Light Townhouse Rehab - Project #6, Week #14

This week, I have been continuing work on putting the upstairs bathrooms back together.

Sometimes, the sleeve of a compression fitting is squished so tightly against the pipe that it can't be pulled off. I ran into one of those on the toilet's supply fitting. You don't want to re-use the sleeve when installing a new valve, since the inside of the replacement valve might have a different shape on the inside of it. And if the sleeve can't be deformed to fit, then the new fitting might leak. When the sleeve is stuck, you can use a puller like the shown below to remove the sleeve:



The arms of the puller grab behind the nut of the compression fitting. As you turn the T-handle, the center screw pulls against the back of the nut and slides the sleeve right off. Once that was done, it was a simple matter to install the new fitting.

Installing a toilet is easy. New screws are slipped into the slots in the side of the flange, and a wax sealing ring is centered over the hole. Since this flange was slightly below the surface of the tile, I installed an extra-thick ring.



The bottom of the toilet was cleaned to remove any remmnants of the old wax ring.



Next, the toilet is lifted and placed on top of the flange and wax ring. It can be a little tricky lining up the bolts with the holes in the base of the toilet, but they come with plastic retainers that keep them more or less pointing upwards (There are no pictures of this step, since I need both hands to lift and install the toilet). The wax ring is intentionally too thick to allow the base of toilet to come into full contact with the floor, so press down on the toilet to seat it. Once seated, install the washers and nuts on the bolts and tighten them down. Just keep in mind that the base is porcelain, so don't go crazy with the tightening or you will have a broken base!

The next task was to install the toilet in the hallway bathroom. This is when I discovered that this toilet flange was broken.



When the flange is broken like this,it is impossible to adequately tighten the bolt that holds the toilet against the floor. Without enough pressure, the toilet will be able to move - this will destroy the wax ring seal at the base of the toilet and cause a leak. There are several methods for dealing with this, so I will show the two that I usually use. Since this flange is PVC, one method is to glue a spacer on top of the broken flange. The spacer is shown below:



Notice that the spacer has holes that line up with the original flange. By using longer screws that go through the broken flange and the spacer, everything will be held together tight. This spacer would also be a good choice in this case because the installation of backer board and floor tile left the flange a bit below the surface of the tile.

Another option is to use a steel "johnny flange" as shown below:



The flange is made of stamped steel, and spans over the broken area. To install it, two of the screws get removed from the broken flange and re-installed through the holes in the steel reinforcement. I have also used these to repair broken cast iron flanges. With the cast iron flanges, holes need to be drilled and possibly tapped to secure the repair in place. I didn't have longer screws with me on this day, so I went ahead and used the steel repair flange with one slight modification - I used a large drill bit to create a countersink in the repair flange so that the retaining screws seated flush. Here's what it looked like all installed and ready to go:



After installing the toilet, I turned my attention to the vanity for the hallway bath. The inside was a bit discolored, so I primed it with Kilz and painted it with "Cabinet Coat" paint from Insl-X Coating Systems. This brand of paint is now my favorite for repainting cabinets. It provides a durable finish like oil-base paints that I used to use in these applications, but dries much faster.



The only place I found that carried it was Ace Hardware, although you can also order from the Insl-X website. At $40 per gallon, it is not cheap...but worth every penny in my opinion!

The other thing that I accompished this week was to prime the handrailings and trim on the stairs. I plan on using the same cabinet coat paint onf the railings - they will be much nicer looking all white instead of the worn-through finish that is on there now. We are getting carpet next week, so I want to get the painting done before the carpet goes down.




That's it for this week - come back again to see the progress!






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