Thursday, April 12, 2012

i fought the toilet and the toilet won

a couple of weekends ago shannon and the boys went away for the weekend, leaving me at home alone with the dog, and a honey-do list.  well, it was a short list, actually.  it really only had one item:  replace the bathroom floor.  the main bathroom here at our parsonage had an old linoleum floor that was a bit yellowed with age (i hope), and we had purchased some of those adhesive floor tiles that are supposedly easy to install, and it was going to be my job to do that simple job. 
riiiiiight. 
first thing i did was remove the toilet.  then i cleaned the bathroom floor with some pretty intense chemicals, so as to remove any waxy residue from the linoleum (side benefit: chemicals also removed all traces of hair from inside my nose).  then i began to  lay those tiles.  that seemed relatively easy until i had to start measuring and cutting to make the tiles fit around molding and the bathtub.  what a disaster.  i'm a collage artist who is used to randomly pasting things together, so this "being exact" thing didn't exactly come naturally or easily for me.  let's just say, i quickly needed a trip to the hardware store for some more tiles. 
even so, i was able to complete the floor without too much difficulty.  it isn't a professional job, but it looks better than the yellowed linoleum that was there.  everything was done except reinstalling the toilet.  i simply had to replace the wax ring and put the toilet back.  i did. 
i reconnected the water line. 
i flushed the toilet. 
and i realized that water was leaking from the bottom of the tank. 
after some investigating, i determined that the rubber washers/gaskets at the bottom of the tank were old and rotting and all the jostling involved with resetting the toilet had probably caused the seal to break, and now the tank would leak at those bolts.  so i was going to need to replace them. 
so i went the hardware store.
i brought home the new parts. 
i turned off the water. 
i drained the tank.
i sponged out the tank.
i disconnected the water line. 
and i tried to take out those bolts at the bottom of the tank, but don't you know that they were really stuck.  so in the process of trying to remove them, i broke off part of the flash valve. 
just snapped it right in half.
so i went to the hardware store.
i brought home the new parts. 
i installed the new flush valve. 
i reconnected the water line.
i turned the water on and filled the tank. 
no leaking!  problem fixed!
i flushed the toilet. 
and water began to literally pour out of the bottom of the tank. 
so i shut off the water. 
i drained the tank.
i sponged out the tank.
i disconnected the water line.
i removed the tank.
and i removed the main flush valve gasket, which looked rotted.
so i went to the hardware store. 
i brought home the new gasket.
i installed it. 
i replaced the tank.
i reconnected the water line. 
i filled the tank with water. 
i flushed it. 
it gushed everywhere. 
i cried. 
maybe not literally, but just about. 
and then i called the plumber. 
the end of the story is that the plumber came and told me that i'm not entirely stupid, but that the brand of toilet i have requires a specific gasket made by that company and no other.  and the only place you can really get those gaskets is from a plumber, or wholesale. 
and the real end of the story is that next time when shannon goes away, i'm going to call the plumber first, grab a cold beverage, put my feet up and watch a movie. 

3 comments:

Bill Uebbing said...

Almost spit out my coffee. Been ther, brother. Been there.

Anonymous said...

Its just like going to the hospital no simple operation;) and welcome to home repairs...always a surprise!

Mrs. Milinovich said...

So funny, yet I feel your pain! Home repairs are not for the faint of heart; they could make a movie out of your experiences!