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What home repairs are you working on?

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11 Jan 2019 11:56 #289805 by SaMoKo
There’s a landing from our upper floor that overlooks our living room. I suddenly became paranoid our roomba will launch itself from this and kill me while I am below like some horrible tech age ambush. So I’m gonna make a toe board and stay a step ahead of this evil thing.
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11 Jan 2019 12:30 #289806 by SuperflyTNT
That is the best thing I’ve heard this week.

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12 Jan 2019 00:42 - 12 Jan 2019 00:43 #289838 by Shellhead
This morning, I noticed some water on the bathroom floor near the toilet. It was clear and didn't smell funny, so I wiped it up and hoped for the best. I didn't see any obvious sign of leaking, and the caulk seal at the base was still intact. By evening, I noticed more water. I wiped it up again, and felt around the exterior of the toilet, trying to detect where the leak was coming from. Finally determined that it was one of the two bolts securing the tank to the lower part of the toilet, which explains why the water didn't smell bad. I popped open the lid, and unfortunately there is an excessive amount of hardware in my tank, though I could still see the top of the bolt in question.

Clearly I need to take that bolt out and replace the washer, but I should probably do the other one while I am at it. But the other one is inaccessible unless I take out various other parts that are blocking my view. Nearly four decades ago, my dad showed me how to replace the whole assembly inside the tank, but I feel uneasy about messing with that now. My severance pay ran out from my old job around Christmas time, and unemployment is 40% less, so I don't want to call in a plumber if I get in over my head.

So I think I will just replace the one bolt and washer, and see if that is good enough for now. I will hit the store tomorrow, but have a bucket to catch the slow dripping overnight. I did shut off the water supply to that toilet and flush it a couple of times, but will need to siphon out the remaining water and don't want to start that just before midnight.
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12 Jan 2019 12:24 #289856 by CranBerries
The lesson I have learned from months of replacing my bathroom floor is fix those leaks early and don't take shortcuts. Also, only ask Pete for advice if you have the money to do the job right and can buy the best possible materials.
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12 Jan 2019 13:40 #289858 by Shellhead
I think I caught this leak on day one. This morning, there was a small puddle in the bucket, not even enough to cover the bottom of the bucket. The tank wasn't fully drained, because the previous owner put in some extra plastic tank in the tank to reduce the amount of water that would be used with each flush. That plastic tank had partitions within it, and only the section over my leak was fully drained. I may have jostled that partition while I was getting the bolt out, because some water apparently sloshed over the partition into my leak section.

I used a wide-slot screwdriver to hold the bolt in place in the tank while I used a socket wrench to get the nut loose. The nut, bolt, and metal washer all looked decent, but the washer was crumbing slightly near the center, and overall looked close to failing at several other points. One trip to Ace and I had a pair of tank bolt washers in the right size. I only wanted to replace the one today, because I don't want to yank out the whole flushing apparatus just to get at the non-leaking side.

While I was at the hardware store, the water that sloshed over the partition had leaked out, and apparently I had also bumped my bucket partly out of place. So there was a big puddle on the bathroom floor and my cat was complaining because his litter box is in that bathroom. I mopped up most of the water and then struggled to separate the old washer from the bolt. I installed the new washer with the old bolt, nut, and metal washer with no trouble. It almost made me nervous how well this went.

My bad luck kicked in during the cleanup phase. As I was cleaning up the last of the water on the floor, I bumped into my open socket set on the ledge of the tub, sending sockets rolling all over the place. Two small sockets rolled into the drain, so I had to unscrew that and use tweezers to retrieve them. While putting all the sockets back in the right spots in the case, I noticed that my cat was getting even louder. And I smelled shit. Turns out that he really needed to use the litter box but was freaked out by the water on the floor. So he pooped on the living room floor. All in all, my easy repair seemed to be a success, but I emptied out the bucket and put it back under, just in case the leak isn't completely fixed yet.
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13 Jan 2019 17:18 #289909 by Shellhead
To test if the work was really done for now, I put a bucket under the leaking location that I fixed, plus a small cup over under the other tank bolt that wasn't leaking. The good news is that I fixed the leak. The bad news is that the other one has started to leak slightly. So I went to the hardware store and picked up a replacement gasket kit with washers, gaskets, nuts and bolts for everything connecting the tank to the base.

