I'm an idiot

tap4154

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Apr 14, 2009
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Buck up, when I was an apprentice plumber, I dropped a toto brand toilet down a flight of steps en route to a basement bathroom install.

My boss looked at it, looked at me, and "suggested" i take the rest of the day off....and to call for a ride. He was not happy, those Toto branded fixtures are not cheap.
In my work I normally don't install toilets, but an appliance store I do work with asked me several times to install some because their plumber was out. I installed a couple one piece Toto toilets upstairs, but I used my short Yeats appliance dolly to pull them upstairs, and to take the old ones down. I've always been of the mind that you try to make it as easy on your back as possible. In fact decades ago I built a very portable jack that I use to lift up double ovens. I've actually installed hundreds with it. It's easier than two people.

A few months later I was working in a house, and this plumber comes running down the stairs with a one piece toilet in his arms that's dripping. I couldn't believe it. One slight stumble and he and the toilet would have been toast.
 

Milspec

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In my work I normally don't install toilets, but an appliance store I do work with asked me several times to install some because their plumber was out. I installed a couple one piece Toto toilets upstairs, but I used my short Yeats appliance dolly to pull them upstairs, and to take the old ones down. I've always been of the mind that you try to make it as easy on your back as possible. In fact decades ago I built a very portable jack that I use to lift up double ovens. I've actually installed hundreds with it. It's easier than two people.

A few months later I was working in a house, and this plumber comes running down the stairs with a one piece toilet in his arms that's dripping. I couldn't believe it. One slight stumble and he and the toilet would have been toast.
I was young and very stupid...it is my only defense.
 

Stubee

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It’s a fine line between “just right” and “too tight”. I’ve been on the wrong side of the equation several times, just not with a toilet base. I’ve done a bunch of ‘em, too. I feel for ya, GB.

My stupidest “too tight” was scabbing in a flex fix at my cottage. 4” casing sprung a leak beneath my front deck, first holiday weekend with the whole family up to enjoy the new place which I’d just barely finished. I spent hours under the deck with an army shovel digging a 5’ deep hole in backfill. I found the head had been nicked by a clumsy excavator and finally decided to let go. A trip to the only hardware store within 30 miles on Memorial Day weekend produced the only bit that would work. I put it on and had the gusher down to a drip drip leak, and my friend Dave said “that’s maybe good enough” but no, one more 1/8 turn…too much.

Glad it wasn’t porcelain!
 

John Owen

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Jan 29, 2010
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Seattle, WA
Three years ago I installed a couple toilets in my home, and I bought one-piece toilets. Easy-peasy 😎

Got these at Home Depot and they've been working great.

Never expected to get a case of GAS for a toilet from TDPRI but life is full of surprises. I gotta have one of those! Any mod recommendations?
 

imwjl

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Mar 21, 2007
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11,866
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My mom's basement.
I have installed a bunch of toilets in my life. I've rebuilt, repaired etc without ever having an issue. I bought a GOOD toilet (600.00) and, I broke it. the base. broke it. just over tightened the tank to the base. CLUNK.

I ordered the replacement base. Depressing. Oh well. I also got a bunch of car parts in today, so, I'll dive in all weekend and try to redeem myself.
Bummer. I bet it won't cost as much as my well intended move to take care of my wife's van should you feel like calling someone else an idiot.

It needed a new battery so I backed it into the garage whether that was to aid a jump start in the cold spell or just ease replacing the battery. Well, I have bikes that hang in garage and a tiny bump pulling it out caused bike to twist and a pedal to catch the wing at top of the gate. I broke the wing and the LED light assembly in it.

Of course I was thinking have someone look or guide me pulling out but said na to myself don't annoy anyone else and just take care of the battery. Now I expect the next lesson will be her SE (swaggerwagon) version of the van will be more expensive to fix.
 

MarkieMark

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May 7, 2016
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Eastern USA
Three years ago I installed a couple toilets in my home, and I bought one-piece toilets. Easy-peasy 😎

Got these at Home Depot and they've been working great.

