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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Right Down the Toilet

With apologies to Beyonce...

Now, the downstairs bathroom was bad enough.
The wallpaper was partially melted from the fire. It was soot streaked and water damaged. The floor has an alarming amount of "give" from high powered hoses providing it with inches of standing water.
And then THIS...
...which was caused by THIS.
This bathroom's renovation had been started, with the restoration of the original floors, and next on the budget list was replacing some of the chipped or cracked flush set subway tiles. 
A new toilet? Not in the budget today.
So let's rip this sucker apart and see what's wrong.
If for some reason that big porcelain thing in your bathroom looks daunting, remember:
there's a ridiculous minimum of parts.
First things first- turn off the water supply leading to the tank. Now flush so as much water as possible drains out. Use rags or sponges to soak up any that's left so the tank is empty.
Disconnect the water supply line and set its business end in a bucket.
There are bolts holding the tank to the bowl. Use an adjustable wrench and loosen the nuts, remove them, then lift the tank off of the bowl.
Culprit number one: a cracked rubber gasket. Ewwwwwwww.
The little caps at the base of the bowl on the floor? Those are just hiding more nuts and bolts. Remove those, and the bowl lifts right off.
We were placing these big parts in the tub cushioned with towels.
Remember, they're porcelain.
Culprit number two: a worn down wax seal.
Wax rings usually come with a rubber gasket already attached.
This is going to be a cinch.
Clean up any connection to get rid of old gunk that might compromise your seal.
Like...that crap.

Pop on the nice new rubber gasket.
We made Thom clean the gunk up off the floor while we were at Home Depot. We also told him we were going to pee in a hole in the floor from now on. We've been getting nasty looks ever since.
Anyway, the new wax ring will fit right down in that hole in your floor.
Brass bolts slide into the housings on either side of the ring. 
Press them into the wax to hold it and them steady.
Drop the bowl gently onto the bolts, threading them through the holes in the base.
Straddle the toilet and encourage it to settle firmly on the wax.
I will not repeat any conversation that may or may not have ensued between my sons and me during this portion of the project.

You should have a large washer to set on the bowl where the gasket on the tank will connect. 

We bought new hardware to reassemble everything so that we would have new rubber washers to cover the bolt holes both inside and outside the tank. These should be flanked by a metal washer inside and out, and secured with a nut just outside the tank. Tighten this gently. Do not over tighten; you're still working with porcelain, people.
Set the tank on the bowl, threading the bolts through the holes. Underneath that coupling, add a washer and a nut to the bolt, wiggle the tank a little so the gasket is sealed, and tighten the nuts.
Reattach the water supply, turn it back on, hold your mouth right, say a prayer, and flush.
Caulk the bottom and baby, you are done!
One afternoon, under $20, and now the Minions know how to do this themselves.

Sorry I didn't glue seaglass to it (yet), but sometimes, you just have to tackle the ugly too.
Now, I seriously need a shower.


The White Farmhouse said...

Replacing that wax ring is always a poopy job! It's a get it right the first time or you are screwed kind of job. Looks great and like you are well on your way with your renovation! Good luck!

Michelle @ Dream Home DIY said...

Hahahahaha, I can TOTALLY picture you in there with your sea glass and glue :) PLEASE? For us?

Michelle L. said...

Yay!!! I love it, I knew I wasn't the only girl who can remove and replace a toilet! People are so intimidated by the idea, but it isn't that bad, really!

I love your tile floor, Sunny, my favorite vintage and style.

Those boys - they are the best - and think what incredible boyfriends and husbands they will make.

Kim K. said...

Your minions rock BIG time. Their handy skills are pretty darn amazing. I am fully expecting some type of sea glass/glue project to be in that bathroom in the future. I'm sure you won't disappoint.

Bambi said...

I love your minions!! BRAVO to you all :D

Beth@Wiccan Make Some Too said...

You guys crack me up! said...

LOVE the video!! Cracked me up. You guys are too cute! The toilet tutorial was informative as well. ;)

lisbonlioness said...

Gross. Effing gross. But very helpful, and I appreciate your not being bothered with anthro- style photography and rather gettin' down to some serious, well, business :D

lisbonlioness said...

oh, and... who the hell is Beyonce? ;) I love your new- found interest in video blogging!!

meijo's JOY said...

Yeah! Happy shower!

Heather said...

Your minions are amazing. Love the hexagon floor too! Are those tiles a periwinkle color?

thepurplerose said...

You are toooooooo funny!! I just love your blog!!! Thanks for the laugh with the video!!!

La Vie Quotidienne said...

You never fail to amaze me! Wonderful floor, I have one just like favorite.

Nikki ~ Let's Craft!! said...

You.... I must say made that song ROCK!!!!