I have always been one to attempt to do just about anything when it comes to home decorating or home repairs. In most cases, my projects come out fantastic, well okay, I’ll admit to an occasional disaster now and again.
Recently I’ve had a plumbing problem. I’ve unclogged a toilet before, nothing to it, or so I thought. Now I know from past episodes, that you first use Dawn dish detergent, (handy hint from the Wiley sister’s book) that will usually get rid of the clog in your toilet. Pour it in, let it sit for about an hour then flush and away goes trouble down the drain. If that doesn’t work, resort to your “plumber’s helper” commonly known as a plunger. You want one that looks like a bell rather than those old flat looking ones. Don’t you love my technical terminology? Those flat ones don’t work worth a hoot in a toilet. You are supposed to give it a few good plunges up and down and it is supposed to flush everything down. Still plugged up! Then go to the toilet snake and surely that will solve your problem. NOT!
Now you are in for some seriously drastic measures. It is time to pull out the long “snake” and open up the main cleanout drain and run that baby down as far as it will go both towards the house outlet and then out the other way where your pipe connects to the main sewer line. Be sure to wear gloves of some sort because this is going to be a messy job! Somewhere along the line, it will stop and hit a solid object, or at least semi- solid objects, then you need to twist and turn the snake breaking through the plugged area. Sometimes when you pull the snake out, you will find tree roots wound around the end of it. This time there were no tree roots. This should solve the problem. Go back inside and flush the toilet; hopefully watching the water going down the drain. As I watch the water rising in the bowl, I am standing ready to turn off the water input valve in case it decides it wants to go over the top. The water stops rising just before it gets to the ridge. At least by this time, with all the flushing and the siphon action of the water going down in the bowl, it is at least clean now.
Back to the office and using the Internet, I can hit a couple of my favorite search engines and some of my bookmarked “How To” websites for some other ideas. I spot one that I haven’t tried yet. The advice was to heat up a big pan of water, just below boiling stage and then take it, holding it up high above the toilet, pour it in. So I put a pan of water on to boil and continue looking for any other suggestions I might find. Then I remember the water, oh dear, go grab it quick and pour it in the toilet. As I am standing there pouring, all of a sudden I feel very warm water on my feet. Up to this point there had been no water on the floor. I look down and now water is oozing out from the base of the toilet. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! You guessed it, the water had gone to a rolling boil and in my haste, and I didn’t let it cool down to below boiling. Conclusion is now that I have melted the wax ring. Conclusion is substantiated when I lean on the toilet and it is now rocking like a row boat in a rough sea.
I have watched how a toilet is disconnected from the water supply, the bowl drained and the toilet lifted off to replace a wax ring. Part of that I could do myself, but there is no way that I could lift it alone. The last time this had to be done, I tried to just move the toilet across the bathroom floor a little bit to give the plumber more room to work and it was heavy. He told me a toilet weighs approximately 70 pounds. In order to get a good seal on a new wax ring, you have to lift the toilet up and position it just right before sitting it down on the opening. I have to admit that I truly did try everything I could to fix it myself and I failed in my do-it-yourself attempt. I think I should have had a copy of this book before reference
Now it is time to call the plumber!