Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Slow Transformation Part VI: The Saga of the Toilet

I know you probably thought I had forgotten about our downstairs, but truth be told, since late June I haven't done much on it. Much, that is, except fight the toilet.

You may remember that when I started redoing the downstairs, I started in the bathroom. That was last May. Since then, I've had the toilet taken apart four times, and in those three months, it has been usable perhaps 1/3rd of the time. I first took off the toilet's tank to paint behind it (1). Then I took the toilet out to put in the new flooring (2). I then took it apart because there was leakage around the base, and I determined that I needed a bigger wax ring (3). At that point, I thought I was done, and we confidently left for the month of July thinking everything was fine.

I didn't count on water from the backyard.

Occasionally we've had seepage into that bathroom from the backyard. This increased when our backyard neighbors kindly began pouring their runoff into our yard. Last summer, Dad helped me fix the problem, but erosion caused it to happen again in May. I thought I had fixed the problem again until we returned home from Arkansas in early August. My brand new floor was buckling in places and there was water around the toilet. Water had seeped in again and gotten under the flooring, slowly turning it to mush over the course of a month. So the first thing I did upon arriving home, even before unloading our car, was take apart the toilet so the floor could begin to dry (4).

That was almost three weeks ago. With all our traveling I didn't get to the floor until this weekend. I dutifully pulled up the offending boards, wiped up all the remaining water hiding under the underlayment, and then put down new flooring. Night before last, I put on my two wax rings (I wanted to be sure there was no more seepage there) and attached the bowl to the floor and then put on the tank. Once I turned the water on, however, I realized I had forgotten one of the cardinal rules of putting together a toilet - always replace the bolts and rubber washers. That's right, my tank was leaking around the bolts, so I had to take it apart until I could get more bolts.

Yesterday, Noah and I went to get more bolts (and a new rubber gasket just to make sure), and last night I finally put the toilet together, officially finishing that bathroom after a grand total of five times the toilet has been in pieces. Well, almost finishing. I put in the new light fixture yesterday, but we still need a mirror and a shelf above the vanity. *sigh*

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