I hate plumbing repairs

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I think I may have mentioned (on more than one occasion) how much I hate pl umbing. This week I was faced with two challenges -- a nonfunctioning fill valve on a Kohler one-piece toilet and a slow drain in the shower.
I elected to tackle the toilet first. Armed with iPhone photos of the inna rds and the model number I went to the local Ace. They didn't have the Koh ler part, but had an under $10 just-as-good-as generic. Took it home and, yes, it fit, but no it wouldn't stop running.
Called the plumbing supply shop and they had the right part, only it came a s part of a $134 rebuild kit. Bit the bullet, due to ongoing heat from you know who. Toilet works great.
The last time I had shower drain problems I called the pros, who lightened my wallet for the better part of $200 for the privilege of 15 minutes with the electric snake. This time, I took out my $3 plastic probe -- the one w ith the sharp prongs running the length -- and in 10 minutes had full flow restored.
Anybody need a Kohler flapper assembly?
Larry
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"Gramps' shop" wrote:
I think I may have mentioned (on more than one occasion) how much I hate plumbing. This week I was faced with two challenges -- a nonfunctioning fill valve on a Kohler one-piece toilet and a slow drain in the shower.
I elected to tackle the toilet first. Armed with iPhone photos of the innards and the model number I went to the local Ace. They didn't have the Kohler part, but had an under $10 just-as-good-as generic. Took it home and, yes, it fit, but no it wouldn't stop running.
Called the plumbing supply shop and they had the right part, only it came as part of a $134 rebuild kit. Bit the bullet, due to ongoing heat from you know who. Toilet works great.
The last time I had shower drain problems I called the pros, who lightened my wallet for the better part of $200 for the privilege of 15 minutes with the electric snake. This time, I took out my $3 plastic probe -- the one with the sharp prongs running the length -- and in 10 minutes had full flow restored.
Anybody need a Kohler flapper assembly? ------------------------------------------------------------- Well at least you keep the money at home in Wisc.
Reminds me of the guy who called a plumber to unplug a drain.
Plumber spent about 10 minutes, cleared the drain and presented his bill for $300.
The guy started screaming that he was a doctor and only charged $75 for a 20 minute office visit.
"I know", said the plumber, "that's why I quit being a doctor."
Lew
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Gramps' shop wrote:

Had the same problem. Took my old flapper to the local ACE and was glad I did. They had about 6 different styles, some with shorter arms to the hinge, some longer. I had previously discovered that if the cone doesn't sit right in the hole it doesn't fit right.
--
 GW Ross 

 People who are late are often happier 
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I'll take the flapper assembly and put it with the other various and assorted plumbing parts I have carefully stored for many years of repairing.... Last repair I did was to the Fleck Water conditioner.... Could have cost over 1000.00 but decided to do it almost by myself... Took out the tank, exchanged the plungers, and in the process broke a 1" inline plumbing manifold to the works... Finally fixed that, and no go? Called a plumbing friend, and was I ever glad... Knew about the water conditioner, we drained it, put in a new set of clean rock, restored the calcite, and voila...It worked.... Total cost....200.00 plumbing assistance, and parts, 75.00 Almost ripped the entire unit out, to purchase a new one.....New units go for at least 800.00 and more... john
"Gramps' shop" wrote in message
I think I may have mentioned (on more than one occasion) how much I hate plumbing. This week I was faced with two challenges -- a nonfunctioning fill valve on a Kohler one-piece toilet and a slow drain in the shower.
I elected to tackle the toilet first. Armed with iPhone photos of the innards and the model number I went to the local Ace. They didn't have the Kohler part, but had an under $10 just-as-good-as generic. Took it home and, yes, it fit, but no it wouldn't stop running.
Called the plumbing supply shop and they had the right part, only it came as part of a $134 rebuild kit. Bit the bullet, due to ongoing heat from you know who. Toilet works great.
The last time I had shower drain problems I called the pros, who lightened my wallet for the better part of $200 for the privilege of 15 minutes with the electric snake. This time, I took out my $3 plastic probe -- the one with the sharp prongs running the length -- and in 10 minutes had full flow restored.
Anybody need a Kohler flapper assembly?
Larry
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It's actually worse than that - not only do you need the right length so the cone seals on the seat, but flappers come in "new" and "old" versions that look identical. The "new" kind are for 1994 and newer toilets that flush with less water, if you put one of those on an older toilet it won't flush fully.
John
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Probably not a good idea - flappers don't last, the rubber gets stiff over time from exposure to air. Unless you're going to need it in a year or so, better to throw it out.

