Toilet install question

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When a new toilet was installed, the plumber reported that the opening in the toilet wasn't big enough to set over the flange, which rises slightly over the floor height. So he had to shim, using wood shims, so that the toilet is almost an inch off the floor. Plus level is off a quarter of an inch front to back and side to side. The mounting bolts apparently lined up properly. The toilet that was replaced fit over the flange and sat directly on the floor with no shimming.
Isn't the opening where the toilet meets the flange a standardized measure? This is an American Standard "Saver" from Lowe's and a Lowe's installer did the job. I'm thinking that this thing sitting on shims, especially wood shims, and not the floor is not going to work out in the long run.
I've contacted Lowe's about the situation and they say they are going to research the matter.
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yo wrote:

You are correct. The toilet should sit directly ON the floor, not propped up on stilts. Fer cryin' out loud!
If I were you, I'd fuss like the third monkey on Noah's gangplank.
Tell 'em you already fell off it once and bruised your shoulder.
You are afraid of breaking your hip.
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Red Green wrote:

"Once upon a time, three gorillas walked up the gangplank to Noah's Ark..."
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wrote:

i gotta say it's a new one on me! funny!
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You should never have even let the guy leave the house. You could have done a better job yourself. Raise hell until the job is done correctly.
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I think I see the problem. For a few dollars more, a real plumber would do the job right the first time. At least you've learned a lesson.
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On Feb 22, 10:11pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Okay, I really hate to post this picture and I'm not sure how to insert the link, but here it goes. Copy/paste will probably work (just so you know, I'm in disguise from this moment on):
http://i52.tinypic.com/2rdyf10.jpg
Lowe's install rep said she talked this over with the guy in the plumbing department and the plumber and she says the job was done correctly. I will be calling American Standard today to get their take on it.
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That's a crappy job. Pun intended. Either the toilet was defective or the installer was an idiot. Just take that picture straight to lowes and ask for the manager. I have never seen any other sized flange.
Your problem is unfortunately common with the lowes and home depot "installers". Sears too. They do not employ these installers, they just farm the work out to local companies. They don't do much in the way of confirming that these people are any good at their job. They are taking a piece of action off the top so the prices they are willing to pay tend to drive away the more competent companies.
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On 2/22/2011 3:20 PM, yo wrote:

I think i know what may have happened. Is this an old house with cast iron sewer pipes? If so, the bell end of the 4" may be above the floor, and they typically would set the (old style) toilets down over that with a big old wax ring. But the more modern toilets don't have enough "cavity" in the casting to accomodate this tall of a piece under them. The only choice is to space the toilet up a bit (i've done this once, a lot neater than they did) or remove the bell end from the pipe. That proves to be a little harder, although not impossible. Once the bell end is removed, THEN you can take a piece of 3" PVC several inches long, and a normal PVC flange, glue them together. Drop the three inch into the cast iron, using copious amounts of silicone sealer right UNDER the flange, then screw the flange to the surrounding wood. Then proceed as usual. The hard part is removing that bell end or at least lowering it. A grinder with a wafer wheel and attention to where sparks are going is usually the quickest way with the best results.
--
Steve Barker
remove the "not" from my address to email
  Click to see the full signature.
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Yes, the house was built in 1959. And the installer did say something about the configuration of the trap or trap way having something to do with it. However, he also said that a different type toilet would probably fit. As an example, he said he was pretty sure a Kohler Cimmaron would work. It's interesting that with scores of older houses having bathroom redoes, that this never came up in this group, especially with the wealth of knowledge and experience you guys display daily.
If you're correct, then I'm going to have to replace the toilet with a better fit and see if Lowe's will do anything about the install.
Thanks.
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yo wrote:

