Our Story

Welcome to our site! We are Joanne & Steve. After 20+ years working for a city school department and police department, we sold almost everything, bought an RV, and started living on the road with our three children. Joanne homeschools and works online.
What we have chosen is to live life as unencumbered as we possibly can and to spend time with our family, for our family, and as a family.
This website is a record of our travels. But, we also hope to educate, entertain, and inform others about RVing, roadschooling, and the great places we visit in this country.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Tale of a Crapper

So, several posts ago I reported that one of the projects we would be undertaking this year would be to redo the bathrooms.  I began the first floor bathroom as you all know, and at long last, the toilet is finally installed.  What I predicted would be a fairly simple job, turned out to require a bit of mental gymnastics, and several trips to the home store.

tools: some sort of wrench, screw driver, drill, ratchet, puddy knife
Easily enough, you remove the toilet, and then, fully expect to plop the new one down in it's place.  A great deal of disappointment is felt, however, when the realization of how long it has been there hits.

It seems that there is this thing called a wax ring that is installed with a toilet.  Its job is to prevent water leakage and help the toilet find is rightful position.  New toilets come with a new wax ring, so I expected to scape off old icky wax.  Yet, the corroded mess that was under the old wax left me wondering what I had gotten myself into.

I had a few options available to me to tackle this rusted "closet flange" as it is called.  (Closet flange comes from the old term "water closet" as the loo was once called.) 

I could keep most of the original cast iron flange and buy these small pieces called fix-a-flange...but my flange was far too gone to use this method.
So, that left me tearing the original cast iron away at 11:00pm...finally removing all of it and ready for a new flange install the next day.

I had Steve pick me up a Super Ring at Home Depot, guaranteed to fix my flange and cure my woes.  However, it was not to be.  The Super Ring was too large to fit around the cone of abs piping extruding from my bathroom floor. In denial, I tried to force it on...but it just wasn't going to happen.

So, off to Smithfield Plumbing and Heating Company, and Phil.  I told him of my issue, brought in pictures of my abs pipe sticking out of the floor, and told him I needed a clamshell flange. (It's amazing what I now know thanks to the internet and the many videos people make.)  Before leaving, Phil showed me another option incase the first did not work... a pvc replacement flange that actually fits down inside the existing abs pipe.  (I tried this as well with another type but the pipe in my floor was too small to fit the pvc replacement flange.)  All I had to do was hacksaw off the top of the abs pipe...no problem.  Since this one was a smaller diameter, I thought that might work even better!  So I discarded my clamshell for this new savior.  (The clamshell, as its name implies, opens on a hinge in order to wrap itself around the abs pipe.)

Armed with my new solution, I headed home once again to install my new toilet.  Yes! It fit right into the old abs pipe!  My troubles were over!  Until...I couldn't saw off the top!  I couldn't get the saw between the collar and the floor.  The flange was too high, since it was sitting ON TOP of the old abs collar; the screw holes in the cement (yes, of course this is on cement, not wood) were too far away!!!  I'd need longer screws!  (It was bad enough the sinkers I bought were too large for the existing holes and so I'd have to use a carbide-tip drill bit to make them larger; but that was the least of my worries.)

Becoming quite frustrated and a bit melancholy, Steve told me to leave it and the next day we'd tackle it together.  I thought about the problem all night, and up early, went back to Smithfield and Phil, returned my pretty white replacement flange and high-powered glue that, proudly, I did not decide to sniff...and bought the clamshell I should have bought the day before.

Like a halo bright and shiny, it fit!  The old screw holes even lined right up.  So after making the holes a little bigger, sinking the sinkers, placing in 4 screws, and attaching the johnny bolts, I was ready to install the toilet!

1 comment:

  1. ha! my mom went through the exact same thing! ( with constant "leave me alones")


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