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Subject: Hey everybody, look what I just did to my... toilet... rss

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Rusty Blablabinger
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(What!? No! This thread is one of these, not one of these.)

Well, no pictures yet, because I haven't actually done anything other than turn off the water, and start some water-works of my own. (That's a euphemism for crying, people, not leaping around the living room with no pants, shouting "from now on, we urinate on the sofa as God intended!")

Let's back up a bit.

Last weekend, my wife's parents were visiting. Having one's parents visit is probably the easiest & most effective way to find out what in your home is about to go wrong, because it's guaranteed to happen while they're there. (In fact, I've considered a side business of hiring myself out as a surrogate parent, just to help people keep on top of their preventative maintenance. "Nice of you kids to let me spend the weekend--hey, do you smell smoke? Uh huh... when was the last time you cleaned out your dryer's exhaust vent? Great, that'll be $120.") They arrived late Friday night, so, predictably, on Saturday morning the heater didn't come on, and we came downstairs to find them shivering under a thin blanket encrusted with frost.

My wife refuses to go under the house because of the "Indian burial ground" or whatever, so the task fell to me even though it was clearly her parents who'd broken the heater.

Under the house, I thoughtfully regarded the blinking light on the gas furnace. When there's a problem, the sequence of blinks corresponds to a list of codes printed on a plate on the front of the furnace. This was either "Ignition System Lockout" or "All Personnel Now Have 15 Minutes To Reach Minimum Safe Distance," one of the two. A man with my breadth of knowledge of gas furnaces, ignition systems, and whatever else that other thing means knows exactly how to approach highly technical problems like this: I unplugged it, counted to five, and plugged it back in.

After a few moments, it started up its power-on self-test with a roar.

Turning to head back up to accept the hero's welcome I'd earned, I noticed... water on top of the furnace. That's not supposed to happen... Kneeling, I could see that water had been running down the exhaust pipe which comes out the top of the furnace & heads at a 45-degree angle up toward the wall. Where the exhaust pipe went through the wall, a thin crescent of daylight was visible between the pipe and the circular metal plate on the exterior of the house. Nuts, I thought. I was going to have to caulk that so that the rain couldn't get in.

The realization that I was going to have to do some work nearly brought me to my knees with rage and horror, but sheer force of will enabled me to fight through that benighted pit of blackest depression, back up to the light and my waiting family, and to put the whole horrible discovery out of my mind.

Today, the furnace failed again.

As I had done a masterful job of forgetting to caulk the exhaust pipe, again there was water on top of the furnace. But, wait a minute... it... hadn't been raining.

With dawning horror, I saw that the water was still dripping down that 45-degree-angle exhaust pipe, but it wasn't coming from outside. It was coming from above, dripping down through soggy fiberglass insulation & spiderwebs; tearing that away with my bare hands revealed the underside of the bathroom floor above, and the glistening iron pipe beneath the toilet.

The whole area was wet. Probably the seal at the base of the toilet... the continuous seep of water, arteries bearing cells swelling & multiplying, stealthily rotting & corroding all in its path...

(As I ease into the ranks of the elderly, I am coming to understand that what the less experienced dismiss as "senility" or "dementia" is actually a clearer understanding of patterns beyond the eye of man. Heater won't turn on? That means your bathroom floor is rotting. To the sane, such a statement is madness, but to those who have seen the shroud of "reality" torn away like the soggy paper backing of a fiberglass batt--to those who have held the twisted shreds, clenched in shaking fists with... "water," yes, "water" streaming down their elbows, "water" whose inevitable origin must remain carefully concealed from the conscious or "sane" mind--to those who have looked upon dripping wood & iron and perceived instead the passage of time, time and money--naps not taken, games not played--to them, madness is seeing the flush of a toilet as an ending rather than a beginning.

So, anyway, that's what I'm doing tomorrow: removing a toilet, tearing back a layer or two of flooring, seeing how extensive the water damage is--how much of the underside of my house will need to be torn out and rebuilt.

