Does anyone else remember that episode of Animaniacs? *crickets* Just me? Oookay…anyway. (Oh, also, I say toilet about 3,000 times in this post. Fair warning.)
It’s taken me a little while to be able to write this post. What should have been a relatively straightforward toilet replacement turned into an existential crisis that I’m still working through. Maybe writing it out will help. So y’all are my diary today, mmmkay thanks.
It all started out with our hall bathroom toilet leaking a bit from the back bolt on the tank. I wasn’t sure what the issue was and I’d been wanting to upgrade that toilet to something taller anyway. So I used the leak as an excuse to buy a new one.
I found a great deal at Lowe’s on this model and lugged it home on Friday night. Yeah, that’s right, I know where the party’s at on a Friday. I started the installation on Saturday morning. I suppose now would be a good time to tell you that I’ve never done any plumbing work before and was pretty nervous. Anything that has the power to completely destroy my house (water damage, electrical fire, zombie apocalypse, etc.) tends to freak me out. But I prepped with tons of tutorials beforehand, so I was also hopeful.
So I got in there and got to work removing the existing toilet. No problem. Heavy, but totally manageable.
I also took this opportunity to paint the wall behind the toilet. This isn’t going to be the final color that we use in this room, but it’s a hell of a lot closer and it worked in a pinch.
Putting the new one in is basically the same process in reverse.
- Put the wax ring on the new toilet base, and smoosh it straight down very carefully
- Bolt base to floor
- Bolt tank to base
- Reconnect water
- Stop breathing
- Turn water back on slowly aaaannnndd….
No, not take a leak. The same back tank bolt was leaking. Sigh. I immediately shut the water back off, took a short break for lunch and minor panic, then headed back in.
I re-tightened all the bolts and the leaks appeared to stop, so I slowly turned the water back on (again) Slowly, slooowly, no leak, no leak, okay, alright, no leak, greeeaatttt! So I flushed to test it and GUSH! All the water came pouring out the bottom and I officially gave up.
My friend Jeff had been talking me through the leak issues, but this was the final straw. I needed help, which is super hard for me to admit. So while Jeff was on his way over, I ran to Home Depot for a new wax ring and the liquor store for some Grey Goose, which I believe is the standard payment for emergency DIY-gone-awry assistance. (Sidenote: Home Depot & Lowe’s should really stock booze. Either for the harried DIY-er, or for a gift for their stellar friends who come to their rescue. Really guys, get on that already.)
Jeff arrived and popped off the floor bolts, lifted the toilet and *cue Psycho shower scene music* I LEFT THE EFFING TOWEL IN THE HOLE!!!!! First I was laughing, later I was crying. I felt like the biggest idiot and failure. I couldn’t believe I had made such an utterly stupid, careless mistake. Days later, I’m still being hard on myself.
But I digress. Jeff was my hero in getting the toilet re-installed properly and I am so, so grateful.
I’d like to talk more about how to handle the inevitable ups and downs of DIY. Lord knows I’ve had my fair share of both, but this one hit me really hard. But I think we’ve all had about enough of toilets for the day. I’ll save that for another post.
For now, I’ll leave you with this, from a very thankful heart.