Sunday, December 6, 2009

the tale of a toilet

I have been holding out on this post for about a week.  The dear hubby doesn't want me to write it - but seeing how he is leaving me to go work today - here it is!

To start off you need a little background.  A: if you didn't know we have 3 boys and that makes life interesting to say the least.  B: we have had a few toilet incidents - including once finding an alligator in our toilet.  C: although Dear hubby works in construction - my idea of fixing things is to try anything, knowing it was already broke means I can't break it worse by trying.  D: I have no real experience in construction.

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving T2 and Dear Hubby got in a water fight.  Yes it is cold here in NC in November, no they did not care.  T2 was armed with a small watergun, Dear Hubby armed with brute strength.  Dear Hubby warned T2 that if he shot him again, he would give T2 a swishy in the toilet.  T2 not to be scared off, shot him anyway.  Dear Hubby picked our son up and took him to the bathroom and hung him upside down by his ankles over the toilet.  T2 was laughing so hard he dropped the watergun in the toilet.  Then Dear Hubby attempted to make good on his threat by flushing the toilet (even though T2 wasn't actually in the toilet and didn't get wet).  Well there went the water gun, down the drain.  GREAT - a water gun stuck in the boys toilet.  Dear Hubby had the bright idea we would fix it later, as we were leaving for Thanksgiving the next day and the boys could use our toilet in the meantime.

Boys don't always listen, and continued to use and flush the toilet. We left for Thanksgiving and came home late Thursday night because Dear Hubby was working on a job Friday Sat and Sun.  After spending all day Friday with the twins using our toilet, or forgetting and using theirs, I made hubby take apart the toilet Friday night to retrieve the water gun.  Stuck was not the word.  That water gun was wedged so far in there we could barely touch it.  We greased T2's hand with shortening and tried to get him to pull it out.  He thought the shortening was great, but it didn't do the trick.  Dear Hubby was getting quite frustrated.  We had the toilet bowl in the bathtub, a hose through the window, a plunger, every kind of tool possible and s*** flying out the back but nothing was working.   Dear Hubby decided since it was plastic he could use a propane torch and melt the water gun allowing it to move.  I left the bathroom for that one.  Somehow the idea of fire and a toilet didn't seem like a good idea to me.  An hour later he gave up - and I had decided I would go to Lowe's the next day to buy a new toilet bowl.

Saturday morning I packed up all three boys and we made the trip to Lowe's.  We found a toilet bowl for $25.00 and I was thrilled.  We then made our way through the store looking at all the lights and neat Christmas decorations that cost no less than $80.00 if the kids want it.

We came home and I proceeded to install the new toilet.  It fit and I had it all set up, only when I went to flush one of the bolts from the tank to the toilet bowl leaked.  The other problem was that the toilet seat had rusted to the old toilet and was not coming off. My father in law came over and inspected my work.  He told me I did everything right but that the washers on the tank aren't really made to work for more than one time and I would need a new washer along with a new toilet seat.  He put some sealer on it to make it work in the meantime.  Saturday night dear hubby came home and I asked him to look at the toilet.  Everything was working except sometimes it would continue to run, which had always been a problem with the toilet.

Dear Hubby went in to take a look and proceeded to break the whole contraption in the back.  BREAK IT after I had JUST fixed the toilet.  GREAT!

After church on Sunday - I took all three boys back to Lowe's to get the parts to fix the toilet, again.  I found the whole set-up for $9.00 (individually the parts cost $2 and $3 bucks a piece and I wasn't taking any chances).  The only problem was their was a 8 inch one and 12 inch.  I really thought my toilet was a 10 inch toilet, but if that was all they had I must need the larger one.  I knew my toilet was bigger than 8 inches and even went to look at other toilets in the store to be sure.

We got the set up and a new lid and went home, I fixed lunch and then went in to tackle the toilet again.  As soon as I got in the bathroom I knew there was a problem.  I had been right.  Our toilet was 10 inches (even though it says USA Standard toilet on the inside).  Apparently our toilet is from the dark ages, and they don't even make 10" pieces anymore.  I loaded the kids back up and we went back to Lowe's.  (side note: we live in the sticks and Lowe's is 20 minutes away - one way)  I was not pleased and neither were they.  Lowe's for the third time in two days was enough.

Once back home, I attmpted to fix the toilet.  Little man took offense to the tools I was using and everytime I would put something down, he would take it away and say "No, Daddys!"  That really helped me move along.  So did the fact that the toilet tank really was meant for a 10" part and I had to continue to make do with what the store had.  An hour later I was done.  YIPEE.  I yelled for the boys and we all watched as T1 flushed it for the first time.  It was great, except that it leaked.  From the same stupid bolt that was leaking before and had been fixed by my father in law.  The same washer that I had not bought a new one of because I thought it had been fixed.  Dear Hubby came home and was impressed, even if we did have to use a towel to catch the leak and turn the water off after every use.

Monday I went to Lowe's on my way home from work.  I bought the bolts and washers for a "standard toilet"  being the only size they had.  I told Dear Hubby when I got home he was NOT ALLOWED to touch the toilet.  He had caused enough problems already.  I went into to change out the bolt (not messing with the one that wasn't leaking) and the new bolt wouldn't work.  Even though it was standard, it was too big.  Apparently my toilet tank was from the land of nonstandard toilets.  I'd had enough.  I used the old bolt new washer and the thing still leaked.  I gave up, I'd had enough.

Tuesday - AGAINST ALL ORDERS - dear hubby worked on the bolt and got it to stop leaking.  One week and four trips to Lowe's later the toilet was finally fixed.

My advice to all - A: don't flush a water gun down the toilet and B: just buy a whole new set up instead of buying it one part at a time if you do happen to get something stuck in the toilet.

What have you flushed down the toilet?

The trick to getting things done is to list things to do in doable order. ~Robert Brault,


  1. Oh man, that's crappy..pun may be intended. Let's see..the worst that has happened to our toilet is when we were having our house remodeled. New piping was going in and after all was said and done over a year later on what was supposed to be a 3 month job...the toilet kept backing up. The owner of the construction company kept trying to say that one of the kids flushed something down the toilet..I said just find the damn problem before we speculate..because I really doubted that was the case. A billion stop ups later and many times of a plumber coming over at Mr. Construction Company owners expense..the plumber found the approximate 2 inches of the old pipe was stuck inside the new pipe they put in. I would've loved to flush Mr. Construction down the toilet.

  2. I felt myself getting frustrated right along with you. What a horrible ordeal! Well, at least it is FINALLY fixed, right?

  3. I can't believe that you can install and fix toilets by yourself! At my house, we call our contractor/handy man/carpenter. For everything.

  4. I just knew when I started reading, 3 boys, toilet, and hubs didn't want you to post this, I was going to be in for a treat! for the FAMILY history books! You'll be laughing at this one for years to come!

    Blessings to you from another mom who has 3 boys and 2 princesses.

    Lana @ ilovemy5kids

  5. OMG - that is a nightmare! Poor you.


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