Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Two Bathrooms- Twice the Trouble



















  When Jan and I bought this house years ago, we were a family of nine. Including Jan, there were six females trying to live in harmony in a home that had only one bathroom. For the life of me I don't know how we did it. Mornings were especially hectic as everyone had to try to get ready for school or work. Fortunately, if things got desperate the boys could step outside to the woods in back for some immediate relief if the bathroom was tied up. Our home was one of the original "war houses" that were diverted to Hoonah after the fire of 1944 burned down most of the town. I believe they were originally bound for Hawaii or some warmer climate. It runs in my mind that there wasn't any insulation in them when they were first installed. Of course it wouldn't be such a big deal if the average year round temperature was 75 or so, but it didn't work too well for Alaska. When we purchased the house, it had been remodeled recently with new plumbing and electrical and a new roof, but it still only had one bathroom, and for reasons that I can't fathom, there was only one closet and it was located in our bedroom. Maybe the previous owners didn't have very many clothes or they just put everything in a chest of drawers or perhaps just threw their things on the floor, who knows? Anyway, thanks to the foresight of Governor Jay Hammond and the legislature at the time, the newly found oil wealth from the Alaska pipeline was used in part to establish a dividend program to share with the Alaska residents that is in effect to this day. We combined the dividends of the entire family to remodel the upstairs, expanding the bedrooms, complete with closets and adding another bathroom, which was sorely needed. Of course with two bathrooms comes twice the headaches. Two times the toilets, sinks and tubs to be cleaned and of course maintenance. This past weekend we had some dear friends come for a visit for a few days, and Jan had decided some weeks ago to repaint the upstairs bathroom, I guess in preparation for their arrival. Of course human nature being what it is, she was busy until two days before they got here trying to finish up the border and get the last of the painting done. Because she was at work and I wasn't, and also I might add, because I'm a gem of a husband, I ended up putting the final touches on it. For the past several months I had been noticing that whenever I took a shower in the downstairs bathroom, water would end up pooled on the floor. Not a lot, but enough. About the same time I had noticed that over the course of the day, water would also creep out from around the base of the toilet. Enough that if a person was standing in the area, your socks would wick up the moisture to where you could ring them out. It was uncomfortable and unsightly as well, especially given the fact that the toilet bolts were rusty and would discolor the water from the base, giving it a fairly suspicious tint. In fact several times Jan accused me of peeing on the floor.Though I adamantly denied her claim, I don't think she really believed me. In any event, knowing that we were due to have company, and not wanting them to soak their socks and wonder  about the source of the discomfort, I thought I would go ahead and correct the problems. Thank God for company- otherwise things might never get done. It's like leaving the lawnmower and rake laying around the yard until the first snowfall- it's the incentive you need to act on the problem.Anyway, I took apart the shower frames so I could caulk under them, and noticed that the tub surround was pulling away a little from the wall. Much like a kid with a scab, I had to pick at it until I had the whole surround off the wall. I can never leave well enough alone. Actually that was good. I found a little mold on the sheet rock that I was able to replace. Of course the adhesive that had held the surround on was hard as a rock and had to be sanded off and replaced. It smelled like a chemical plant in the bathroom,which I guess isn't the most offensive odor it's ever harbored, and I had dust on every available surface. Once that project was finished, I decided to tackle that toilet. It needed a new wax ring, so I shut off the water supply and unbolted the blasted thing. Even though I had flushed several times and taken a towel to the inside bowl to remove all the water,when I lifted the commode from the floor, there was a regular gulleywasher flowing all over the floor and leaving my slippers saturated. Lovely. After I was already neck deep into the project I started wondering if I had gotten everything I needed to complete the job. It was a moot point, since the hardware store had been closed for several hours by the time I got the bright idea to work on it. As it was, even though the main and secondary water valves were closed, I still had a pretty good drip going on. I had visions of spending the next twelve hours sleeping on the bathroom floor and waking every fifteen minutes to empty the Cool Whip container I had under the valve to catch the drips. Sticking the wax ring on wasn't exactly a picnic either. It's supposed to be a fairly simple thing, but nnnooooooo..... not for Botts. I couldn't get it to stick to the bottom of the toilet like it was supposed to, and when it did kind of attach more or less, I couldn't line the blasted thing up with the hole in the floor. It's at times like that when the appeal of the outhouse comes in to play. The bottom line is, the shower doesn't leak and neither does the toilet, so if your feet get wet when you come in to the bathroom now, it probably is pee on the floor.








8 comments:

  1. Good blog dad, and thanks for getting that toilet ready in time for us to come down for Christmas! ;)

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  2. You're welcome Autumn- however, if the floor is wet we'll know why!

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  3. Good blog dad, kinda cool to hear some history on our house, the new paint in the bathroom looks great. Love you

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  4. Hi Camille- Personally I don't care for the color myself, but I seldom use the upstairs bathroom, so it really doesn't matter too much. I think your mom was trying to find a color that would match up with the border,

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  5. Great job, Tom and Jan! We're in the midst of our own bathroom "remodeling" (ask Jan), so I can appreciate your angst. Looks very nice.

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  6. Thanks Jill- I'm just glad that I don't have to deal with the water on the floor anymore. It was starting to get irritating. Just one of many irritations- now I can devote my time to being upset about something different.

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  7. Oh goodness!!! That was a good one:) I hate remodels and fixing things...par for the course when you own a home I have come to find out:)
    Liz

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  8. Hi Liz-
    Yep, it goes with the territory. You guys have done a lot of upgrades. Maybe now you'll get a chance to enjoy the work that's been done.

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