Thursday, November 30, 2017

Brokedown Toilet

In rather gonzo news, I had to have a toilet replaced because a chunk broke off of it. And I didn’t do anything to abuse it.

I replaced the little rubber flap inside the toilet tank that controls the flushing because the old one disintegrated. If you haven’t had to do this, be thankful. It took a lot of scrubbing to get the black rubber gunk off my fingers. So I decided to replace the handle at the same time. It was held on by a hex nut inside the toilet tank. Using a monkey wrench, I gently turned it a sixth of a turn experimentally. To my great shock, a chunk of the toilet tank fell off.

As you can see, the upper left corner is gone. No, I didn’t hit it with the wrench, and I didn’t  crank on it really hard. It didn’t even make a cracking sound. It just fell off.

I stared at the chunk that came off for several seconds, stunned. I suppose experienced handymen would take it in stride, but I just gazed at the impossible.

I think that certain incompetent plumbers a year or two ago must have whacked it, but I have no way of proving that. I was actually thankful the chunk fell off while I was there and had the water to the toilet turned off. It’s hard to believe, but the bottom edge is above the waterline. But if things had been different and I hadn’t been home, it could have been a water disaster.

The thing was too old to just replace the toilet tank. So I had a reputable plumber replace the toilet and haul the old one away. All told, it cost a little over $700.00.

Needless to say, I learned a lot more about toilets than I ever wanted to. 


Anonymous said...

Well that's what you get with a Mexican toilet. Indeed the overwhelming majority of basic toilets are made in Mexico and that crack was most likely due to a weak spot in the porcelain.

At least you weren't sitting on it and have the bowl breakout from underneath. I've seen that.

Mark Murata said...

You use the word "Indeed" while describing toilets? Pshaw.

Sara Loudon said...

A harrowing experience!
I hope things are moving smoothly now.

Anonymous said...

I suggest in the name of decay and everything-wears-out-anyway that you just superglue it back together and forget about it.

And you do have to be careful with the locking hex nut. A) I can't remember but they might be reverse threaded because the flushing motion will unscrew them, and B) there's a square lock nut (not threaded) that anchors the handle axle to the toilet (part that broke), and if you get hold of that with your wrench... (which I've done).

Mark Murata said...

I just did a gentle one-sixth of a turn--in the reverse direction. I was very careful to watch what was happening. And then that corner just fell off.


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