Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Great Flood of 2011

If you happen into our home and have a need to use the restroom, you will be greeted by "Lou", a bright, shiny, brand spankin' new toilet.  Why Lou?  You know as in "the loo" as our friends across the pond would say.  We also thought Lou could be short for Louis as in King know since it's the throne?  Hardy har har!  Okay, Ill stop now...maybe.
The title of this post combined by the fact that we have purchased a new toilet has probably led you to believe that our toilet flooded.  And you would be half right.  Let me explain...
A few months ago, A went through a phase where he wanted to throw things into the toilet.  Of course, they were usually things that shouldn't be thrown into a toilet...plastic bathroom cups, toothbrushes, toys.  You name it, we've retrieved it and chucked it.  No, no one was forced to use any of the retrieved toothbrushes.  We're thrifty, you know, not nasty.  This led to my brother-in-law's plumbing snake spending an extended vacation here.  Eventually, he grew out of this phase and things were fairly uneventful...until last week.  During the last few moppings, I noticed that there was water by the toilet.  It was never a lot of water, which led me to believe that someone had missed the toilet, which is a real possibility when you have a herd of boys using the potty.  Last week, however, I mopped by the toilet and a piece of the caulk from around the toilet came off.  I didn't think much of it.  Caulk doesn't hold the water in, right?  Wrong, at least on our toilet.  A few hours later, I walked in and found a puddle of water around the toilet.  I cleaned it up and then put a towel down to catch the water.  I made a trip the next morning, Saturday, to Home Depot to buy a new wax ring.
As soon as I got D down for a nap, Barry and started disassembling the toilet, which was no easy feat!  We got down to the ring and discovered that it was a rubber gasket, not wax, under the toilet.  And it was so worn that it was about the consistency of Silly Putty.  Silly Putty is fun to play with and yet not so awesome to hold in waste water.  Or maybe keep out waste water?  Whatever that thing does, it was not doing it well.  New bolts placed, new ring set, toilet put on--check, check and check!  I hear something coming from the kitchen.  It sounds like something frying.  But we aren't frying anything.  And here's where half of the great flood comes in.  I groan just thinking about it.  Before we had started on the toilet, I put a bag of frozen spinach into a bit of water in the sink to thaw.  At some point, A had turned the faucet on.  The sink overflowed onto the floor.  Yes, he was unsupervised for a few seconds.  He had spent most of the time we were working on the toilet sitting in the bathroom.  I suppose he did it as soon as I left the kitchen because when I turned the water off there was about 1/4 inch of standing water in the kitchen.  Possibly even more than that.  It's not like I broke out my ruler or anything.  I'm cleaning the water up when Barry calls me back to the bathroom.  Apparently, when we set the toilet, one of the new bolts moved out of the slot.  So we take the toilet back off, fix the bolts and re-seat the toilet.  I go back to cleaning up the water in the kitchen and finally get that taken care of.  Let me just interject at this point that we have never once taken on a project in this home that was easy, even if it should have been easy.  And while I prayed that we'd hit all the hiccups we were going to hit, it was not to be.  It was at this point that water started seeping under the wall between the kitchen and the hallway.  I cleaned that up and then cleaned it up again.  And again.  And maybe one more again.  There was a LOT of water.
Barry finished up the toilet with B's help and I fixed dinner.  We ate and I got ready to bathe the children.  I noticed that there was water around the toilet.  Barry told me that it was probably just water left on the floor and that he would clean it up.  We went to bed that night thinking that the toilet was A-OK.  HA HA HA HA HA!
But it wasn't.  I'm going to keep the rest of this pretty short and sweet since it mostly consists of trips to HD to get stuff that didn't work.  Sunday's trip was for a new tank to bowl gasket.  It was a universal round and we needed a hexagonal gasket.  Monday's trip was for a hexagonal gasket that ended up being too small.  Tuesday's trip was for an appropriately sized hexagonal gasket, which they don't make any more.  Wednesday, we bit the bullet and bought a new toilet.  During the install of the new toilet, we noticed that the manufacture date of the old toilet was June 14, 1979.  I wasn't even a year old then!  Keep in mind that Barry was working during the day and the stopping for supplies on the way home.  He'd eat dinner and then work on the toilet, because he is awesome like that.  Otherwise, this saga wouldn't have taken days. 
As it wore on, our carpet took on more and more water, even though we tried to stay on top of the issue.  It was never a lot of water that leaked out, but cumulatively it was enough.  The carpet just got wetter and wetter and no amount of cleaning and Shop-Vaccing (I totally just used that as a verb!) made any difference.  We had hoped to let it dry, but it ain't happening.  It probably would, eventually, but seriously, if I stepped in water one more time, my head would have probably started spinning and a young priest and an old priest would have been called.  It wasn't pretty, people. 
Soooooo...long story short, Lou is now gracing us with his presence and we have no bedroom carpet.  I'm not sure what I want to put in there because I had not planned on removing the carpet.  So for now, the floors are "nekkid" and probably will be for a while.  That is just super-fantastic since winter is coming!   At this point though, not stepping in water is the most super-fantasticest thing ever.  Remind me of that when my feet are freezing in a few weeks!
By the way, Lou is an Aqua Source toilet with Water Sense to cut down on water usage and is considered to be of comfort height at a 16" seat height.  He was under $100 at Lowes and came with everything you need for install.  And we kinda love him.  Or at least like him a lot.  Every time one of us walks out of the bathroom, we say, "That's a nice toilet."  It's the little things, you know.

Peace and Love, Jen

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