An awful lot of stuff can be fixed if you're willing to dissassemble it carefully, and spend some time searching the internet for parts.
For example - microwave oven, the platter stopped turning. Turns out there's a little motor lives under a trapdoor on the bottom, cost $25 to fix (and about an hour to put back together, because I took the whole bottom off before realizing I just needed to remove the trapdoor).
Or the icemaker in the fridge - ice stopped coming out, an inspection showed the door that closes the chute has a half inch thick piece of styrofoam for insulation, which had come off and blocked the chute. A little glue and good as new (almost - I can feel just a hint of cold air, so it doesn't quite seal like it should. But I can live with that).
John
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To help avoid the latter issue I will once / twice a year fill the shower / sinks with drain cleaner and let it sit. Some times I will do it on a three day weekend. Then run hot water when we get back. Helps reduce hair and gunk build up in the traps.
Mike in Ohio
On 12/20/2014 9:58 PM, Gramps' shop wrote:

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On 12/21/2014 10:19 AM, mungedaddress wrote:

My AC guy turned me on to using white vinegar. Cheap and safe and was ultimately what unclogged a bathroom vanity drain after religiously using, the safe for the environment, drain cleaners that seemed to make the problem worse. Need a little more umph? Add baking soda.
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On Sat, 20 Dec 2014 18:58:19 -0800, Gramps' shop wrote:

I've got a continuing challenge. A shower that leaks water out from underneath and even into the basement - but only when running. So far:
1. Doesn't leak when shut off so no problem in the piping below the valve.
2. Valve showed evidence of a slight leak as corrosion on the brass so it was replaced - still leaks.
3. Plumber took off the shower head and replaced it with a piece of pipe - sealed on the end. Turned on the water, turned it off, and went away for a day. Still had pressure in that pipe when he came back, so no leak in or above the valve.
4. Shower head that had been removed showed a little thread damage so we replaced it. Still leaks.
5. I put a seal over the drain and filled the shower basin with water up to the 3-4" ledge. It took better than 24 hours to gradually leak under the seal, which was just one of those flat rubber disks. So no leak in the shower stall floor.
So what's left? I suppose there could be a leak where the drain screws into the pipe, but considering the way that fitting works it's highly unlikely. I'll check it to be sure.
The only other thing I can think of is to seal the floor and walls with some of that rubberized finish like they make for tool handles. I can peel it off after the test.
I've been ignoring it for a month or so hoping a solution will spring into my mind but that doesn't seem to be happening :-).
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On 12/21/2014 1:10 PM, Larry Blanchard wrote:

Eliminate the normal source of water.
Pour water in the drain directly form a large pot, see a leak down below?
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

The problems obviously with the shower head and or its connection to the pipe work
Does it leak when your using the shower, if thats the case it could be water run off from whoever is using the shower, hairline crack or movement when you load the shower up with a person.
try putting some pottasium permanganate in the pipework in water and presuurise it up after disconnecting it from the mains, it should stain up the leak
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If you let the shower run with no one in it, does it leak? I saw something on one of those TV DIY shows where there was a small hole in the tub floor that was sealed with no weight on it. When it got some weight on it, the tub would flex and leak.
Puckdropper
--
Make it to fit, don't make it fit.

