E.coli, E.coli everywhere...
Our house has been a total sty for a few weeks because a plumber pal is doing this job as a side job (thus the ongoing nature) and the plumbing is coming up through the only two closets of consequence in the whole house and so the contents of the closets have been flung hither and yon. This has been trying for my spirit. I'm nothing even close to a neat freak, but I do have a problem with ongoing chaos. I was okay for a while, but now it's getting to me, for real.
Now, for some background:
When we first bought this house, we ripped out all the carpeting and the linoleum under the carpeting. As you may recall, there was carpet, pad and linoleum even in the bathroom. In several rooms, there were two layers of carpet and then two more layers of linoleum. As I've said before, I fucking hate everyone who ever owned our home, both as a group and as individuals. You know that I'm a lover and not a fighter, and yet I would be happy to punch every one of those motherfuckers in the face, dead or alive. That is the level of my fury.
(Aside: According to Froofy von Doofy, at a certain point, anything that's wrong with your house is your own fault. I am not sure I'm at that point yet. We're on the second major house project our budget allows, and we just keep uncovering former owners' bullshit.)
One thing we discovered upon pulling up the carpet, pad and linoleum in the bathroom is that there were water stains on the wood floor. We could see no evidence of current water leaks, and so we assumed that it was from times past and had the floor sanded and refinished. Great! There's still some staining, but it's not as obscene.
Now, this past Sunday, our plumber pal busted into the drain pipe in the basement to connect everything up proper from our laundry room. I'm telling you, this was a huge job. He estimated it would take 8-10 hours total and it's taken 17 so far. Fucking nuts. Yes, he's very nearly done. In fact, we're so close we could taste it. Still.
So he was here last night putting some finishing touches on the basement action when he feels drips of water on his arm. He wonders where it's coming from and sees that it's coming from the shaft up through the middle of the house that harbors all major water and sewer piping. Awesome.
As he's shining a light up into the shaft, I, not knowing what was going on, went to the bathroom and flushed the toilet. And there was a splash in the basement.
Naturally, he shouted for us. We all ended up looking into the shaft and it looks like there's been an extremely slow leak in our toilet pipe area for basically ever. There's all kinds of madness up there. He suspects that when he was busting into the pipe on Sunday that he loosened things up and it turned into more of a trickle than a slow leak. He suspected our toilet seal might be to blame. As I continued to stare up into the shaft, a big drip of water and god knows what rained upon me or, to be more precise, upon my face. That's when I started to gag.
We immediately stopped using the toilet. While I was out on my walk for serenity, I used the toilet at Friendly's.
At this point, it was nearly dark time, so we had no choice but to send Scott to the Home Despot for a new wax ring. There was a bit of drama in that when they pulled the toilet off the floor, there was all kinds of bogusness. Our plumber pal said, "Listen, there's a serious chance that we might not be able to get this toilet back tonight." There was a serious rust and grossness situation. Holy hell.
We made an action plan: if we couldn't resolve this, we were going to camp out at Margaret and Jeremy's.
By the power of Grayskull (and a whole lot of near-hyperventilation from nerves), our plumber pal was able to rig it back up so that the leaking ended and we were able to sleep in our own bed. But this rigging might not hold, friends. This rigging includes pieces of wood wedged into the space between the toilet and the floor. It looks like a crack house in our bathroom!
We were planning to replace the toilet as part of the ongoing house project, and so it seems we will be doing this sooner rather than later. While our toilet isn't the source of the problem this minute (it's actually the flange and the pipe directly underneath the toilet), if we're going to fix all that up proper, it's a fine time to get a new toilet that doesn't empty the resevoir with every flush (we've become an if-it's-yellow-let-it-mellow family -- plus we keep a couple bricks in the tank to reduce the water usage, but still!).
I started doing some online toilet research and stumbled upon a story in Mother Earth News that linked to a PDF of best-toilet research. It's stunning. Anyone in the market for a toilet that wants to know how to get the most efficient bang for the buck will find this 100% useful. Anyone else interested in how independent toilet rating companies rate toilets will be fascinated. I highly recommend that you at least look at the photos of the toilet-testing laboratory and how they make the fake poop that they test flush. Awesome.
All this to say that the strange moisture problem in the basement is now explained. Also, that our bathroom has moved up the priority scale. I will not let it derail the kitchen project. I will not.
The new washer and dryer are being delivered on Wednesday. Once the plumbing inspector gives us the all-clear, we'll be in good shape. Once we pick out our new toilet and have it installed, we'll be golden. I'm considering this one.