Friday, March 14, 2008

The Great Toilet Repair of 2008

UPDATED: See bottom

I have not historically had good luck when there is water involved. My previous home managed to spring a couple of not good incidents, one ending in 6 inches of water in my basement. Oddly enough, that was a result of a failure of a toilet related part. This is not that tale.

This is the tale of the rust-ridden toilet in my new place that has been causing me headache after headache for a few weeks. First, the flush lever broke and it took forever to get the stupid thing out so I could put in a new one. I should have known then that it wasn't the end. It never is. Shortly after I fixed the lever, the toilet started constantly running. Loud enough that it would wake me up at night so I'd go in and turn off the water, only turning it back on for flushing. I just didn't have time to investigate in detail.

Rusted parts from the toilet:

Well, I noticed that the flapper didn't seem to be closing all the way, so I got a new one and replaced it. It didn't fit correctly and made the running worse. At this point in time (Monday) I cried "uncle" and just decided that it could all wait until the weekend to fully figure stuff out. I'd just have to turn the water on each time I needed to flush. Yes, I know, it's a horrible waste of water, but you try fixing it with a 4 1/2 year old helping. By yesterday I had had enough of the on and off of the water and decided to just replace everything inside because it's all rusted anyway and it couldn't hurt to replace it. I stopped at Lowe's on the way to pick up the rugrat and got the parts I would need. We got home and I got started pulling it apart. It went so smoothly until I needed to pull out the part where the water runs from the tank down in to the bowl for flushing fun. I didn't have a tool large enough to get around it to unscrew it.

Tools used over the course of the repair:

Cue trip one to Home Depot. It's closer than Lowe's or I would have gone back there. I found a wrench that is big enough to unscrew (blue handle). I get back home and get everything unscrewed and then get all the new stuff put into the tank. I start to put the tank back on the bowl and realize that I didn't get a replacement gasket when I made the parts purchase. I couldn't reuse the old one because apparently the root cause of the running was the almost complete disintegration of said gasket.

Cue trip two to Home Depot. Got the gasket and got it in place and screwed the tank onto the bowl. YAY, it only took 3 hours to complete the project. I turned the water on and flushed. SUCCESS we have flushing!!! Wait, why is the floor getting wet? Oh, now the water is running down the outside instead of running on the inside. Son of a... So, I turned off the water and decided that maybe it was best if I took a break. This was at 10. I sat and relaxed for a bit figuring I'd just wait and finish on Friday. After a bit I decided I'd put this off long enough and I should just finish already so I went back to work. I gave up around 3 and went to bed. I couldn't figure out why the leaking was occurring and figured I just couldn't seat the tank on the bowl properly by myself.

All the new parts inside (reddish brown is stain from the rust of the previous parts):

I talked to a friend of mine and he planned on bringing his brother over to help me fix it up. Well, after I got home I decided to take another look while waiting for him to call and let me know when they'd be available. Turns out in my frustration and exhaustion last night I had misread instructions and place a bolt on the outside that should have been on the inside. Yeah, I felt stupid and quickly was able to take it apart and put it together the correct way and no more leaking from the bowl.

I wish this were the end of my tale, but sadly one thing always leads to another. Now that I have the toilet itself not leaking, the line running to the shut off valve now leaks when the water is turned on. I have given up for the night as I'd really like to toss the entire toilet out the window at this point in time. I will go to Home Depot and purchase a new line to run to the toilet in the morning. In the interim I will have to continue the turn the water on when needing to flush option that I started earlier this week. Curse the toilet water line... it's what cause the 6 inches of water in the basement of my old home!

Stupid water line:

On the upside, only one minor injury:

I shall be sure to update you all should the most likely happen and I have a major catastrophe happen while attempting to replace the water line tomorrow.

UPDATE: I finished replacing the water line with no incident. I am looking forward to whatever decides to break in lieu of the averted disaster with the water line.

1 comment:

Jon said...

Why do I get mental pictures of a woman HURLING a porcelain tank across a grassy meadow when I read this post? Hmmm Could be a new Olympic game!