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plumbing questions: water main & old toilet replacements

941 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Darren

I'm getting ready to contract some work at my mother-in-law's place and had a couple of questions to get me in the ballpark.

1) Her water main is about 900' of 20-25 year old PVC with at least 5 patches. I'd like to have a new water line run. Any idea on best material and possible total cost? I've read that the standard for many years has been black poly (the best grade one can afford). Of note, the house is in East Tx.

2) She has 3 bathrooms and 2 of the toilets aren't working so well since they don't get used regularly. Also, I imagine the ones she has are budget grade.

Is it a smart idea to simply replace the whole toilet or should I try to replace parts on the existing toilets? She's already had the plumber out several times. Also, I've discussed that if we put new toilets in that she needs to try to use them with equal frequency (i.e. rotating through to keep them working well).

Thanks for any advice!
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We put in taller toilets when we built. Love them.
I agree with the recommendation to buy a tall toilet (17"). I also recommend buying one with the larger V-shaped bowl instead of one with the smaller round-shaped bowl.
Yes, they're calling the taller toilets "chair height" toilets. When you get as old as me it's a lot easier to stand up from a chair height toilet. People I know that have them say that everyone at their house gravitates to the bathroom with the chair height toilet. They're no more expensive than standard height toilets. They start at $99 at Lowes.

Black Poly is still the standard for water lines outside.
I've done two water main jobs during my life. I rented a trencher to do the digging, then used glued schedule 40 PVC pipe for the water main. I left the old pipe in the ground.

FWIW, our toilets use a pressurized Flushmate mechanism instead of the typical gravity flush float and flapper mechanism. With a FLushmate, your toilet never sweats in humid weather and it has an extremely powerful flush. The Flushmate stores the water in a pressure tank as opposed to gravity storage.
Something about the pressurized flush is unsettling to me. I don't have one but pressure flush toilets are common in hotels I frequent. I don't know exactly what bothers me about them. Maybe I'm just not accustomed to pressure flush.
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