When you think you got nothing done, sometimes you have to take a few steps back and look at the larger picture.

Today was a successful day. I fixed the upstairs toilet. It did require another trip to Lowes to get something to replace what I had already bought but did not work, but I got it done. 
Many of you may not know this about me, but I am not afraid of a toilet. I can fix most things that are wrong with a toilet. Notice I said most? Why? 
This is why…
That would be the brand spanking new toilet in the master bathroom. I acquired that Tuesday morning and it was installed by Tuesday evening by the contractor we have doing some other things in the house. 
How did we end up with a brand new toilet in the house we are trying to sell? Well…to make a long story short, it had issues and I tried to fix them. We will just leave it at that. By the time I got to the root of some of the problems, I knew I was in over my head. I cannot lift the weight of a toilet and I have never personally reset a toilet so this was going no where good fast. The problem, the toilet needed to be reset to fix the issues I made worse when I pulled all the nasty gross, 14 year old caulk out from around the base of the toilet. 
See, I told you I was not afraid of a toilet. I was on my hands and knees hugging that porcelain throne, pulling out that old caulk for a while. It needed to be done. The toilet rocked and rotated a little in place. I would need to pull up the old stuff once I got it secure and tight again. 
The catch? I could not get it secure. I got one side nice and tight. It was secure. Then there was the other side. It was not playing the “hold the toilet in place” game anymore Monday night. So Tuesday morning I relented and we were adding one more thing to the contractor’s to-do list. 
I did not need him to fix the insides of the toilet tank. I knew how to do that. I was heading to the store to get those things so I could do it this week. The problem was that I discovered the other problems. So he told me to cost compare the cost of all the parts I would need to fix everything that was now causing issues. Basically we turned around and did a cost benefit analysis on the dang toilet. Hence I have a new toilet to enjoy for the next several weeks. 
We will just call it a selling feature. 
I will just say that when you go to move out of a 14 year old house, it will get angry with you. Everything will seem to start to leak or break, right as you are getting it ready to put it on the market. It is almost like it is throwing a tantrum and letting us know that it does not agree with this break up.
Alas, back to today…
We might have decided to replace the toilet in the master bathroom, but we were not granting the upstairs bathroom’s toilet the same upgrade. Why? We replaced it a few years back. We were not having nearly the same quantity of problems with it that we were with the other one. It simply was not filling back up with water very quickly. Something in the tank was clearly restricting water flow since we had the contractor change the valve on the wall and that did not fix it. The toilet was clearly getting water, just not very fast. It would take forever to refill. Yes, this caused problems with flushing. Since this was a class five flushing toilet, it was causing frustration. 
Today, however, I fixed it. 
I found the expensive Kohler class five flusher parts at Lowes. Yes! I had not been able to find them the past few years since we changed that toilet out. I think you can even find some of them at Home Depot, but Lowes has a better selection.
I was a little nervous to swap things out at first. I bought a universal Fluid Master part to swap out a part also by Fluid Master that was specifically labeled for a class five flushing unit and for Kohler. I couldn’t find anything of that nature but they had the ones for High Efficiency Toilets that did meet the specifications I needed so I erred on the side that this was right. Then the Kohler parts looked different than what I had to some extent.  
I simply called Kohler this morning. I have to say that this was one of the most pleasant customer service experiences I had in a while. I explained I needed to make sure I had the right parts before I got started. She was pleasant and helped me find my toilet’s model number. Then she made sure that what my toilet had in it compared to the parts I bought. Sure enough I had all the right parts, even the universal high efficiency toilet part I bought. 
I set about fixing the toilet. 
I will confess to being a little bit disappointed at how easy it was to swap out all the parts on this class five flusher unit. It was a bit tricky to get the pieces unstuck at first, but once I got them moving they were easy to remove and put back in and lock into place. The hardest part I had was with the large nut holding things in place on the underside of the toilet tank. The plumber that put that in initially really got that thing cranked on there tight. It was in a really awkward position being down beside the tub and in a tight spot at that. A little grunting and coaxing and I finally got it loose and off the tank. The same with the supply line that had to be removed before the nut came off. 
That toilet is probably by far the easiest I have fixed. The hardest part was getting things to match up to the directions in the universal repair kit since it did not match what was in my tank. It did not have an option for a class five flusher. I just kind of went with what was closest. It worked. 
The problems I ran into were with the universal toilet flushing handle. The one I bought was by Fluid Master. It was in polished nickel to match all the fixtures in the room. I splurged and got it already that finish instead of spray painting it. The price difference on the polished nickel was $2-3 versus the oiled bronze which was $10-15 more. I opted to spend the $2-3 more. I am about saving time at that cost. That reasoning aside, I went to put this universal handle in that claimed it would fit “most toilets with front, angled, or side handles” and it did not fit. The directions said to bend the handle for angled tanks. I did where it said to bend it. Still no go. It said in some instances you might need to cut off the arm lever inside the tank. I am looking at this and unless we were not planning on flushing the toilet, it was just not going to work. There was not enough clearance between the handle and the arm inside in any position that I put it in to allow the toilet to properly flush. I tried several positions. 
I was going to have to go back and find something a bit more specific to Kohler. Fortunately, I was able to find one that worked. Instead of the original $7 I paid, it was $16. Yes, it was more than double the price. I was not happy about this but I was kind of stuck. The original handle on the toilet looked like it was about the snap off inside the tank before too long. They wear out over time. I needed a replacement. So I paid the high price for this one because the Kohler specific ones did not come in polished nickel finish. I did not want to spend time waiting for the paint to dry. I wanted it in the toilet and to be done. Yep. I paid the price for convenience today.
The good news is that our class five flushing toilet is officially back to full flushing status once again. It is so nice to hear that nice “manly flush” as Kyle puts it. It makes me smile to hear it actually. Why? I know it is not going to leave anything behind in the toilet anymore. When that handle goes down (and it does go down), everything else is going down with it. 
So it might not seem like I got a lot done today, but I did. I fixed a toilet. In the process of fixing the toilet, I caulked around the new handle and tub spout on the bathtub in the upstairs bathroom as well. That now has a water tight seal. At least it does for a little while. After that will be the new home owner’s concerns not mine. 
I purchased a can of semi-gloss white paint to do the ceilings in the two bathrooms. The upstairs bathroom takes a lot more moisture than we like so we decided to paint the ceiling in semi-gloss like the walls instead of the traditional flat paint that is used for ceilings. Our master bathroom does not have an exhaust vent in it at all except in the little toilet room so we are going to paint that ceiling with semi-gloss as well. It is not traditional ceiling paint but I think it will help with the moisture issues we are having in there. It will not stop the moisture build up, but it certainly will stop the paint on the walls and ceiling from soaking it up. 
I also got some contact cement to fix the cabinet door in the upstairs bathroom. The laminate is peeling off the face of the cabinet door. We are going to just try to glue it back down since it is all in one piece for the most part. Pray that idea works.

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