Drive by plumbing

Last Saturday I noticed that my upstairs toilet was leaking. As in, at the base, through the floor, possibly into the ceiling of the room below.

I didn’t want my bathroom to degrade into needing a visit from the Citrus Avenger or his crusty nemesis, so I ripped out the old toilet (destroying things is my bailiwick), the soaked particle board flooring, and a chunk of subflooring. Particle board is pretty useless, combining the rigidity of glued sawdust with the environmental benefits of formaldehyde. It should not have let anything soak into the subflooring. Thus, I decided I would remove the remaining dry chunk of particle board and use plywood instead.

I made the minimum required trips to the local gargantuan home improvement centers. I installed subflooring, then the flooring, sanded, primed, sanded again. Then, when the completion was inevitable, set up an appointment to have a plumber install the toilet. Based on my previous plumbing experience, I wasn’t even going to try to install the damned toilet myself.

I spent most of Friday morning applying adhesive and vinyl tiles. As I was putting in the last odd-shaped one, the plumber came and, two hours later, I had a toilet installed. It looks good, and the only remaining thing I have to do is stain, cut, and apply the moulding.

(So my fellow males don’t think I’m totally lame, while the plumber was putting stuff in, I got an estimate for reinstalling a bunch fo sinks as the overflow hole is rusted out and looks bad. It worked out to about $900/sink. For that much, I will do it myself.


  • Having kids lessens the trauma of working on/near toilets.
  • One of the few things I like about these home “status quo” projects is I sometimes get a shiny new power tool out of it, though it has to be related to the job in question. For example, this endeavor begged for a belt sander to get the floor smooth. My ReplayTV project last month netted me a new soldering iron.
  • On the Bizarro Planet, there’s a plumber/product marketer named Bizarro Jim. His home is plagued by electrical projects, he pines for a position where he can just herd cats rather than using technology, and his bathroom digeradoo playing is on par with my electric guitar.
  • 6 thoughts on “Drive by plumbing”

    1. lookin’ better!

      but the whole having to enter a security code twice thing is a little annoying.

    2. > having to enter a security code twice is … annoying

      You are quite right. It’s #3 on my list right now, and I should get to it by tomorrow evening.

      I thought I could just put a band aid on this to store the key (with the email, name, etc) in a cookie for the next screen. Apparently I’ve exceeded my lucidity for the evening, as this isn’t working. The long-term fix is to pass this along to the form. And while testing, I noticed the key can change. And the style sheet for posting comments is hideous.

    3. Okay, here’s what I did with the security code business… it doesn’t show up in the first preview screen, but will show up in the one that has the post button. If you edit a lot, you’ll have to enter it multiple times (unless that’s a problem, then I’ll fix it). However in normal cases it’ll promipt you only once.

    4. Amusingly, many projects that I do cost more by the time you factor in the tool purchase(s).

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