In the advert- see that gap between the base and floor?
Its not tight enough yet. :p

Actually, not funny. Frustrating.
Story:
Toilet in master bath was always a bit cranky. Unreliable. Prone to the occasional overflow. Cheap economy grade crapper.
Tried replacing parts, adjustments, fiddling. The usual results. Confirmed what I already knew. Some fill valves are quieter, some flush valves last longer than others, none the hardware is exactly "heavy duty"
(And by the way, I like the concept of the one piece unit, even if only because it eliminates one more poorly designed connection point!)
After fighting the thing for years, and occasionally "window shopping" for a replacement I decided it was time...
That thing about "capable of flushing a bucket of golf balls" sold me.
The swap went well, though it is still a frustration that the hardware is such junk. Clean up the flange, drop on the wax ring, carefully set the unit in place over those stupid bolts without knocking them around.. Press it down. They supplied some flimsy nylon wing nuts for securing it. You cannot over tighten them if you tried. (Well you could strip the threads, but your not going to crack the base anyway)
Snug em up, clean up the work area, done.
Nope. The toilet rocks.
Snug em up again.
Done.
Nope. The toilet rocks.
Grrr...

Run to the store.
Yep, its a plumbing project.
Get a new wax ring, as I am going to have to pull it and reinstall.
Choices. Clearly dont need the extra thick ones. Heavy duty reinforced? OK, perceived quality upgrade I reckon.

Pull the brand new toilet. Wax ring is crushed to zero thickness. Hmm.
Flange is at least 1/16" too high. Maybe too high originally, maybe due to 60 years of framing shrinkage, dunno. Doesnt matter.

Set the unit on a new wax ring. Resist the urge to replace the nylon wing nuts with real nuts and washers...
Yep. Toilet rocks.
Wife is pacing nervously.
loosen slightly, caulk around the base, and wait a few hours. Snug up wing nuts and so far... Good to go.

Now I am not gonna test it with a bucket of golf balls, but I'll tell you this...
it flushes with authority while using about a third as much water.
Wifes description after a few days- "its like some kind if magic!"
Me- "yeah, should have replaced that years ago..."

It came with a "soft close" seat. No slamming is a nice thought, but the thing feels too flimsy. Ya know, close the lid and use as a seat for... I dunno, trimming your toe nails or something?
Feels like it is going to break for certain.
So far it hasnt, but it is unnerving.

Anyway @getbent it could be worse.
Dont break the mounting flange. That really sucks...
 

tap4154

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Posts
12,042
Location
Southern California
In the advert- see that gap between the base and floor?
Its not tight enough yet. :p

Actually, not funny. Frustrating.
Story:
Toilet in master bath was always a bit cranky. Unreliable. Prone to the occasional overflow. Cheap economy grade crapper.
Tried replacing parts, adjustments, fiddling. The usual results. Confirmed what I already knew. Some fill valves are quieter, some flush valves last longer than others, none the hardware is exactly "heavy duty"
(And by the way, I like the concept of the one piece unit, even if only because it eliminates one more poorly designed connection point!)
After fighting the thing for years, and occasionally "window shopping" for a replacement I decided it was time...
That thing about "capable of flushing a bucket of golf balls" sold me.
The swap went well, though it is still a frustration that the hardware is such junk. Clean up the flange, drop on the wax ring, carefully set the unit in place over those stupid bolts without knocking them around.. Press it down. They supplied some flimsy nylon wing nuts for securing it. You cannot over tighten them if you tried. (Well you could strip the threads, but your not going to crack the base anyway)
Snug em up, clean up the work area, done.
Nope. The toilet rocks.
Snug em up again.
Done.
Nope. The toilet rocks.
Grrr...

Run to the store.
Yep, its a plumbing project.
Get a new wax ring, as I am going to have to pull it and reinstall.
Choices. Clearly dont need the extra thick ones. Heavy duty reinforced? OK, perceived quality upgrade I reckon.

Pull the brand new toilet. Wax ring is crushed to zero thickness. Hmm.
Flange is at least 1/16" too high. Maybe too high originally, maybe due to 60 years of framing shrinkage, dunno. Doesnt matter.

Set the unit on a new wax ring. Resist the urge to replace the nylon wing nuts with real nuts and washers...
Yep. Toilet rocks.
Wife is pacing nervously.
loosen slightly, caulk around the base, and wait a few hours. Snug up wing nuts and so far... Good to go.

Now I am not gonna test it with a bucket of golf balls, but I'll tell you this...
it flushes with authority while using about a third as much water.
Wifes description after a few days- "its like some kind if magic!"
Me- "yeah, should have replaced that years ago..."

It came with a "soft close" seat. No slamming is a nice thought, but the thing feels too flimsy. Ya know, close the lid and use as a seat for... I dunno, trimming your toe nails or something?
Feels like it is going to break for certain.
So far it hasnt, but it is unnerving.