It may not be that bad, though; I have a book which says this: "Whether you're replacing an existing fixture or mounting a new unit on a closet bend that's already in place, setting and hooking up a toilet is a surprisingly simple operation."

Oh, good! A surprisingly simple operation! But, let's back up a bit and review. You know what a closet is. You know what a bend is. But, putting the two words together, "closet bend," lets you know they're not using words the same way as the rest of us. In particular, it casts grave doubt on their use of the word "simple." As further evidence, consider the fourth step in their instructions: "Grapefruit the tango with the plumber's floss, then clockwise back-frog with tighten." I can't even tell which of that is stuff you buy, and which is stuff you do. "I'd like some plumber's floss, please." "You mean... the plumber's floss?"

Poll
What will go wrong tomorrow?
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
Splashed by poop-water
Poop-juice geyser
Drop toilet, breaking it
Drop toilet on foot, breaking it
Drop toilet on cat, breaking it, but not so badly that it can't be mostly mended by the vet using heroic measures, "heroic" referring here to the selflessness of someone who would pay that much to save the damn cat
Won't get to use Sawzall
Will get to use Sawzall
"Oh Jesus, go turn off the water at the main, hurry!"
"What!? I don't know, I thought you were the last one to put away the tool for the water main valve"
"Extensive" water damage
Complete emotional breakdown culminating in renting a crane + wrecking ball
Will discover black mold
Will discover black mold, and will press face into it & snort deeply to end it all
It's the kind of black mold that just causes nosebleeds & vomiting
Will scrape finger on iron pipe which has borne a century of diverse human feces, and will contract Hyper-Tetanus and/or MRSA
While taking pictures of open 4" iron pipe for Chit Chat, will drop phone into pipe
While hurriedly flipping through phone contract to see whether insurance covers "uhh, lost... sort of," will get papercut on finger
While peering down pipe at fading glow just out of arm's reach, will put foot through rotten floorboard, do a one-legger through floor up to groin, tear pants & nutsack on jagged edge of iron pipe, and contract Hyper-Tetanus and/or MRSA in my nuts
After most of the day passes without me posting, someone assumes the worst & calls 911 on my behalf; I answer the door soaking wet, smeared with feces, and agitatedly brandishing a Sawzall; in the ensuing confusion, I'm shot & killed by police
Other (please describe)
      126 answers
Poll created by kuhrusty


Anyway, I would appreciate it if someone could cheer me up. A true story about something terrible happening to Gola would help.
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♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
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The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
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Quote:
Let's back up a bit.

Given the title of this thread, I expected this to be foreshadowing.
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Steve Vondra
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Drop toilet on foot breaking both foot and new toilet
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Amy Wiles
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Subscribed.

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Andy Andersen
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I don't think you'll be killed by the police - they're pretty good shots.

Wounded
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Jeff Wiles
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Be sure to install a toilet large enough that you can get inside to do a Victory Brassiere Wave.

You know you've been in Chit Chat too long when you write sentences like that.


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M C
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I'm having trouble visualizing what you mean by 'under the house'.

I'm confident it's not a euphimism for 'the basement'. Then I remebered seeing shows about people who live in modular homes do indeed have a space between their floor and the ground where apparently animals go to die. But why is your furnace there?

Quote:
contract Hyper Tetanus/MRSA in my nuts


This is actually a real thing. It's called Fournier's Gangrene (Warning: Google at own risk!)

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Gary Heidenreich
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Do you have a second bathroom?

Some years ago, I owned a duplex which I was using both floors. Old duplex, built in 1912. A friend of mine did plumbing and stuff like that came over to help me replace a toilet in the upstairs flat. I had never done that before and I won't pretend I know what I'm doing. As we looked at what needed to be done, we were talking and I mentioned I was looking at selling the house.

$10,000 later, I had replaced my toilet in both bathroom (plus everything else except the wall studs in the bathrooms).

That is what my only experience of "replacing a toilet" cost me.




Oh yeah, good luck!
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Rick Sanchez
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kuhrusty wrote:

As I had done a masterful job of forgetting to caulk the exhaust pipe, again there was water on top of the furnace. But, wait a minute... it... hadn't been raining.


