We just had a wobbly toilet in a 1960s-era house. I think I last got
under it a decade or two ago to reseal it with wax. I figured the
mounting screws just needed tightening this time. But no, they were
tight. So what the #$%^&?
I removed the toilet and found that the closet flange, which the
toilet was securely anchored to, had split off from the lead (as in,
not steel) tube that was wedged into the 4-inch drain. That tube was
about 6-inches long, so once securely wedged in the drain, the
attached flange didn't need to be screwed to the floor to be secure.
Well, as long as it was attached, which it was no longer.
So, OK, this is a heavy steel flange that had been somehow (soldered?)
connected to this lead tube. The tube walls were pretty thick. About
an eight of an inch. The flange just broke clean off from the tube.
Now unfortunately that left the lead tube stuck in the drain. I
figured I could bend/pry it out, but it wouldn't budge. I ended up
totally mangling the lead tube with a screwdriver, whacking it down
the sides, and laboriously pulling chunks out. I'm guessing adhesive
was used. Took more than an hour of mangling, but I finally got the
full ID of my 4-inch pipe back. So I then installed a new PVC closet
flange, and anchored that to the floor.
But really, a closet flange attached to a heavy lead pipe glued into
the drain?? Has anyone seen a toilet mounted in that way? How might
that pipe be more easily removed from the drain?
It sounds like you are describing a normal lead and oakum joint. It is
the old standard way to make up bell and hub cast iron waste lines.
Once you did dig out the poured lead was there a hard packed "stringy"
rope type stuff around the pipe? Oakum was packed in the pipe joint
with a yarning iron and hammer so the molten lead didn't just run
through the joint.
The easiest way to take them apart is to drill out as much of the lead
as possible and dig out what remains until you can pull out the rope.
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