When looking for ways to cut costs many homeowners try to do the around-the-home projects themselves. However, there are certain jobs, especially those dealing with plumbing, which should be left to the professionals. One such example was recently posted on the internet . . . a homeowner seeking to change a toilet seat.
It starts out innocently enough, the homeowner using a wrench to try to remove the bolts, but unfortunately he keeps turning them the wrong way (because they are upside down) and ends up rounding off the nuts. He then decides to try removing the seat with a chisel and hammer. When the bolts prove to be too stubborn, he pulls back with the hammer and strikes a mighty blow that breaks the toilet tank flooding the area with cold water. The shock of the cold water causes this poor do-it-yourselfer to drop his hammer into the bathtub, taking a big chunk out of the porcelain, which pops off the tub floor.
Realizing his situation, our poor homeowner runs to the basement (two floors down) to shut off the water supply to the house. In the meantime the water is flooding the floors and has saturated the plaster in the ceiling below, causing it to collapse into the living room.
Next, we find our homeowner trying to remove what’s left of the toilet tank from the floor flange and once again out comes the chisel and hammer. With a mighty THWAK – no more toilet bowl – and unfortunately, no more closet flange either and since this was attached to a lead closet bend, it will now need to be replaced too.
Our homeowner is now determined more than ever to fix the problem himself. He goes to the Home Depot and decides to use nifty PVC, as opposed to the old lead piping currently in his home. In order to replace this piping, he tries to cut the cast iron stack with a hacksaw to no avail, then a sawzall, and finally out comes the good old chisel and hammer (although a bigger hammer this time).
He whacks on the stack a few times hard and finally it splits into several pieces with one tiny segment still holding it together. He then pries the last of the solid pipe out of the wall with a crowbar and the remaining section of pipe (the vent going through to the roof) lets go with a mighty crash. Oh, this just gets better and better! This piece comes out of the wall through the sub floor into the now plaster-less ceiling of the living room, continues until it hits the TV, proceeds through the living room floor until it hits the electrical panel plunging the entire house into darkness and finally comes to rest – but not before shearing off the main water valve and flooding the basement.
This poor guy is now famous on the Internet for his “$27,000 toilet seat replacement”. Needless to say, this is not how you want to be remembered. Some jobs are just meant for the professionals.
Forte Electric Inc., Paul Forte.