Here is a video for my exact model of Briggs toilet, and around that halfway point, you can see inside the tank:



The light plastic section to the right is just a lid that comes off easily, revealing a section of the divided reservoir within the tank that encases all the parts. The tank bolt on the right is accessible, but the one on the left is between the float-cup fill valve on the left and white tube near the center (where the small black hose is clipped). The float-cup fill valve is easy to detach once the water supply is disconnected from the tank, but the white tube near the center doesn't easily budge. I don't want to use brute force, because it's connected to the reservoir and also the valve leading to the bowl. No visible hardware attaching it. I'm very frustrated, because the whole reservoir thing seems to be extraneous and directly in my way, yet connected to fragile parts that I don't want to smash. Time to call a plumber, I guess. Dammit.
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14 Jan 2019 17:05 #289993 by Shellhead
I took a break and came back with fresh eyes to see that there was a plastic nut on the outside of the tank securing the assembly, but I couldn't get it loose. My uncle volunteered to stop by with a big wrench to get the plastic nut off, and that worked. We noticed a crack in the plastic reservoir, but nobody in the Twin Cities had it in stock because Briggs seems to be going out of business as a manufacturer. But since it was just a tank within a tank, it seemed like it wasn't crucial.

So then we started putting the tank back together with the new washers, gaskets, etc that I bought yesterday, but the big tank to bowl gasket wasn't going to fit. We went to the biggest plumbing supply store in the metro area, and whole state for that matter. They had the exact part that we needed, only it wasn't the right size either. In both cases the gasket itself was the right size, but the attached wings for the tank bolts were too close together. So I had the idea that we could just cut those wings off and use those section independently on the tank bolts.

While connecting everything, I accidentally broke the plastic nut to secure the water supply, so we went to Ace for that part. We started reconnecting everything and tested for leaks, and it was still leaking. It wasn't the tank bolts or the water supply, now it was the flapper that seals off the tank from the bowl most of the time. But I spent almost the whole day on this, so I am going to wait until the morning before going back to Ace. And if that still doesn't stop this new leak, then I will order that replacement plastic reservoir, on the assumption that the crack is the leak.
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14 Jan 2019 22:32 - 14 Jan 2019 22:49 #290010 by CranBerries
That's a weird looking toilet. We have to buy a new one some time in the next month. I'm avoiding the ones with elongated bowels. We bought one with the expectation that it would prevent overspray from my two sons, but they have both moved out and that waterless front portion just serves as a place for poop to perch.

I tried to talk my wife into a squatty toilet, and she would not have it, but I did get two squatty potties for Christmas and they are amazing.

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14 Jan 2019 22:58 #290013 by SuperflyTNT

CranBerries wrote: The lesson I have learned from months of replacing my bathroom floor is fix those leaks early and don't take shortcuts. Also, only ask Pete for advice if you have the money to do the job right and can buy the best possible materials.


No, I use cheaper materials usually, but it takes more skill to make the cheap materials end up with a premium look.
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15 Jan 2019 09:51 #290032 by Shellhead
That plastic tank within the tank turns out to be crucial to the design of the Briggs Vacuity toilet. It isn't a water-saving thing, it creates a vacuum during the flush for a simultaneous push-pull effect in the flush. My vaccum tank had a small crack when I started working on this project, and the crack has gotten worse due to excessive handling over the last few days. So when I tried to order the exact part (B351310) from Briggs, it is of course discontinued. I called around to various plumbing parts stores in the metro area and searched online, and nobody carries it anymore. The bad news is that means I need to buy a new toilet. The good news is that I now feel capable of installing it myself. (famous last words)

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15 Jan 2019 16:24 #290054 by CranBerries
I wonder if JB weld or the equivalent for plastic would fix that crack,.

www.acehardware.com/departments/automoti...ljLK2TwaAmY6EALw_wcB
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15 Jan 2019 17:44 #290063 by SuperflyTNT

Shellhead wrote: That plastic tank within the tank turns out to be crucial to the design of the Briggs Vacuity toilet. It isn't a water-saving thing, it creates a vacuum during the flush for a simultaneous push-pull effect in the flush. My vaccum tank had a small crack when I started working on this project, and the crack has gotten worse due to excessive handling over the last few days. So when I tried to order the exact part (B351310) from Briggs, it is of course discontinued. I called around to various plumbing parts stores in the metro area and searched online, and nobody carries it anymore. The bad news is that means I need to buy a new toilet. The good news is that I now feel capable of installing it myself. (famous last words)


Those toilets are a very specific kind of toilet. The kind that almost never clogs because it is a pressure assist toilet. It fires your black water down the drain like a launched torpedo. Those inner tanks are, indeed, crucial to the design. If they're cracked, you're getting a new toilet.

