Question: Hi Robert, I enjoyed your article in today’s Signal (Nov. 12). I had similar issues when my sons were young. I became an expert at removing the toilet, getting the cars, soldiers or whatever out of the bowl and then putting everything back together again.
You mentioned about making sure to center the wax ring and seat it properly. One thing I thought was missing is the suggestion that you always use a new wax ring. I always kept a spare or two as I was always told they should not be re-used. I never had any problems by doing that and I became quite adept at doing a nice caulking job around the bottom of the toilet, too. Feel free to pass my email on to Josh and Baby if you think I might be able to help him. I have many years of experience.
And yes, they are all grown now and those issues are long past me now. Too bad! They do grow up too fast. I love reading your column as there are many helpful tips for your readers and I know we all appreciate your wisdom. Best regards, John L
Answer: John, thank you for being a loyal reader. I’m glad to hear that the bit of advice I share helps the readers out there. Yes, I didn’t clarify to use a new ring, in the future I’ll make a note to that effect. As far as caulking the bottom of the bowl: This is something I don’t do. The reason is that if the ring fails, I like to see the water come out so I’m able to change the ring. If you encapsulate the bowl to the floor the water sits inside the space and the rot and mold can begin — just my personal thoughts on that. I like to hear from all of you, the readers, like this. Every day is a new school day for me. I love to learn and hear different opinions.
Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].