Domino Theory, Pt. III

Continuing saga of the home repair project that started as a simple leak fix but subsequently yawned out into a miasma of interrelated problems.

Saturday selected a fine turlet to replace the broken one. I joked with the Toilet Dude that we were there to buy a bidet for Miles, but my joke backfired when he took me seriously. “Great idea. I installed one for my little ones as well, and my wife loves it.” Puh-leeze.

Silver lining is that we go from traditional 7-gallon flush to modern 1.6 gallon, awesome. Some of the Japanese toilets we looked at also had buttons for half-flushes, but the French don’t seem willing to go the extra mile for the half flush.

Since new tank is smaller than the original, first had to refinish and paint the wall so the outline of the old tank wouldn’t show.

Remove old bowl, and two of the bolts snapped under light pressure – rusted to the core. Oops. An inch and a half of solid soggy mineral deposits caked on the floor came up easily, but the main retaining bolts spin freely from their mount in the flange, dissolved loose with the years. OK, so I’ll replace the flange as well.

Not so fast, big feller. The flange is inserted 6″ down into the main pipe, which is cast iron. The flange is rusted solid to the pipe. As in, solid. Attempts to wrest it free just damage what remains. To Ace for advice. Ace Dude doesn’t skip a beat: “You need $200 worth of tools you don’t have. Call a plumber.”

The irony is that rust has betrayed us double: It has made soft what we need to be solid, and made solid what we need to be loose. Rust never sleeps.

Music: Mogwai :: I Know You Are But What Am I?

5 Replies to “Domino Theory, Pt. III”

  1. I tell you what, you are a better man than I. I have been struggling to remove a rusted nut from a bolt that holds my broken toilet seat for the past 2 weeks or so. Curse words have rarely flown so freely from my mouth before. Its a simple nut and bolt for God’s sake…your plights have humbled me…

  2. Y’know, I don’t think I’ll ever complain about my house’s cheap a** PVC sewers again.

    As for low flush toilets, they’re all well and good unless you have to flush them two or three times to get them to do the job. I’m told the really good ones work well. Clearly they’re not what I have in my house.


  3. Bidets for babies? Only in the USA (OK, maybe Japan too).

    I can sympathise with Joseph – we’ve had a seat hanging off our toilet by one bolt for about the last three months (gotta remember every time you sit down – otherwise you risk falling off the toilet onto a heap on the floor, very undignified). I finally bought and fitted a new seat this week – probably the most DIY I’ve done in ten years.

  4. Jim, the reputation low-flush toilets have for not getting the job done on first flush is a legacy from the introduction of those toilets to the market. The first ones just couldn’t make it happen, more often than not. From what I understand from talking to folks now, those problems have vanished – no one is selling flush-weak toilets these day, supposedly. This Cheviot sure seems juicy enough…

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