Anyway @getbent it could be worse.
Dont break the mounting flange. That really sucks...
You should have bought some thin wood or plastic shims. Once you set the toilet on the wax ring, if there are any gaps and it rocks, just use the shims to level the toilet, and cut them off at the edge of the base. Then snug the two bolts down, and run a bead of caulk around it.

I can't stand those soft closing toilet seats. I bought one several years ago, and like you said the lid was so flimsy you couldn't sit on it, and I just saw no real need for it. If you're using the toilet during the night and someone is sleeping, you can just gently lower the seat down. I took it off and put the original seat back on.
 

tap4154

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Joined
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Posts
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Location
Southern California
Never expected to get a case of GAS for a toilet from TDPRI but life is full of surprises. I gotta have one of those! Any mod recommendations?
GAS for a toilet seems pretty appropriate 😁

These don't need any mods, I put a flimsy self-closing seat on one for a while, but took it off soon after. The seat that comes with those is actually pretty good.
 

trapdoor2

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Location
Sauth Carolina
Back in 2014, we hired a contractor to start the reno on this house. Part of that was to gut the master bath, redesign, new fixtures, etc. Gave him a list of fixtures which included American Standard toilets (in both bathrooms). Since we were living 500mi away during the reno, I didn't get to inspect the work until 6 mo. later. He had installed Mansfield toilets.

When I asked him why he installed that brand when I'd asked for American Standard, he said something about installing "regular American toilets"...and I had to explain that American Standard was a brand name. 🙄 He'd been contracting for 25 yrs. and didn't know. The only slack I could give him was that he was an excellent framer...and sub-contracted out his plumbing jobs.

Later, we fired him. He was an idiot. In 2019, Contractor #2 suggested his favorite plumber, who came in and replaced both toilets with American Standards (the Mansfields were awful, sprayed water out of the bowl onto your legs, etc.)...and actually set the one in the Master bath in old-fashioned plaster as he could not get it to stop rocking on the coarse tile floor. Perfect job done perfectly.

Murphy has perched on my shoulder often. I have some sort of mild dyslexia that insures I install left for right and upside down vs rightside up. I have had to tear down two engine builds because I installed the rings upside down...even after checking twice. Same with safety wire...50% chance of doing it backwards.
 

charlie chitlin

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I have installed a bunch of toilets in my life. I've rebuilt, repaired etc without ever having an issue. I bought a GOOD toilet (600.00) and, I broke it. the base. broke it. just over tightened the tank to the base. CLUNK.

I ordered the replacement base. Depressing. Oh well. I also got a bunch of car parts in today, so, I'll dive in all weekend and try to redeem myself.
It'll still cost you less than if you'd called a plumber.
 

archetype

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Western NY
I have installed a bunch of toilets in my life. I've rebuilt, repaired etc without ever having an issue. I bought a GOOD toilet (600.00) and, I broke it. the base. broke it. just over tightened the tank to the base. CLUNK.

I ordered the replacement base. Depressing. Oh well. I also got a bunch of car parts in today, so, I'll dive in all weekend and try to redeem myself.

When working out in the middle of nowhere, rehabbing a cabin to live in, I needed to install a toilet and had access to some used ones I could have. I broke two at the base before I really examined things and found that the floor had a slight slope on one edge of where the toilet's footprint would be. Crank it down on that side and 'snap!'

A warning: when vitreous china breaks it often does so with thin, razor-sharp edges. I've sliced myself open just touching them.
 

John Owen

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GAS for a toilet seems pretty appropriate 😁

These don't need any mods, I put a flimsy self-closing seat on one for a while, but took it off soon after. The seat that comes with those is actually pretty good.
What about vintage style flush lever? 1950's era float valve? I definitely plan to relic it. Additional suggestions welcome!
 

schmee

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northwest
Yeah, they only need to be tightened a small amount. Don't feel bad, I had a toilet installed by a plumbing company and that guy broke it.

Last toilet I put in was one recommended by Consumer Reports. American Standard clean one piece design, low water consumption. Very quiet and bullet proof. I just happened upon a CR magazine in the doctors office and went with their recommendation. $200

Wax seals always worked perfectly for me.
 

stantheman

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White Mountains
I prefer the highboy. After both hips replaced no more Hindu Squats.
In Baseball a catcher suffers the most.

Think about that.
 

memorex

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Sweet Lorain, OH
I know the feeling. I've replaced toilets before, but not in the last 20 years. I needed one replaced last year, and I paid a plumber $500 to do it. That included the toilet and hardware and removal of the old stuff, of course. That might seem like a high price, but I'm an old man, he did a good job, and the installation was trouble-free.
 




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