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Thread: Flushed............

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan


    Well, I'm not one of those guys that hates plumbing, I don't "Enjoy" it, but I don't really mind it, in fact, I'd much rather do plumbing than paint

    I've been lucky enough to work with some decent plumbers over the years, and learned a few things along the way, I'm not a pro, but I can usually make stuff that works and don't leak

    We got a call from one of our tenants in one old two story 4 apartment building we own, this guy is on the first floor, and he says he has water dripping into his apartment....... oh boy

    Now I know the apartment on the second floor is vacant, as the guy Kim, a buddy of mine, that lives there is out of town for the summer, back in Canada. I knew that Kim had sublet the place for two short terms, but both of those guys were long gone, so I was wondering if I had a busted pipe or what, as there has not been anyone in the apartment since the end of July....

    I zip over there on my scooter, it is not far, took me ten minutes, I get there and the goofy 1st floor guy is not home, and I came in less than 20 minutes from him calling us, how am I supposed to see the dripping water and figure out if I have to fix the ceiling etc if the guy takes off? He also did not give us his cell number.....

    OK, I head to the second floor, and low and behold, the guy, Jason, that sublet the place out in early July is there.........huh? Turns out, he came back a bit earlier than planned and his new apartment is not ready for him until the end of the month, and he had contacted Kim about using the apartment until the end of August, as Kim will not be back until September 3rd......... but Kim forgot to inform us....

    It turns out that the toilet was leaking, from several spots.

    The flange bolts, holding the toilet bowl down were completely rusted out, like as in just about not there, the four screws holding the flange to the floor were also rusted out, the heads of the screws were not there, and the flange itself was busted, not to mention the putty ring was broken in half.....YIKES
    The pipe going from the water closet to the toilet bowl was leaking in four places, yep, FOUR!!

    The existing busted flange and the various rusted out bolts and screws....

    Oh boy....

    OK, I got to the DIY store, near-"ish" to my house and found out they have two sizes of flanges, 10cm and 7.5cm (4" & 3") they cost about $25 each, so I bought both, as well as some narrow jaw adjustable wrenches that I would need, some thing that I did not have. I also bought 4 sets of seals, that I hoped would work, the toilet is old enough that they don't have part numbers in the book for it, but man, it is just a toilet, not a rocket ship! I did eventually get what I needed.....

    I got back to the apartment and started to get it done, first thing I found was the two sizes of flanges I got were not the same as the flange I had glued into the pipe on the floor.... Huh?

    The 10cm flange was too big, it would NOT fit into the pipe after I removed the old flange, which was glued in place, I had to cut it with a hacksaw blade, and then chip it out with a screwdriver and hammer.

    Here it is after I cut the top off the flange............

    and after I chipped out the piece that fit into the pipe....

    After a trip back to the near-"ish" DIY shop, to get another flange, I found out they don't make that size anymore...?

    I found that the hole in the bottom of the toilet was actually 7cm in diameter, so the 7.5cm flange would work. The plumbing guy at the store agreed with that, but recently, I've not had too much faith in what the "Guy at the Store" tells me..........

    The smaller flange did fit into the hole, and everything else matched up so...?

    I put a LOT of silicone sealer on the floor area where the flange would sit, and under the flange as well.

    The new flange set in place

    Now it is set in place, with the flange bolts and screwed down too, the screws are stainless steel, so are the bolts, and the nuts are brass, so they should last longer and not rust. There was a foam ring about 3/8" thick that is stuck to the bottom of the toilet, with double sided tape, and that makes contact with the rubber ring that sits on the flange, no wax rings here, maybe it gets too hot?

    The floor in the toilet room needs replacing, but so does the floor in the kitchen, I'll do them both at some future date, but right now, this will have to do, yes, I know, the 1970s called and wants the flooring back.
    Before the toilet was snugged down, I ran a thick bead of silicone around, and under the edge of the toilet base, then I snugged it down, and finished up by running a bead of silicone around the base of the toilet where it meets the floor.

    I also replaced all the seals on the pipe work from the water tank down to the bowl, a total of four, and all four were leaking!

    There fixed it.........

    Took me just over four hours, but that included the trips to the DIY shop, and getting all my tools together for the job, not bad, I figure.

    Now I know that this was not done exactly to the standards that most of you are used to in the US, and Canada, but I had to work with what I got, so I think I did OK.

    What I figured happened was the flange bolts rusted enough that things got loose, then as the toilet moved around, the seals on the pipes let go, which let water drip out, onto the floor, this sped up the rusting and things just got worse.

    What I do not understand is how my buddy Kim, who has lived there for two years, would NOT tell me that; 1) water was leaking onto the floor, NEVER a good thing, and 2) the toilet was rocking and rolling, as in not bolted down anymore.......?

    I just do not "get" how people don't say anything about stuff like this

    Oh well, another day done, and no work on the kids wall.... Have to get that done tomorrow, Sunday!

    Thanks for listening!

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Constantine, MI
    Ahh... the joys of being a landlord. Glad it worked out and nothing really serious happened.
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    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Yes, toilets are not rocket science, but they can present problems. You mentioned a putty ring a the bottom. Later you said something about a wax ring. I am only familiar with wax (I think pure beeswax) being used for the floor seal. It doesn't harden or break like old putty and even if the fit isn't perfect it will squish to shape and seal. Anyhow, glad you got it fixed. Folks can be indifferent when they are not paying for the repairs. Human nature.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Excellent job you Landlord-ship. Where do I get me one of those funky tank-in-the-corner toilets? That is just the kind of thing I might install just to be odd ;-)
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Excellent job you Landlord-ship. Where do I get me one of those funky tank-in-the-corner toilets? That is just the kind of thing I might install just to be odd ;-)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island

    Over here they make a flang where the tube going down into the pipe has a seal on it that somehow is expanded as you seat the flange to makes a good seal This may be something for you to look into so you know next time. I haven't actually used one myself but the plumber I hire uses them . He also has a cutter that he rotates around inside the tube of the old flange to cut it & remove the top portion of the old flange. I do the light work & let him do the work I don't have the tools or back for.
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 08-23-2008 at 03:48 PM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Tokiwadai, Japan
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Where do I get me one of those funky tank-in-the-corner toilets? That is just the kind of thing I might install just to be odd ;-)
    The tank doubles as a hand washing/rinsing sink...... Besides space restrictions, Japan has been "Green" a long time...

  8. #8
    Nice work mate.

    Those hand wash tops are available in the US now and I was considering one for the basement throne room.

    I'm envious of you and your life there in Japan.
    daiku woodworking

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX
    Hey Stu, you only used 4 hours on that, tack on your 12 hour work day, and I see 8 hours left to work on that wall!!!!

    Glad it wasn't worse than it was. That could have been bad. Have you had a chance to see the down stairs apt yet? Hope it dries out and you don't have to do any more dry wall stuff! Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
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