Fixing Toilets

The toilet has a rock to it.  Meaning that it rocks sometimes when you get up or sit down.  It moves.  Though a good feature for soothing an infant, this is not a good feature for a commode.  Motion can lead to leaks.  Movement reveals that the toilet is not secure, and I have heard stories of them tipping over, spilling their occupants surprised to the floor.  

I know why the toilet rocks.  When I first moved into this house, I replaced both toilets with Low-flow models to save water.  You may not believe it, but Flint Michigan has some of the highest water bills in the nation.  Legit.  I pay top dollar for water I cannot drink.  So, I had to find a way to get those water costs down.  Hence the Low-flow toilets.  The downstairs toilet was easy.  Unscrewed it, picked it up, and walked it outside without spilling any toilet water.  Put it a new wax ring, dropped the new one on, and it was good to go.  I was feeling strong and proud in my newfound toilet installing abilities.  But upstairs… that was a different story.  

The upstairs toilet came up easy enough.  But I couldn’t just drop a new toilet on.  The old cast iron flange was rusted into a hundred pieces.  I was in real trouble.  I watched some youtube, figured out what to do, and began my work.  I cleared the old flange out of the way.  I put in a new plastic closet flange.  And then I was supposed to screw this new flange into the floor.  There was only one problem.  I couldn’t drill a hole through the ceramic tile.  I tried every drill bit I had, and only succeeded in breaking and dulling them out.  It was long and frustrating work.  Finally, I had enough.  I was exasperated.  And I made a decision.  I had one hole that was decently drilled… and it would have to do.  I attached it to the ground weakly, but thought to myself, “No one will ever know.”  I mean, what could it hurt?  What problems could possibly arrive from not anchoring a toilet to the floor… or to the pipe that carries it’s waste away?

Fast forward to now.  This toilet has never been right.  I cut corners way back then, and have paid the penalty for my laziness for over 12 months.  I didn’t do the job right, and everybody who uses that toilet is gonna know real fast that something isn’t kosher.  

So I pulled that toilet back off the flange.  I went to the Depot and bought the RIGHT kind of drill bits, one that can drill through ceramic tile.  I piloted the holes.  I secured the flange.  I then put the toilet on and actually secured that.  And now we have a proper throne that befits a true blue American family.  

The right tools, a willingness to learn, and a little patience produced a good product that will function properly for years to come.  5 hours of work will bring a generation of comfortable bathroom usage.  It’s a good trade, and I am glad I made it.