We've traced the water..... it's coming from inside the house!!!
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Andy Andersen
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Two words: Wax ring
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Larry Haskell
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Quote:
While peering down pipe at fading glow just out of arm's reach, will put foot through rotten floorboard, do a one-legger through floor up to groin, tear pants & nutsack on jagged edge of iron pipe, and contract Hyper-Tetanus and/or MRSA in my nuts


You know, if nothing else does, this would give you a chance to use the Sawzall -- on yourself.

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Kevin Larkin
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You know, some of the greatest people in world history managed to lead fulfilling lives without having a flush toilet at all.

Ramsses IV, Catherine the Great, Genghis Khan, Sappho, the guy who invented fire.

I think that to insist that you need something that the ruler of the world's largest empire did without belies a certain lack of perspective.

Installing a bowl of water on the floor will be easier, cheaper and less dangerous. And you don't need any plumbers floss.

It was good enough for whoever really wrote Shakespeare's plays.
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Absolutely nothing will go wrong all day. The repairs will be sufficient in scale that you appear heroic in undertaking them, yet not so large in scope that they are overwhelming. You will get to use the sawzall; productively.

As you stride manfully away from your labours, the faces of your loved-ones will light up with pride and happy security. Your home, the steady rock you have created amidst the chaos of the world, will once again know the joys of modern plumbing.

At which time the accumulated water in the basement will blow all the breakers, plunging the house into darkness.

...smoke? Do you smell smoke?
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Madman in a box
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I'll just put this over here with the rest of the fire.
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Have you tried turning it off and on again?
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Know that when you return to the soggy underbelly of your home you don't go alone. You go with the love and good wishes of the entirety of chit chat and the expectation that every humiliating, painful and expensive moment be carefully documented for our amusement.
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Gil Hova
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I... I thought toilets got fixed by the Magic Toilet Elf.

Is this how it feels to lose one's innocence?
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Brian Bankler
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"You mean... the plumber's floss?"


Helpful Tip -- "Plumber's Floss" is what you call a once-white pair of Hanes that are 2 sizes too small.
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Ben Vincent
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Quote:
But, wait a minute... it... hadn't been raining.


In Arcata? Bullshit.
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Panoramic Trickster
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neoshmengi wrote:
I'm having trouble visualizing what you mean by 'under the house'.
I'm confident it's not a euphimism for 'the basement'. Then I remebered seeing shows about people who live in modular homes do indeed have a space between their floor and the ground where apparently animals go to die. But why is your furnace there?

Quote:
contract Hyper Tetanus/MRSA in my nuts

This is actually a real thing. It's called Fournier's Gangrene (Warning: Google at own risk!)

In particular, avoid this video.
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Andy Andersen
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davek wrote:

In particular, avoid this video.[/q]

There should have been a bigger warning here
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Rob Robinson
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You'll find that the urine splashes have eaten and rotted their way through the floorboards like Alien blood.
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GMOFreePortland.com Potato free since 2014
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Make sure you use the proper tools for this job.



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Morgan Dontanville
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I predict one-way toilet elevator.

Going down?
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Chris Tannhauser
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No, no, no! Fuck the toilet -- this was supposed to be a review of the new Wiz-War, goddammit!
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kSwingrÜber
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Dang buddy... if you lived in the greater Portland area, I'd drop by to offer advice (and sell tickets). Or maybe even help...

But seriously, just don't panic, take it slow, and toilets really ARE easy to deal with. And I would guess that you might be free of any water damage, cuz this problem is probably very recent...

But keeping in mind O'Toole's Corollary... Murphy was an optimist!
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Christian Jorgensen
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laughThe joys of home ownership.

It's funny how you discover a whole new world of jobs, and things that need doing, once you buy a house.

Good luck with the toilet, and the furnice, and the.... I think it would be better if I just made it a blanket good luck. Just remember that the golden rule of poop geysers is to keep your mouth shut.

He he, golden rule of poop geysers



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