An Afternoon Down the Tube

or “The Joys of Owning a 40 year old home”

Yesterday I was trying to gut it out at work but was very close to calling it an early day so I could go home and crawl into bed.

Well, I did part of that. I did call it an early day.

She Who Lets Me Make Her Coffee Every Morning called me about 2 p.m. with the joyous news that the commode was backed up and overflowing. Not a huge problem — I thought.

Then SWLMMHCEM shared that not only was it overflowing; water was leaking from UNDER the commode.  She was able to get the water shut off at the intake line as I was heading out the door.

In the interest of not over-sharing, I will just say that I eventually cleared the line and got the water cleaned up. On the way home, I had grabbed a wax seal thinking that was the problem.

Unfortunately when I removed the commode the real issue was revealed.

[singlepic id=416 w=320 h=240 float=center]

Yep, the wax seal AND flange was stuck on the bottom of the commode because the erosion of the concrete. And the pipe seems to be pushed up a little bit (perhaps foundation shifting over the years.)

So this is where I admit the limits of my ability.

I think I have to:

A.) patch the concrete enough to get a surface for the flange to attach.

B.) Level the pipe with the concrete

C.) install a new flange

What I don’t know is how much concrete I need to chip away in order to make sure the patch stays secure or how big of an area to patch. I’m very concerned that the concrete is crumbling in that whole area.

I do have a couple of phone calls out for people to come look at it but any suggestions or ideas would be helpful.

So any advice from those with more experience?



7 Responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Farm.Dad on 02.11.12 at 07:47

    Were it me .. I would float it up level with epoxy , put in an extended flange and tie it all in with a floor support kit ( .

  2. Posted by Bob S. on 02.11.12 at 07:47

    Farm Dad,

    Thanks, I hadn’t known about the floor support kit. That is a strong possibility. Much appreciated Sir.

  3. Posted by James on 02.11.12 at 07:47

    I second FarmDad’s solution. It certainly beats the heck out of mine.

  4. Posted by daniels on 02.11.12 at 07:47

    Came here to say what FarmDad has already mentioned.

  5. Posted by Shepherd K on 02.11.12 at 07:47

    Sounds like the winner is Farm Dad. I was going to suggest something more complicated. In closing, let me just say that hammer drills and in foundation plumbing don’t mix. Just sayin’.

  6. Posted by Weer'd Beard on 02.11.12 at 07:47

    Know that feeling well!

    Our commode started needing the old handle-jiggle. So I took the lid off and started futzing with the valve and found that it had gone bad. Frig-rigged it so it wouldn’t free-flow, and then started to head out to get a new valve.

    Mrs. Weer’d wanted me to check the shut off. I teased her for being so timid….but then found that THAT valve had gone bad too!

    Thankfully we had a plumber en-route already to fix some other issues, and we just asked him to tack that on to the rest of the job.

    You find a minor problem, and it uncovers a few other problems. Pretty soon that 20 min fix becomes an issue beyond your ability!

    Still beats the shit out of renting!

  7. Posted by maddmedic on 02.11.12 at 07:47

    Yes that will work…

    I hate toilets…well not hate, they do come in handy….working on them and such..I hate..

    How about you just run screaming down the street?

    Thats how I feel about it..