Friday, December 12, 2008

Have You Ever Hated a Toilet?

Since we moved in to this house, I have been unclogging toilets about 4-5 times a week. The routine was getting old and I was getting annoyed.
Finally, I came home one night and all the toilets were plugged (3). That was it. I said no more I don't care what it costs. You see, the toilets were made with a triangle drain hole rather than round. Every time you tried to plunge them the shit would jet out of the corners into the air and cover you and the whole bath room. They don’t make a triangle plunger. I checked. Having all three plugged after a 12 hour day that was really bad was more then I could handle. We spent that night reading reviews and looking at options. Christmas was only weeks away and this could destroy the budget.
Let me offer you a little hint on how to deal with a plugged toilet. Place the plunger in the bowl. Get out the saran wrap and cover over the bowl allowing only enough space for the handle to stick out. Make sure it is fully sealed all the way around the bowl. You can then plunge without slinging muck all over you and your bathroom. Simply peal it off and throw it away.
The next day the wife had the morning off so I took her to George Morlan Plumbing to pick out toilets. We found this wonderful guaranteed to flush Toto. They cost $300 each plus lid and ring and hose. Buying all three would net me a 30% discount. The total came to $910. I packed them into my magnum. I told the wife we could copy the receipt and give it to the kids for Christmas as a stocking stuffer. I got one of those looks.
I went to install them the next morning starting with the lower bathroom. I made quick work of taking the old one apart and hauling it out to the garage. I opened up the new box and brought the new one in. The wax rings were left in the garage so they were rock hard. I need them soft and pliable and a hot water bath would do the trick. I carefully cleaned the whole area so everything would be nice. Given what happen with the previous toilet, it needed scrubbing.
I put the wax ring on the toilet and went to put it in place. Some idiot had put the water valve in the wrong place. The water valve is supposed to be 4"-12" off left center the drain. Mine was dead center the drain and sticking out 3" from the wall. The toilet I have only has a 2" gap. It wasn't going to work. I had two options; I could try and find a different toilet or try to move the plumbing.
I called GMorlan and explained my problem. They had never had this problem before. 30years in business and I got to be the lucky one. They said they would talk amongst themselves and try to come up with a solution. They would call me back in 30 minutes. I don't know if you have ever done or been at a toilet install but this is usually a 1-2hr job. I started at 9:10a.
I loaded one of the unopened toilets into the car. I went back in and measured all the other toilets. The master was 2.5" off center. The main was 15" off center. I guess they were making up for the others. The main also had its drain in the wrong spot. I figured I could install the other 2 with minor adjustments but the down stairs was going to be a major problem.
I turned off the water to the bathroom and took apart the valve for the water to the toilet. I wonder if they make a sideways compression fit valve. That would get me down to 2".
GMorlan called back and said that toilets are made to sit much closer to the wall and all the toilets but one mounted closer than 3". They had one that at best they could tell would be exactly three inches. Could I alter the plumbing? I asked them about the sideways valve idea. They said they might have something I could use to extend it over. They install 1000’s of toilets and couldn't find anyone who has actually used one of these kits. They said it might be worth a try.
So off to GMorlan to look at my options. GMorlan is in 30 minutes away.
The only toilet that they had that might work was $500. The kit was $30. I asked to see the toilet so I could measure it myself. I got 3.125". Given my situation they said they would give me a big break on this toilet. After my sales guy had talked to everyone about my problem the manager said he would let me have the toilet at cost. I only needed to come up with an additional $71. I exchanged the toilets. It was going to be tight but I didn't think I needed the kit.
When I arrived back home it was 1:30p.
The toilet was one of those fancy skirted models that hide everything behind it. I had a custom install on my hands. New mountings and other considerations. It took me an hour to prep the install. Not like any I had done before. It fit perfectly. I had .125" extra when all was said and done. To my surprise it was a push button toilet. I really hadn’t looked at it. I was focused on the problem. Unfortunately the long rods for setting the button height were missing. It didn't flush. If I held the button down it would flush eventually.
I called Gmorlan back and emailed them the step in the instructions about the rods I don't have. They said they would mail them too me right away. My improve skills went into high gear. I had short rods. They were only a quarter inch to short..........
I dug out some #6 pan head screws. Drilled some holes in the rods and screwed in the screws until the stuck out a quarter inch. I replace the rods in the mechanism. Perfect flush every time. I did it. It was 4:10p. I had installed one toilet. It had only taken seven hours.
The others were a snap after that. I only had to go to the hardware store for an extension pipe. I had the rest done in 3 hours. What a day.
The true beauty of it all, whenever we flush it goes down. I have slam proof seats. They slowly put themselves down. I haven't plunged in over a week. I spent $1000 on toilets. I am much happier. Now what should I do about Christmas?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never actually hated a toilet. In fact, I have, in my youth, spent quite a bit of time kneeling in "prayer" before one.

I don't drink that much anymore.

3:47 PM, December 12, 2008  
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