Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The sordid tale of the rusty bolt.

This was a reno weekend (in amongst hockey, house cleaning and attempts at sleeping).

But first up was the Friday night Gala for Nick.  The video tribute to Nick was pretty amazing. I know I'm biased, but I really honestly felt that he was the best candidate.

But, alas... no cigar.  Nick got first runner up.

Saturday am was hockey for Logan at 8am at Glennwood (freaking cold arena, that STILL doesn't have either a) Heat or b) SEATS!)... but I digress.  They won their game... Woo hoo. No time to celebrate, because we had to motor over to the St. Norbert arena for Zach's game. Zach's team lost 3-2. but they played really well.

From there we went to Home Depot... Trip #1 of the weekend and bought some paint.  Then we went home and I started to paint the storage room. Got the first coat done in record time. Then while it was drying, I did a full top to bottom cleaning of the house.  Fell into the couch at 11 pm, completely exhausted.

Sunday morning came.... got up early, did the second coat on the storage room.  Then hit the mall, as I needed to buy a birthday present for my friend Kendra who was coming over in the afternoon.

Kendra came over and we had a nice visit, I don't get to see her that much, so it was great to chat with her. Once Kendra left it was game on...

I taped off and painted the bathroom downstairs.  After that I realized that I would like to replace the flooring as well, but that meant taking off the toilet.

Let me assure you that I have no experience with removing toilets. Nor should I have been attempting this without supervision, but whatever...

Getting the toilet off wasn't so bad, unscrew the bolts at the bottom, turn off the water, disconnect it.... and DONE!

Well, slight hiccup in that when I disconnected the water, I actually ended up cracking the plastic nut from the water connection, but didn't seem important at the time.

As an aside, the wax ring around a toilet has got to be up there with the nastiest things ever. Truly that is just vile, but I digress. Anyways,  I stuffed a rag down the hole to stop the sewer gas and called it a night.

Monday morning was a day off, so back to renos!

Logan helped me do a second coat of paint. He did the trim and I used a roller. He was an awesome help!  Once done, I decided to let it dry by working on the floor.

First row of the plank flooring went in fine, but then I got totally frustrated having to make all the stupid special cuts around the toilet flange ( I think that's what it's called), vanity and door jams.   Ripped out a row or two more than once. Then, when I got down to the last row, realized that I didn't have enough flooring and had to make tip #2 to Home Depot to get more.

All seemed to be going well. Flooring was in, painting is done.  But I still have that beast of a toilet to get back on.  I did what any self respecting woman does when she doesn't know how to do something... I googled it.

In that googling (is that a word?), I realized that I had broke the water line screw when I took off the tank, so back to Home Depot (Trip #3 for those counting) to get a new one.

Also, I discovered that I had to take the tank off of the seat.  I hadn't done that, so off I went.  The first screw/nut thing was rusted but functional. Zach helped me by holding the screw in place with a screwdriver, while I tacked the nut from underneath. The second screw however, was less than cooperative. As in... it was totally rusted, not moving and completely stripped.

After trying for what felt like hours, I was about to give up, but instead... googled it again.  They said to try and wedge a hacksaw between the tank and the toilet seat and cut the screw out.  That seemed like a perfectly ordinary suggestion and not at all out of my league, so off I went in search of a hacksaw.

For the record, it was much harder than it looked on Youtube, especially when you have a 10 year old assistant. His job was to hold the tank at a certain angle so I could get enough of an opening to get the hacksaw in there.  Zach would get distracted and forget what he was doing.  A few times it got stuck. and MANY time I felt that it wasn't going to work.

I had just about had it. I was almost through the screw, but could quite get to it, so I took a crow bar and banged on it.  Well, what do you know... it worked. All it needed was a little extra percussive maintenance.

Flipped the toilet base over and put on the new wax ring. Again, I know these things serve a purpose, but they really are remarkably gross. Really, just nasty

Attaching the screws at the bottom was hard, but I got them on. So now I had to connect the tank to the seat... oh yeah,... just hack sawed that bolt off.  So off to Home Depot for Trip #4.

It was funny standing in the plumbing aisle, because I know what I need, but I have no idea what it's called. So it was just a matter of looking lost for awhile until I found it.

Got home and realized that I should probably feed the boys... small intermission while I did that.

Then, used my fancy schmancy new tank bolts. Got those suckers in, connected the water preparing for the worst....

There was a bit of a hiccup in connecting the float in the tank. What I learned is that the float stops the water from over filling up the tank.  So if the float doesn't work, the water doesn't stop. Once I clued into that gem of knowledge.. things went a little more smoothly. But on a positive note there wasn't any leaking!

Then it was just a matter of cleaning everything up and putting everything back.

Have to admit, I am pretty proud of myself for getting this reno done.  It's nice to know that I have the ability. Not sure when my toilet replacing skills will ever come into play and frankly I can't envision a scenario that is a pleasant one, but still...

Looking down at that freshly installed toilet last night, I was pretty happy with it.

Now, however, I am sore. Really sore.  My hands feel arthritic from yanking on a wrench all weekend. Neck and shoulders are screaming from painting ceilings, bruises everywhere from..well, actually, I don't know how I got those.  They are pretty substantial too, so you'd think I'd remember it.

But... let the record show that despite it all, I didn't even break a single nail.


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