Thursday, November 01, 2007

Toilet surgery

I have two toilets in my house - one is slate/hospital blue and the other is pink. Both are circa 1960-something. Both need some new parts.

I don't brag about a lot (at least, not a LOT a lot). Yet, I am a research hound online. I take pride in the fact that I can hunt down just about anything ... anyone. It is fun. I like unwinding the puzzle on the obscure.

Then along came my potties.

Not only do I not find many hits on my searches, but I continue to find the word "obsolete" by the part numbers. Oh yipee. I will be spending my week talking to a few wholesalers out of state, begging/pleading/crying/whining for them to sell me my little grommets, stops and seals. They won't set me back more than $10 or $20 total, but I'm sure by the time they make it all the way from Jersey, I'll double that in shipping. Ya know, cause that's just the way things work for me!

Did I mention that these are wall-mount toilets. Yup. Those of you who know your pots just shared in an audible groan. It's like being taught to work on cars with a '57 Chevy, and then being handed a 2008 Porsche to fix!

With the color selection, you also run into problems when you need a new toilet seat. I can find exact match (color, size and fit) for only ... ready for this? ... $180! I can get the right color, but it doesn't fit properly. I can get a white one that might fit properly, but then I have the white seat on a colored toilet. There are a few color-match options that might possibly work out - only $68 a seat! WOW! WHAT A DEAL!!

We can also just replace both toilets with new wall mounted toilets so that from now on the parts will be easily accessible and we can maintain them more regularly. That will save us money, right? Hmmm ... sure, after you pay the more than $600 per toilet.

Thankfully, I am a genius. I have already figured out some ways to make due with what we have. I will be harassing said wholesaler in Jersey until someone caves. I have worked magic with plumbers tape. Alright - not magic - but I bought myself more time. That's pretty magical.

I wouldn't trade my old house for ANYTHING! I love this place. I love its character. I love the old in-home vacuum system and intercom system (neither work, but they're great conversational pieces!).

And as long as we can still flush sewage in some way, shape or form ... I will love my slate blue and pink "obsolete" potties.

Oh, and for those of you who have connections, the replacement part I'm looking for is N-3055 for an American Standard. There is no finder's fee, but I might just kiss you right on the mouth.

UPDATE: God bless the internet! And Moma Podkayne! And David at American Plumbing Supply at 504 East Grand Avenue in Des Moines - (515) 244-6749 (and David is going to try to learn his way into blogdom so he can read my plug - Hi David! You're my hero!). My replacement parts are on their way! Join me in the potty dance. You on the left dance for the pink potty. You on the right dance for the blue one.

And it goes a little something like this ... hit it!


Mama Podkayne said...

Christine, there is a plumbing supply place in downtown Des Moines, Iowa that still sells your toilet! AND ALL THE PARTS! We have a 1916 wall mount thing that we had to do work on, they had all the parts for that too. Try them. I think they ae on Locist or Walnut or Grand, in downtown DM, East Village neighborhood.......I think they are called American Plumbing Supply......

As for toilet seats.....a nice oak one. Then the color doesn't matter!

Mama Podkayne said...

:) I knew my Masters in Historic Preservation Technologies would pay off someday!

Glad to help. :)

Welcome to Great Goblets! said...

YEH for Mama Podkayne!! I was on my way to looking up the local plumb supply place for you and seen you already found it. From, I must add, the very same local plumb supply place I had in mind thank you very much!! See, we Iowans know toilets! Something to be proud of I guess. Toilets & Corn!! That's us!! HE!
Glad you found your parts!!

Anonymous said...

so funny!

Anonymous said...

Didn't think about you old plumber friend in Mesquite did you?