reading:

The Everything Fix- It Book: From Clogged Drains and Gutters, to Leaky Faucets and Toilets–All You Need to Get the Job Done (Everything: Sports and Hobbies)