If you want the same kind of nuclear flush, get an American Standard Cadet Pressure Assist. There is no real reason to buy one unless you have a condition whereas you use a fuckton of paper or take a fuckton of pills and your shits are hard as totem poles.

If you want a good but cheap toilet, get an American Standard Colony 2 piece. IIRC you have a girlfriend (or had) one with medical problems and this one is standard height but they make them for like 25$ more for handicap accessible height if you need one. They run a hundred for the standard.

I have 2 American Standard Cadet 3 Powerwash toilets here, they have a great cleaning action (swirls forcefully along side of bowl) and if you use non-plush paper (the best paper ever is Northern Soft and Strong IMHO) it won't clog.

Just remember that if the floor is level, you're OK to use a jumbo wax ring but if it's not, use a foam ring because wax won't flex, but foam will, and will keep the seal.
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15 Jan 2019 20:08 #290068 by Shellhead

SuperflyTNT wrote:

Shellhead wrote: That plastic tank within the tank turns out to be crucial to the design of the Briggs Vacuity toilet. It isn't a water-saving thing, it creates a vacuum during the flush for a simultaneous push-pull effect in the flush. My vaccum tank had a small crack when I started working on this project, and the crack has gotten worse due to excessive handling over the last few days. So when I tried to order the exact part (B351310) from Briggs, it is of course discontinued. I called around to various plumbing parts stores in the metro area and searched online, and nobody carries it anymore. The bad news is that means I need to buy a new toilet. The good news is that I now feel capable of installing it myself. (famous last words)


Those toilets are a very specific kind of toilet. The kind that almost never clogs because it is a pressure assist toilet. It fires your black water down the drain like a launched torpedo. Those inner tanks are, indeed, crucial to the design. If they're cracked, you're getting a new toilet.

If you want the same kind of nuclear flush, get an American Standard Cadet Pressure Assist. There is no real reason to buy one unless you have a condition whereas you use a fuckton of paper or take a fuckton of pills and your shits are hard as totem poles.

If you want a good but cheap toilet, get an American Standard Colony 2 piece. IIRC you have a girlfriend (or had) one with medical problems and this one is standard height but they make them for like 25$ more for handicap accessible height if you need one. They run a hundred for the standard.

I have 2 American Standard Cadet 3 Powerwash toilets here, they have a great cleaning action (swirls forcefully along side of bowl) and if you use non-plush paper (the best paper ever is Northern Soft and Strong IMHO) it won't clog.

Just remember that if the floor is level, you're OK to use a jumbo wax ring but if it's not, use a foam ring because wax won't flex, but foam will, and will keep the seal.


I would love to use JB Weld or something like that on the cracked vacuum tank, but I suspect it wouldn't hold up under constant submersion and periodic vacuum flushing. I was already looking at American Standard for an affordable model, and that American Standard Colony looks ideal. They even have an elongated model like my current one, which might be what I want depending on the linoleum coverage under the bowl. Thanks for the tip on the wax seal, too, I will make sure to check the level on the floor. My uncle wants to help with the install, so I'm waiting on this until Sunday.

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15 Jan 2019 20:16 #290069 by SaMoKo


Before and after of the worst panel I’ve ever seen. Some old lines still need to be replaced, but I wasn’t doing anything until this abomination was put down.
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18 Jan 2019 00:23 #290192 by CranBerries
That is some nice rewiring.

It is raining and our roof is leaking. The people who installed our solar attic fan 3.5 years ago told us that the leak was caused by rain being blown horizontally into our attic vent, and then slathered roof tar all around the edges of the fan. Now it is leaking into our home in two places, having softened the drywall ceiling. I called one place to look at it and they wanted $500 minimum, deductible from future repairs. It looks like I get to go crawl around our cramped attic and assess the damage but not before I put some serious time into my sabbatical scholarship. I'm about ready to sell this place and move into a new condo, and tell my kids they have to make their own way in the world.

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