Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Now we're actually finished on the toilet!

So sorry it's taken a week and a half to get to "the rest of the story" as I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited breath!
Long story short (seriously, as long as Saturday took, Sunday went that quickly!)-- We went out with friends Saturday evening with visions on toilets dancing in our heads (well, JE's head) and eager to share the story. Our friend D listened closely, then suggested that his Dremel might be just the ticket to cut through the bolts and remove the tank from the toilet base.
After church on Sunday, we ran by his home to grab the Dremel, read the directions, and got to work.
Sidebar: The little disks that they sell to slice through metal are incredibly strong, but also incredibly fragile. And by incredibly, I mean it's a good thing D had a fresh twenty pack of the things. We went through 7, and not one broke in the actual process of cutting through a bolt. Hit the Dremel with another tool? Shattered. Kick the Dremel over onto the tile floor? Clean break. Tap the Dremel while squeezing between the toilet and bath tub? Yup, again. Seven times. Needless to say, J hit Lowes for another 20-pack on his way to return the Dremel.
A slow and steady hour or so later, and we had lots of little pieces of nuts and bolts and had the tank off the bowl.
Another thirty minutes, and we were actually ready to install the dual flush converter. I'm not certain that we pulled that part of the task off in the promised ten minutes, but it probably wasn't more than twenty to finish the project. Then we spent at least another five flushing the toilet to watch how much water we are saving (yes, I get the irony), and another five putting the bathroom back together.
All told, including Saturday's five hours, the project took us about seven hours. J built a little confidence in his handyman skills, and for maybe the first time in our handy efforts, no one got hurt!

Title: Same Toilet song...still not one you want to read the rest of the lyrics on!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Now we're ... on the toilet

Friday, 6:30 p.m. JE runs to Home Depot to research front doors as a part of an ongoing effort to spruce up the front of the MP (another story that I promise to post about soon). On her way out, she spots a Dual Flush converter, which promises to save hundreds of dollars with just ten minutes of work and no tools!

Having seen a blog post about this handy gadget on Young House Love, JE calls J to see if he's interested in purchasing one to replace the aging flush mechanism in the main bath. J agrees that is sounds like a good purchase and offers to install it while JE works on DAR projects Saturday morning.

Saturday, 9:30 a.m. After spending a couple hours working on DAR, JE wakes up J, who makes a fabulous breakfast and heads into the bathroom with the converter.

Saturday, 10:30 a.m. JE hears J mutter "that's interesting..." Having heard that phrase one too many times not to know that it means the latest project is going to take more time and money than planned, she calls out to J to be sure everything is okay. He insists it is.

Saturday, 10:35 a.m. J calls JE into the bathroom to investigate the interesting flush valve mechanism. It's not okay. JE heads to Google to figure out why her toilet doesn't look like the one on the box. Despite the lack of a brand marking on their toilet, she and J agree that they have a Mansfield toilet, which requires more work (of course).

10:55 a.m. JE heads to Home Depot for a replacement flush valve set. J stays behind to remove the tank from the toilet bowl in preparation.

11:30 a.m. JE arrives home with the new flush valve. J has dug out several sets of pliers and WD 40, but still hasn't gotten the tank off the bowl. JE chips in and tries to help. The bolts holding the tank on have rusted solid and become one with the wing nuts under the tank. More WD 40 follows. More Googling.

12:30 p.m. JE plugs in her glue gun in hopes that the heat will expand the nuts. It doesn't. J grabs a butane lighter to see if that would help. It doesn't. Both are surprised that the open flame doesn't produce a more impressive result on the WD40-soaked nuts and bolts.

12:45 p.m. J heads off in search of a nut-cutter. He goes to Lowes. And Ace Hardware. And Home Depot.

2:30 p.m. J comes home with vise grips, a large screwdriver and a large chisel. The vise grips are tightened down on a wing nut to keep it stationary while the chisel is attached to the drill. While JE uses the lighter to heat the nut and hhols onto the vise grips, J attempts to break the rust seal with the chisel-turned-screwdriver inside the tank.

3:00 p.m. No luck. JE googles new toilets and plumbers. J puts his new tools away.

Time: 5 hours...and counting
Tools: six? seven? I've lost count...
Injuries: None...yet

Title: The Toilet Song, from Blue's Clues. Google it. Actual line: Now we're finished on the toilet. But we're not.