I plunged, I auged, I pulled the toilet! Hooray (chapter 3 of 3)

The good folks of alt.home.repair have been seeing me through my toilet crisis for a few days now, and I'm pleased to report that it's fixed! To make a long story short, the most heavily used toilet in our house started flushing slowly and backing up a few days ago. I plunged and plunged to no avail. It was recommended that I try a closet auger which I did and still, the problem remained. Several people told me to pull the toilet and I admit, I was reluctant about doing that as I've never done it before. Well, today I did it. I pulled the SOB. I got all the water out, disco-d the water line and then reached as far as I could into the toilet to see if I could feel anything (and maybe save some trouble). Alas, I couldn't feel anything in there. So I unscrewed the bolts from the floor and tilted it up while looking down at the base. I saw something hanging out. I couldn't tell what it was at first. I wiggled around and got to the point where I could lean the entire toilet gently against the while while I examined the bottom. As it turns out, it was a half-eaten banana and it's peel. I think the banana would have gone down w/o the peel, but the peel evidently got somehow tangled up and it wasn't going anywhere without being pulled. I was relieved that the problem was so easily solved. I then dragged the toilet out to the front yard and went back in. I talked the wife into touching up the paint behind the toilet (thanks to someone here for suggesting that) while I took a hanger and worked over the holes around the inside of the rim (someone else suggested that), Then I got all the old wax off the flange. I went back outside and was hosing off the entire toilet when I decided I wanted to put a new seat on it. (It's a hassle to install a seat on this toilet while it's in place as it's close to a wall on one side). So I popped up to Home D. and got a new seat (two actually, one for the guest bathroom upstairs), got home, and put it on. At this point my father-in-law helped me put the new wax seal on the bottom of the toilet. He smashed it onto the toilet around the edges of the seal using his thumbs and got a good seal on it. We carried it inside together and seated it on the flange and gently rocked it back and forth, then front to back. Then I put the bolts and tightened 'em up a bit. The bolts (new ones that come w/ the wax seal) had a snap-off piece as they were long, so I snapped off the top and, sadly, the bolts are still too tall to snap the little bolt covers on. That's the only hitch I ran into. I'll hacksaw more off those bolts at some point in time. Anyway, I re-connected the water and invited the wife to take it for a test drive (I requested #1 only, hehe). I said, call me in so I can watch it flush. It flushed like a new toilet. I was thrilled!
In closing, I'd like to thank all the folks here who gave me info, advice, and in the case of Salty, a kick in the butt!
Mike
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What did you do to the person who flushed the banana peel? :o)
A Timex watch won't plug the toilet. One of the medium sized plastic rings from a stacking baby toy will :o)
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Norminn wrote:

Salty (the dog) got a kick in the butt.
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Yeah, whoever put the banana peel down the toilet, I'd ban him from the bathroom and force him to wear diapers for a month. Maybe smear some poo all over him and make him sleep in the garage without any food.
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HEY! You finally did what I told you to do from the get go, and it worked. So I get a kick in the butt? Doesn't seem fair!
Glad it all worked out.
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On Mar 22, 5:50 pm, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

I think he was thanking you for the kick you gave him..........
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Mike wrote:

    For what it is worth, a Dremmel tool is very good at cutting off the excess length of the bolts. If you have one, it is much easier than a hacksaw.
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What about a hacksaw with the blade in so it's horizontal when the saw is vertical?
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One of these works really well:
http://www.mobilemart.com/product.aspx?skuI303
JK
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Ken wrote:

can watch it flush. It flushed like a new toilet. I was

Amen to that- ran into exact same problem, and discovered how hard it is to get on those brass bolts with a hacksaw in a confined space, trying not to nick the china. Cut them too long, and caps would not fit on. Filed for hours with a draw file, until the caps barely seated. Been meaning to go back in there with a small cupped grinder on a drill, but always seem to find something more interesting to do.
I'll try to remember the dremel, if and when I ever need to pull a potty again. I probably oughta buy a generic dremel next time the big-box has them on sale, just for the blue-moon projects like this. Don't need it often, but when you do, nothing else works as well.
aem sends...
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Try test fitting, marking, then cutting them with whatever before installation, or use the old ones as a reference. -----
- gpsman
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gpsman wrote:

Chuckle. I actually did try to do that- but I was a little pressed for time, as I was dragooning the flooring guy into helping me spot the thing before he drove away. Small alcove, no way to lift and steer at the same time, etc. (I didn't seperate bowl and tank.) I lifted, he steered the bolts into the slots. Floor was taller, so I couldn't just match the old ones. I broke off the new bolts at the logical thin spot, but they were still about 3/16 too long.
Next time, I'll use a wad of plumbers putty to keep the bolts upright, instead of balancing them ever-so-gently and trying to drop the WC on top of them.
-- aem sends...
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Wax seal instructions say to put the ring on the toilet. Disregard. Put the ring on the floor and press the bolts into the ID of the ring to hold them upright.
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-snip-

Amen! And if you don't have a Dremel- then nows the time. Next to the compressor, the little Dremel might be the handiest all 'round tool in my shop.
Get a real Dremel- it will outlast you. But I've had good luck with knockoff bits and cutoff wheels. I bought one of the giant boxes of discs, sanders, etc at Harbor Freight- a couple hundred pieces for <$20. They seem to work alright. Those disks are the handiest thing to cut off bolts, rivets or whatever in hard to get at places.
Jim
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The Dremel is handy but the little bits are pricey and die a quick death. For cutting bolts my first choice is a cut off wheel on a HF hand grinder.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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Nothing succeeds like success!
Good for you, Mike.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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