Thursday, November 17, 2005

We fixed a toilet!!!!

Last night we fixed a leaking toilet. We did not resort to calling a plumber as we usually do, and instead we did it ourselves. Now I realize that most of you probably think this is no big deal. That is because you were born with the handy gene. My husband and I were not born with these genes. Well, I think I have a partial one, but he is totally lacking. We pay handy people to do most everything. Roof, windows, electrical, plumbing, stucco, refinishing floors, etc. Although we did recently replace the porch roof, it still took us most of the summer and it totally looks like we did it ourselves. I digress. The toilet was leaking from the base. I knew from experience that this probably was a failure of the wax ring (thank you This Old House) and that it needed to be replaced. It had been replaced approximately a year ago by a plumber. Over the summer however, subsequent plumbing problems in the wall behind the toilet required said plumber, who weighed just shy of 275 pounds, to stand on the toilet for long periods of time, feding water lines through the wall to the upstairs bathroom. Thereby (in my non-handy brain) destroying the wax ring. Squishing it to within an inch of its life. After wedging hand towels along the base for two days, it finally occurred to me to turn the water off (see, only partial handy gene). I declared that we would not be making a service call and that we would handle this ourselves. My husband got a scared look on his face. We retrieved the staggering pile of home improvement books that we have collected over the years (which are just leisure reading for us, as we read multiple versions of how to do something and then call somebody and throw money at them) and read up on how to replace the wax ring. I asked three different people at work if they had ever done it, and if it was hard. Husband went to three different plumbing places to find the proper wax ring. Turns out they were all the same at all three places, they just 'looked' different to him, and he was afraid to purchase one. He is super good at aimlessly driving about. Anyway, I got home from work last night and we stared down that toilet. We scraped up that old wax ring, put on the new one, reattached to toilet, turned the water back on...and waited silently for the torrent of water we were almost positive had to result. We never do anything right....we had to have screwed up somehow. Husband ran to the basement, sure that water was pouring from somewhere as a result of our unskilled home repair. We stood in the powder room for what felt like hours, staring at the base of the toilet, waiting for the leak to reappear. It didn't. We looked at each other. "It looks like we fixed it" I said. "Yeah" he said. "Nice job" I said. "Yeah" he said. And as of this morning, no water. Of course neither of us will ever use that toilet again, because I am sure that the slighest pressure or movement will wreck the halfassed work. So next time you come to my house, and I hang your coat in a 'closet' that appears to have a toilet in it, don't say anything. We're just happy it's not leaking and we have two other ones anyway.


Blogger EFB said...

haha congrats! dont you just love old houses? we've been having a slew of problems lately too starting with mice in the house. i'm fairly accustomed to mice in the house. every apartment i've ever lived in has had mice. problem this time is that our tenants founds mice, so as landlords we have to fix the problem. we try filling in every possible hole with steel wool and foam. we put traps everywhere and still the come and do their business and the tenants are beside themselves. uggh. i just hope they go away.

then, they break a window. then the electriciy goes out on one floor. i just want it to stop. pleaaaaaaaase.

4:00 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I had a weird dream about your house the other night. I dreamed that in every room you had these enormous, so big that they touched the floor and filled up the room and you had to squeeze around the room with your back to the wall. I didn't know what to say..."Great light fixtures, but I'm not really sure they fit' the room" It was funny. They were great though. Tell your tenants that you're thinking of releasing a 5 foot black snake to take care of the mice. You shouldn't have any more problems.

4:22 PM  
Blogger EFB said...

that's a great idea. where can i get one?

funny you mention the chandeliers. we just bought a new one and had it installed. it's modern, but i feel like it dominates the room.

4:33 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

If I'm having dreams about your chandelier dominating the room, having never seen it, safe to say it is. Scale back my friend. Just kidding. It's probably fine. But I see on your blog that you mentioned chandeliers....what are the chances of this terrific chandelier convergence on this, the 17th of November. Very Strange.

4:40 PM  
Blogger EFB said...

Very strange indeed.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Congratulations!! Don't be afraid to use it...I'm sure it's fine. We were pretty nervous the first time we did that. In fact, James just told me that he still checks occasionally. So far, no water.

5:35 PM  

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