12 October 2008

Poopy Sunday and The Great Toilet Fiasco

Apparently, today is poopy Sunday. Not just for me either. Maybe it's the full moon? You can go read the post here at Mommy's Wishlist for a good laugh. Especially if you've ever had "painters". (Thanks to www.freebies4mom.com for sharing this funny story! While you're there, check out all the great things she got in her mail this week for free!)

For me, our toilet has been leaking. The wax ring underneath had gone bad, so the things that went into the toilet were slowly seeping out around the toilet. **Gags** Being the frugal gal that I am, I decided yesterday was the day to fix said leak.

This is a super easy task. You simply undo two nuts, gently lift your toilet (it's not too heavy), scrape off the old gunk, and put on a new ring. Piece of cake, right? Of course not.

The nuts were all rusty. It happens. There's been a lot of moisture going on down there, and the bolt covers had long since disappeared. (Note to self, this time I bought the kind that screws on, so they don't disappear!) The first one came off without a hitch. Rock on. The second one, not so much.

Not only was this one rustier, but I believe it was also slowly disintegrating. I tried and tried to pry it loose with the wrench to no avail. I finally had some luck with a ratchet and socket. Then the bolt broke loose underneath the toilet, cause, after all, why wouldn't it. Now's probably a good time to mention our house is on a slab. I knew this couldn't be a good thing.

I tried everything we had handy short of a torch to derust and unfuse said nut and bolt, all to no avail. Since the bolt was loose, I also attempted to jiggle the entire toilet free in hopes the whole thing would come up, and I could somehow unattach the mess from the bottom. I'm sure my sweet toilet wrestling moves were very amusing.

At this point, I had no choice but to break off the toilet. Again no success. I beat and beat on the bowl with a hammer with no luck, not even a chip. I decided to remove the tank to allow myself more room to work. I was laughed at by another rusty nut and bolt. A few manuvers later, I'd managed to snap one of the bolts to the tank, go figure.

The half hanging tank gave me enough leverage to wedge a crowbar under the bowl. Yes, I actually had to crowbar my toilet loose from the floor. The now broken toilet was carried outside by my husband who had the nerve to whine about the blue cleaning gunk dripping from it! Mmmmm..... I then solved the mystery of the loose bolts. Some silly person had simply put them in the concrete rather than attach them to a floor flange like you're supposed to do. Why....

By this time, it's after 10 pm. Lowes and Menards are closed. The toilet will have to wait a day. I mop up my funk/wax mess, plug the drain, and call it a night. Said husband is a little upset I messed with the toilet in the first place. Apparently, sewage on the floor is of no consequence to him. **gags again** Oh, and the shut off valve to the toilet was drip, drip, dripping the entire time.

This morning I headed to Menards. I was able to get everything I needed for just $97 due to everything being on sale, and that included a drill and masonry bits to dig into the concrete. I'm taking that as good karma :)

Everything finally looking up until I cannot get the flange to fit into the drain. Are you kidding me? Another trip to the home store ensues. More parts. More money, though not much. Finally we have everything we need, but not really, because not only does the gasket I bought to seal the toilet and the drain together not work, but we're missing one of the washers that attaches the tank and bowl to one another. I guess we're doing wax again after all.

And I am only able to successfully drill one hole into the floor to attach the flange. The flange also doesn't fit tight enough to the uneven concrete, who knew, to hold the bolts the toilet will eventually sit on (if I'm ever so fortunate). I decide to use the nuts I have to attach the bolts to the flange, and head off to the garage in search of two more to attach the toilet. After a good search, and an almost loss of hope, two are finally located.

Hubby makes this trip. It seemed like it took a long time. Maybe that's because I should have been at work, but I didn't want to leave the kids with no toilet and no transportation. As much as my boys like peeing in the back yard, some things just should not be done out in the yard.

Hubby eventually returns with the parts, and actually assists me with attaching the tank and bowl together. Everything goes together without a hitch. I hold my breath, turn on the water, and....SUCCESS! HOORAY! WE HAVE A TOILET AGAIN! We ended up with a few extra parts, so I'll get to return them for a little bit of cash. I think that will put us at right about $100 or so.

Our new toilet is so lovely (and leak free!). I think the leak under the kitchen sink is just going to keep dripping in the bucket for a while. I'm taking a vacation!

1 comment:

Ken said...

Gosh, that sounds like Home Improvement at the Ring Ranch.

I applaud you for digging in and doing it yourself! Congratulations.