Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Awhirl...a swirl...

Some of you might remember the plumbing issues that were ongoing until I dug up the sewer line and we had a massive amount of tree roots cleaned out of it. Before that they had pulled the toilet to try and clean it out; afterwards there had been a slight leak and I changed the "wax ring" at the base, which seemed to take care of it...for a while...

Last week we noticed a few drops on the basement floor again, I tried tightening the base bolts again, but didn't get much of a turn on them. I thought I was going to have to pull it and replace the ring again, figuring I had damaged it when I tried to swing the toilet into it's space by myself.

Over the weekend, while cleaning, I figured out that the back of it was wet below the tank. At 43 years old, I didn't figure there was much chance of getting parts, so I started doing some research, as I have heard too often of problems with "low flush" ones.

I learned of a rating system that's only been in place a few years, "MaP units" that I then went back to try to use as I narrowed my choices.

One that professed to be "high efficiency" and was less than $100 only rated 475 on the scale; the articles said you should consider 500 to be a minimum. I found two for under $200 that rated 1,000, the maximum on the scale. One was actually just under $150, but I sprung for the one that was just under $200 because it has a better finished porcelain that is supposed to stay cleaner...

Dottie was off yesterday so after breakfast we went and bought it, brought it home and took the pieces (it was unassembled) out and found the directions. After one last round through the bathroom, we pulled the old one, assembled the new one and had the water back on in just over an hour. Though it doesn't seem like it could possibly use enough water to work (it is 1.6 gallons, the old one was somewhere around 5, being 1966 vintage) it has each and everytime so far. It will refill before you can get in the shower and turn the water on...the old one you were waiting what seemed like an awfully long time!

By then it was past lunchtime; we ate and then did the shopping together. Since my retirement checks come once a month, we've been trying to buy most everything for the month in one trip, that way her checks (bi-monthly) can pick up the bills that come in later in the month. It also helps cut down on the impulse buying.

I'm beginning to think I'm going to have to give up on finding a part-time job and take a full time one, at least for a while. I have passed over ones I could have probably had because I didn't want to screw up our time together, but I'm almost out of options.

I hope the week is being kind to each of you...



beckyboop said...

Hi Alan,

These new jons are so efficient. It used to be if you wanted to save water, you placed a brick in the tank.

This is going to save you on your water bill as well as help the environment.

It sucks about having to find a job. Good luck!

zilla said...

In a more perfect world, your more efficient toilet would reward you with not having to find work, but finding work only because you want to and are good at it.

Gee, Alan. You seem such a natural fit for Home Depot or Lowe's, or Ace, if you still have Ace in your area. In that vein, what would happen if you posted in the services section of your local paper's classifieds? Would the self employment taxes be prohibitive? I just hate to see such a talented guy punching someone else's clock and losing precious moments with his wife and family.

It's only Wednesday, but I'm wishing you a happy & relaxing weekend anyway. You've earned it!

LucyTolliday said...

New loo's are a lot more efficient our old one took ages to fill up and was very noisy doing so.
Hope you find a great job soon.

Dru Marland said...

Plumbing can drive me almost to despair sometimes; I finally finished fixing my neighbour's loo yesterday after being flummoxed by its reluctance to empty the bowl. At sea, of course, any leaky water system would usually end up with a ton of silicone sealant (or 'gorilla snot') on it. And still be leaking. Well done on a thorough job.

Debbie K said...

Dear Alan
Time with our loved ones is priceless but sadly we all have to pay our bills.
It must be really dificult for you to have to contemplate going back to a full time position.
I wish you luck & pray you can find one that offers you the right work/family balance.
I hope you can find a god job that rewards all your talents & kindness, really soon.

robin andrea said...

I'm glad you went with the new efficient model. You might want to check to see if there are any city, county, or state rebates on these toilets. Here in California, some agencies will help with cost because it is ultimately a benefit to the community at large when we use less water.

Good luck with the job search. I agree with Zilla, you'd be a great resource in the stores she listed.

alan said...

Dottie keeps ranting at me about not going to any of those for fear I'll screw my back up again...I'm to the point I'm going to put in for Lowe's and AutoZone (because they are close) and let her...


HAR said...

How is the job search going? Hoping you are enjoying your new commode :)
Your handiness never ceases to amaze me.

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