If Lowes won't do anything about this crappy install, your local small-claims court will.
If all the suppositions are correct, that this house does not easily accommodate your new toilet, the installer should have told you this within five minutes. Had he done so, you could have exchanged the toilet or negotiated with the plumber for a proper installation.
As things stand, you have a mess to sort out.
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Here's the situation. American Standard says their toilets are designed to fit flush on the flange assuming the flange is flush with the floor. Kohler said that their toilets will allow for the flange to be about 1/2 and inch above the floor. Just got back from Lowe's and they opened a box of my model to compare with the bottom of the Kohler and found that the "cavity" space is essentially the same, so nothing would be gained by switching to Kohler. Furthermore, they contacted the plumber who said that the flange was one inch above the floor anyway and apparently there isn't a toilet that has that kind of room to work with. When I looked at the flange, it did not appear to me to be that high, but I didn't look that closely.
One of the guys in the plumbing department guesses, as did Steve Barker in his previous post, that the end of the pipe needs to be cut off and new flange installed. The plumber who did the install only gets into that kind of a job if the piping is PVC. The other option would be to tile over the old terrazzo to raise the floor, which may be the way to go anyway.
If anything interesting develops later, I'll update. Thanks for the comments.
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If you need to apply a bit more leverage, consider a quiet chat with the code enforcement guys down at city hall. If the amateur installer hasn't followed building codes, he could be invited downtown for a review of the current standards. And maybe permits and licenses.
Joe
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LOL...
Stop going back to Lowe's, especially if they can not send you a "real" plumber than is capable and confident in any type of piping...
It would be like finding an electrician that doesn't know how to deal with conduits or armored cable...
Would you go to an auto mechanic if they only knew how to repair Ford and GM ? What if you had a Dodge ?
Seriously, look for a real plumber and have the flange adjusted to how it needs to be for a modern toilet...
Asking the "peoples" at HD or Lowe's what is available is bullshit, as they really only know what is available for them to order through corporate channels, go to a real plumbing supply house and explain your situation and you will be informed that yes, such toilets are available but in a more limited number of styles and colors...
~~ Evan
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Exactly. Your contract is with Lowes. It is Lowes that has responsibility to fix this. And it unquestionably needs to be fixed. The proper approach would have been to explain to you that the "non- standard" seating means some cutting of the pipe is necessary. They may have wanted to charge more for that, but you could have argued that you paid the price for installation, and they should factor in the cost of such adjustments or document a specific exclusion in the contract.
As it is, you have an install that is unlikely to stand the test of time, and that looks quite ridiculous. Certainly grounds for a full refund. If you paid by credit card, I would contact the CC company and dispute the charge on the basis of improper installation and refusal to put right. That will then put the onus on Lowes to contact you and find a resolution.
Print this thread and take it into the store.
I like the idea of a taller throne, but this is absurd!
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Home Depot has a central complaint number, the people who answer the phone are very nice and try to be helpful.
ask lowes for the store manager, if he doesnt offer to fix it properly, ask for his district manager or home office complaint number. to put a little more stress on the manager, ask him to write down his name and district managers name and phone number. take along this discussion and the picture of the offending toilet..people hate writing down their own names to get in trouble.....
complaing is a art:) to get results you must talk to someone with the authority to correct the problem and let them know your very unhappy and basically out for blood:)
most people complain, and if unhappy just go away quietly.
then theres people like me:) who aggresively go after poor service wherever i find it. i help others, who are too timid to get things fixed
I had waited in a line with a cashier, when i got to the register the cashier said sorry i am closed.
I HATE self check outs, but that was all that was left, so i went to the gal tending self check out and said please ring me out.
no all we have are self check outs you must do it yourself
so i asked to see a home depot manager, the offending employee said sorry no manager in the store today. she was acting like a ass.
She frowned when i pulled my cell phone out of my pocket, I asked for her name, she said why??
because i have the corporate complaint number in my phone and am calling them about you, oh and heres the cartload of stuff i was buying, no sale.you can put it away.
by the time i cleared the exit door i was on the line with complaint.. who instantly connected me to the actual store manager who was amazingly in the building.
they apologized but i said dont bother i am just starting a home flip, and expected to spend 15 to 20 grand in your store. you can thank those 2 workers for being rude i am headed to lowes:)
they sent me a bunch of 25% off coupons, i eventually used them at a different home depot
I HATE having to complain but today its almost a necessity to get decent service:(
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Red Green wrote:

Sounds good, in theory.
In 2009 I had to replace a water heater. I got one from Sears. I didn't want to transport the new heater, move it into the basement and old one out so I had the water heater installed by Sears. The contractor was Norblom Plumbing, Minneapolis
Another reason I contracted was I knew the flue needed to be tapped higher into the brick chimney and liner and I didn't want to figure out how to do it. When the plumber arrived the add for the flue was $358, almost the same as bringing the heater, installing it, and taking the old one out. The flue work took about 45 minutes (I didn't know how long it would take), so the effective charge for just the flue was about $400 per hour. (The plumber said he made a mistake and the standard Norbloom charge should have been $410 which would have been about $540 per hour.) Classic gouging.
I complained to Sears. They said there was nothing they could do. Last appliance I will buy from Sears. I will also never use Norbloom Plumbing.
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LOL... Lowe's isn't going to do anything about the install, because you allowed the "technician" to leave after it was completed... This means that you excepted the work that was done when it was completed... Asking after the fact for a change is something you will have to pay for on your own and prepare for a lawsuit going as far as actually filing it before you will be offered a settlement... Read the fine printing on the sales receipt for the toilet and "install" if you are having any problems understanding the terms you agreed to at the time of the sale...
It is up to you to verify that someone who is doing work on your home is actually a licensed plumber... Sounds to me like you were serviced by a "handyman company" rather than by a licensed plumber, as a licensed plumber would have either asked if you wanted to modify the flange to use the toilet you just purchased or if you wanted to go back and select the correct toilet to fit your flange...
A licensed plumber would not have done anything like you have described here and linked to a picture of... That work was NOT done in a "workmanlike manner" so it is clear that you were hosed on this install job, it was done by a handyman or someone who won't be keeping their plumbing license very long if they keep doing like that...
~~ Evan
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1959 is not "old". Maybe anything before 1945 would be opld, but flanges have not changed since 1950 in my experience.
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The easiest way to do this with an (to my mind) acceptable kludge is to raise the toilet by putting a marble toilet slab under the toilet. This would spread the weight across a larger area and make it more secure. A plumbing supply house should either carry such a slab or probably would know where you can get one.
--
Peace,
BobJ



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