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On 12/21/2014 2:10 PM, Larry Blanchard wrote:

I would recheck the drain. From your test you have no idea of what leaked around the seal, and what leaked into the basement.
When you had the seal in place did it leak into the Basement?
A general comment about plugged drains, that had me climbing the wall.
When we moved into this house the one sinks in the master bath room did not drain. The other sink in the same bath room drained well. Both sinks were T'ed into the same main drain under the cabinet. I did all of the standard things, plunger, taking off the trap, making sure there was no hair on the lever that lifts the stopper. Nothing fixed the problem.
Then someone on this group mentioned the air vent on the sink itself, or as everyone things it is the overflow.
It did not take long to clean the blockage in the over-flow/air-vent and the sink has worked perfectly since cleaning it out.
I know periodically check to see if it is blocked by running water into the sink until it is running through the overflow.
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Is it leaking from the drain itself? You've stopped water from getting into the drain, but what if you took a bucket of water and poured it into the pan with the shower off? Leakage?
It the drain has a gasket where it attaches to the opening in the pan, that could be a suspect.
--
³Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness
sobered, but stupid lasts forever.² -- Aristophanes
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I would agree with this. Depending on how the drain is made, there may be a very short tube going into a rubber sleeve which fits over the drain pipe - those can fail to seal sometimes. Otherwise, like Mike said, I'd suspect a cracked pipe - note that PVC does not like to bend, and will eventually crack if it's been forced to bend around a joist or something.

For some reason ants love to build a nest in there, in my house. They come in thru the window and set up housekeeping. When the sink stops draining I know to get the ant spray first, then clean it out.
John
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plumbing repairs always, and I mean always, take at least 2 trips to the hardware....if you are lucky.
john
"Gramps' shop" wrote in message
I think I may have mentioned (on more than one occasion) how much I hate plumbing. This week I was faced with two challenges -- a nonfunctioning fill valve on a Kohler one-piece toilet and a slow drain in the shower.
I elected to tackle the toilet first. Armed with iPhone photos of the innards and the model number I went to the local Ace. They didn't have the Kohler part, but had an under $10 just-as-good-as generic. Took it home and, yes, it fit, but no it wouldn't stop running.
Called the plumbing supply shop and they had the right part, only it came as part of a $134 rebuild kit. Bit the bullet, due to ongoing heat from you know who. Toilet works great.
The last time I had shower drain problems I called the pros, who lightened my wallet for the better part of $200 for the privilege of 15 minutes with the electric snake. This time, I took out my $3 plastic probe -- the one with the sharp prongs running the length -- and in 10 minutes had full flow restored.
Anybody need a Kohler flapper assembly?
Larry
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"jloomis" wrote in message
plumbing repairs always, and I mean always, take at least 2 trips to the hardware....if you are lucky.
Just two?!
Dave in SoTex
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"jloomis" wrote:

---------------------------------------------------------- I had a job in a hardware store after school week days and all day on Saturdays.
Saturday was moving day so you could expect to have at least a couple of folks who would come in, panic on their face and plumbing fittings in their hands.
These were typically the fittings that when properly connected would get the gas company to come out and turn on the gas.
Hot showers can be a great motivator.
The smart ones had the starting fitting and the last fitting with them.
Given those fittings, we could usually solve their problem and get them going without a return trip to the store.
That was 60 years ago and doubt the problem or the solution has changed much.
Lew
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The only repairs I haven't had take two trips to the store were the "new guts in a box" toilet repair kits. They include almost everything for a standard toilet, so if it's not in the box you'll probably need to replace the toilet. That reminds me... One of the toilet bolts worked its way loose from the flange... I gotta get a new wax ring and remount the toilet.
Three trips seems to be about average, and I've started to overbuy on the first trip. Need a PVC coupling? Pick up 3-4. Some times it works, but usually it guarantees that (a) Murphy's Law will kick in, and the part that needs fixed is something else and (b) I'll have to make another trip to the store, if for nothing else but to return the extras.
One fellow suggested buying caps for the pipes you'll be working on before you start. That way, if you have to stop working for some reason you can cap the pipe off and get the water back on. Shutoff valves aren't always 100%.
Puckdropper
--
Make it to fit, don't make it fit.

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On 21 Dec 2014 20:12:05 GMT, Puckdropper

I had that problem with the drain, in a previous house. It took some time to figure out what was leaking. I finally had to rip out the ceiling below and put some paper around (to record the water) to find it. Then it was confusing because I could tell there was water but never saw it. One day I decided to get up in there when the wife was showering. Yep, the drain was leaking. The problem was then fairly easily solved.
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