Saturday, March 7, 2009

HGTV Incident

A friend (KWH) posted this story of her toilet-installing experience on Facebook. It cracked me up!!!

I love it, because I can relate to the "irresponsible" ideas that HGTV fills us, HGTV-addicts, with but more importantly, I can totally see this exact thing happening to us when we renovate our bathroom in the feature... Read on and giggle.
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I think I might have to file a class action lawsuit against HGTV. After watching so many do-it-yourself shows, it appears you are almost brainwashed into thinking that you have some type of skill level when anyone with eyes can clearly see that you are lucky just be able to put one foot in front of the other without falling. It's irresponsible programming at best.

Last week, I noticed that the upstairs toilet had begun to run. Feeling brave, I lifted off the top to the toilet tank only to be confronted with a rusty, moldy, cracked tank that probably would've even been rejected at the foulest of gas station bathrooms. Ugh. I'm fairly certain that this is the original toilet - over 50 years old! Just think about the crap that toilet has seen.

While I realized that we could probably pay someone to fix the toilet, I figured we'd just get a new one considering the disgusting innards of our current toilet. I checked and found a Kohler toilet on sale for $264.00. I don't know that I've heard much about Kohler toilets, but I've heard good things about their faucets, so I was interested.

Plus a name brand sounds better than the poop-in-ator or some such thing.

I decided to see if it was in stock. SWEET! Now the toilet has gone down to $199.00 plus I remembered a 10% off coupon lurking around and end up with a toilet for under $200 including tax. I hadn't asked for a commode for my birthday but was feeling pretty smug seeing as how I'm an awesome toilet shopper.

We get the toilet home and I put a few calls out to see if anyone is interested in installing a toilet. (I'm even willing to pay in cash vs. brewski's, but no one is calling me back. Maybe I should've paid in beers.) Meanwhile, hiking downstairs to use the john at 3 AM is losing it's appeal.

While waiting for my toilet-installer to call, I begin to get inundated with friends declaring the relative ease of replacing a toilet. We start to wonder if maybe - just maybe - we could just do it ourselves and save a few more bucks. (I bet you can see where this is heading... Note to self: Must build time machine to warn self and head off toilet disaster.)

Friday comes and Jim decides that he will be able to install the toilet. The easiest part is at the beginning - draining the water from the toilet. I even think to use the wet vac and we're feeling like pros. Jim expresses some concern when opening the box and seeing all the extra parts but I am comfortable since I see directions and perversely enjoy putting ready made furniture together.

Almost immediately we are confronted with our first obstacle. We can't loosen the nut connecting the toilet supply line to the tank. I check YouTube and decide we don't have the correct tools. I run over to the local hardware store where I use my new found toilet vocabulary with ease -- throwing out terms like toilet supply line and channel lock pliers with reckless abandon. I imagine that everyone is awed at my plumbing skills.

I come home and have to leave for work. I figure we will finish when I get home.

I probably should've left for home when I spoke with Jim at lunch. Our conversation went as follows:

Me "Hi, how's it going?"
Jim "Hi, hi, hi, hi.... the toilet's leaking. The baby's screaming but I've got to keep going . . . Help!" *click*

I pretend like this is a normal conversation and continued on with my day. I left a few messages throughout the day, but never got Jim on the phone again.

While I was at work, Jim was dealing with non standard parts on our toilet and at one point in time the toilet supply line broke and he was squirted in the face with streams of water. (Think cartoon style -- the reenactment was pretty good but I'd pay money to see the actual event!) I didn't hear back until that night.

We were so close! Jim had everything set up and just needed to remove the water valve majiggy because it didn't fit the new supply lines.

That's when the copper piping twisted and broke -- shooting water throughout the walls.

Cost of the toilet? $188.00
Cost of the plumber to fix the broken pipe in the wall on a Friday night? $560.00

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