Down the Drain

A quick note: Happy Valentine’s Day, Y’all! I didn’t want to ruin the surprise and post about my Valentine’s project for Mark today so tune in tomorrow for that unveiling. (I know… a day after the fact is a little lame, but I promise it’s something that can be tweeked for other events and occasions!)

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I figured I’d post about the least romantic topic I could think of.  Why go with sexy when you can go with toilets.  Spoiler alert, this isn’t a DIY post or a parenting post, it’s a failure post. An expensive fail at that.  (I was so confident in my handy abilities on this one, that I didn’t even take before pictures… because there was no reason to think this would be post.)

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As most of you know by now, this old house of ours has many a remnant from the previous owner.  Most of these remnants are crap.  When Eleanor made a comment about not wanting to use her “scratchy” toilet, my ears perked up.

Turns out, her ancient toilet seat was probably $5.99 at the corner hardware store a million years ago and the surface had finally started to crack and peel… hence the scratchiness.

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I got this.

It’s a small dainty round toilet and they have that very category in the toilet seat aisle (!) at Home Depot.  We have master plans to update all the bathrooms in this house so I didn’t care about the quality of the seat, just the fit.  I think I settled on one that was $14.

Home to hit the can.  So to speak.  A toilet seat is attached through the bowl of the toilet with two large pins and a large nut.  I removed one nut no problem.  But the second nut was the tough one to crack.

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The nut was plastic and appeared to have been installed a few years after the dawn of time.  As such, it was all but fused to the threads of the screw keeping the old toilet seat in place.  I tried every tool I had.  No matter what I did, the nut and the screw just turned as one unit.  I had a wrench.  I had pliers. I tried getting a saw blade to work. I even tried melting it bringing the not-so-aromatic scent of burnt plastic into the home.

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Here’s where it went very very wrong.  The hammer.  Why’d I have to go and get the hammer.  My logic was this: if I heat the plastic, it will soften and then I can tap the screw up through the melted plastic nut and release the scratchy toilet seat from hell.

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I don’t know if I was annoyed in general by the irritation of the whole process.  Whether I was too impulsive.  Whether I have sucky aim… but the tap tap tap meant a cracked toilet bowl. (I considered using some epoxy on it, but it’s cracked right up to the seal.)

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I’ll take four letter words for $400, Alex.

xo

Charlotte

p.s. Check back later (much later) for a post about replacing one’s toilet.

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8 thoughts on “Down the Drain

  1. Only silver lining, Charlotte, is that now you can pick out the toilet of your remodeling dreams! We had to get a new one before doing a renovation and it was no trouble to just take it out, remodel, and then put it right back in (wait, let me clarify, it was no trouble for our contractor to get that done… I did none of that).

  2. Places like Habitat for Humanity Re-Store sell nearly new (and historic) toilets for around 40$. You might try checking there first. Worst case scenario, you can change all the interior mechanism for around 20-30$, and they usually need new seats (15-20$). Muuuuuuch cheaper than a new toilet.

    • Thanks, JC! Definitely where I plan to start… I’m a little nervous about pulling out the old toilet, but I’ll get my courage up eventually! I’ve taken a tank off to fix seals, just never the actual bowl. First time for everything…

      • Replacing a toilet is not difficult. It’s just a bit tricky and a bit messy if you don’t do it properly. You can check out a lot of good tutorials on YouTube. Also, I’m sure you won’t be using a hammer again, but also be sure not to over-tighten other spots (floor bolts, intake valve, etc).

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