Having been bested by the little pink toilet, I chose to battle a weaker foe: the basement toilet. Quintessential to my swinging 60's finished basement resides a bland yet acceptable full bath. Slightly too short for me to shower in, but good enough for normal sized guests. This DIY toilet repair project not only ended better than the other, it forced my home into revealing some intimate details. In fact right now I’m typing this as a very nice man from Roto-Rooter is doing god-knows-what to my sewer system. Black goo bubbling up from the ground was the proverbial line in the sand for me, so I'd called a professional. But I digress, lets get back to the initial repair.
This toilet was squirting water out its rear end whenever you flushed. Funny, yes, but hardly convenient. After some quick internet research I surmised the proper solution was to replace the tank-to-bowl gasket. Thankfully this time the water shut off worked. I drained the tank, took it all apart, and then took advantage of the opportunity to clean all those hard to get places. I discovered not only was the old gasket in really bad shape, but it was also the wrong kind of gasket all together. I have Kohler toilets and they all use a weird 3 bolt gasket setup (apparently since the 1940’s or so right up until today).
Thankfully I had the correct Kohler gasket and it went on nice and easy. I reassembled the toilet and, fingers crossed, I flushed. No squirting water! I flushed a second time...what a beautiful sound that is. I. Am. Man. I am victorious! I stood back in amazement of a job well done. Then... I think 'hey what is that smell? That wasn't there before, this can’t be good.'
I followed my nose like a terrified bloodhound into the attached laundry room. There before me was the source of the smell. A pitch black primordial ooze. It was as if a small black-hole had ripped open in my basement. I don’t care if Bugs Bunny pops out of that thing, it's still not good news.
Here is where Roto-Rooter comes in. To my surprise they have a night and weekend service and they don’t charge extra. Big deal for a guy who’s down to his last pennies for a few weeks. Thirty minutes after calling I had someone at my house helping me out. Can’t say enough good things about Roto-Rooter guy. After explaining what he thought was going on he went to work fixing it. Never made me feel stupid for well, being stupid.
In my mind, I’m positive my house is under attack by hoards of small gremlins chewing their way in through the deep, dark and evil underground, intent on ruining my life...via my foundation. That or some tree roots are wreaking havoc. I’m wrong though, I come to find out the previous resident had been flushing baby wipes and “feminine products” as he said. Pretty much a universally bad idea.
Thankfully it was an easy fix for him and now I can say the score is tied Robert One, Toilet One.