From Student to Successful DIY-er

Joanna and her friend, Piper, recently took our DIY Plumbing Repairs + Replacements class, and within a few weeks of the class, her toilet broke! Fortunately enough, they were able to practice their newly learned skills.

Joanna recapped their experience repairing the toilet to us. As with many repairs, there are always some hurdles. The first hurdle they faced was mismatched rough-ins. The new toilet had a 12-inch rough-in, but because the repair was happening in an older home, the outlet was a little bit further away from the wall with a 14-inch rough-in.

Side note: the toilet rough-in is the distance from the wall behind the toilet to the center of the toilet’s outlet pipe.

The second hurdle was removing a metal support rod that went from the very old toilet into the floor. They had to remove the rod and then saw off some of the remnants because the new toilet would not fit over it. Joanna concluded, “All in all it was a very empowering experience and we remembered all the good tips we learned in class.”

Check out the process photos below. Thanks for sharing your story, Joanne!

Accomplishments like these are just what we hope for at the ReBuilding Center! We love hearing students’ stories and encourage you to share them with us anytime at

Our DIY Plumbing Repairs + Replacements class is offered at least once a month (both regular and Women’s Only). Students learn how to not only do what Joanne and Piper did, but to also repair leaky faucets, running toilets, cracked fixtures, dripping drains, etc. Additionally, the Portland Water Bureau generously provides water-saving kids for each student! Check out our education page to learn more.

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