So here’s the problem:

Nasty, huh?

And here’s the cause of the problem:

This is the toilet in our upstairs bathroom. According to the fellow who came out on behalf of the homeowner’s warranty company, a broken flange under the toilet was leaking into the space above the first story ceiling. Broken flanges are the result of unusual wear and tear (than why would it be usual to expect this to be the problem?) so I could hire them to come back out to fix it, or I could do it myself. Hah!

So I got the toilet off the tile easy enough, especially since the leak had caused the bolts holding the toilet to the flange to rust through on one side, and almost on the other. But I couldn’t get the tank off the toilet for the same reason. The bolts holding the tank to the seat were rusted tight. I tried everything to get them apart – vice grips, screwdrivers, box wrenches, crescent wrenches, and all of the elbow grease I could muster. But I couldn’t budge it.

I needed to break the bolt. So I went to Target.

I got safety towels:

(They were in the clearance section.)

I got inspirational music:

(The little black sticker in the lower right means “Good Bolt-breaking Music”.)

And, most importantly, I got WD-40:

(In the mosquito-themed bottle.)

But I still couldn’t break those bolts!

So I called a home-repair and toilet-reseating expert.

And he said the thing to do it was hack it!

Boy, was it!

So, once I had it apart, I gave it a good cleaning, because how often can you flip your toilet over for a cleaning? And I took a look at that flange. I couldn’t find a crack. Can you?

But the wax ring had had it! I think that was what was leaking, especially since the toilet was rocking and turning on the uneven tiles.

So I cleaned it up, put on a new wax ring, and by expert suggestion, put a bead of silicone under the base of the toilet to stabalize it, and bolted it back down.

And I left it that way overnight.

And the next day, it looked pretty much like this:

I still have to figure out what to do about that ceiling.