Thursday, November 1, 2012

You think YOU have a crappy job?

Don't complain about having a crappy day; mine quite literally involved poo.

During our weekly station cleaning known as "Housemouse", one of the people cleaning a bathroom notices a residue and wetness around the base of one of the toilets. 

I went over to take a look at it, gave the bolts holding it to the floor a tug . . . and they fell off in my hands.  They were completely corroded to the point of non-existence.

This isn't too suprising; to save on fresh water, we flush our toilets with filtered sea water, and the salt makes anything it comes in accidental contact with rust almost instantly.  Usually it's not a problem, but apparently the wax ring under the toilet had failed, and that allowed the sea water to contact the bolts.

Once I got the toilet pulled out, things got worse; the sea water had corroded the riser pipe to the flush valve so badly that it crumbled in my hand.  I was able to do this damage accidentally with just my fingers.

Pulled the toilet off, and found a whole mess of corrosion and . . . uh, rather not think about it.

But a few minutes with rubber gloves and a couple putty knives, and a new wax ring was in place and ready for the toilet to go back on.

 This is what I left a cushy IT job on a tropical island; to fix toilets on a frozen wasteland.

It's still the best decision I ever made.