I Did It!

All by myself…

For about the past 18 months I’ve had a trickle of water emerge from under my toilet to leave a small wet spot on occasion.  I’ve been concerned about a leak, and possible damage.  It’s only been recently that I decided that I HAD to do something about it.

Last Wednesday I went to Durango to shop for several different things.  The closest Walmart is there, 60-70 miles from where I’m parked.  On the way into Durango is also the closest RV parts and sales/service place.  I called ahead to see if they had the part I thought I needed – a closet flange seal.  They did have the part at the cost of $4.99 plus tax.  So I picked it up.

I’d been having some anxiety about doing the job myself, not knowing what I might find once I removed the toilet, and what if I broke something that I didn’t have a spare part for?  So I asked the park owner to be my backup in case things went south.

Because of the owner’s work schedule we agreed that today would be a good day.  After a morning rain and eventual sun popping out, I began to take the toilet out.  Oh, I also had to buy a wrench so I could remove the bolts holding the toilet to the floor.  (They didn’t come separately, so I had to buy a set of six for $11.)

I spread a tarp across the carpet and placed the scatter rugs strategically in case there was a lot of water to deal with.  I turned off the water at the spigot.  I was surprised that there was very little water to deal with, except the residual water left at the intake to the toilet.  It continued to drip onto the floor, so I disconnected the hose from the rig.

Then I got to work taking the bolts loose and disconnecting the flush valve from the water line inside.  It was very easy!  I carried the toilet outside and set it down.  Then I looked at the existing, broken seal.  The owner, who had been mowing the grass saw that the toilet was outside, so he came over to offer whatever assistance I might require.  He actually removed the old seal with a screwdriver and cleaned up the opening along the floor.

My biggest job was cleaning the edge of the toilet where the new seal goes.  It was corroded with hard water scale, which is probably one reason why the seal deteriorated in the first place.  I sat in the sunshine with bleach water and vinegar and a small knife, cleaning the toilet and scraping the scale off.

I allowed the toilet to dry and then applied the new seal.  Then I took the toilet inside and set it in place, connecting the flush valve to the inside water line, and tightening down the bolts.  I reconnected the hose to the rig and turned on the water, praying that there were no leaks.

And guess what?!  There weren’t!!!

I know I’m not the first solo woman RVer to make this repair, but I’m very happy I was able to do it.  I have a sense of accomplishment and more understanding about the rig itself.  I also saved about $150-200 by doing it myself – about $85 for a service charge (if done by a mobile RV technician) plus labor.  My toilet is probably a lot cleaner than it would have been if someone else had done it, and the part was only $5!

2 thoughts on “I Did It!”

  1. YEA!!!! This is exactly how I felt the first time I did plumbing stuff – that was to replace a ball-cock in a toilet after seeing a plumber read the box first. They are all a wee bit different, I learned. Next was a garbage disposal – trickey to hold up and bolt on at the same time, but doable. So, we shall have a glass of champagne to toast your toilet fix when you get to Tucson!!!

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