Sometimes you make stupid mistakes. I was fixing one of my toilets yesterday being all plumber like and had the misfortune of shattering the tank cover. Now my house was built in 1954 and not too much has changed since then. Our downstairs toilet is a 1963 American Standard model #4043. Searching for replacements found me seeing $50-$275 price ranges and I just didn’t want to spend that kind of money. Then I came across Building REsources.
Building REsources is a non-profit group [701 Amador Street, SF, CA] that accept donations of things like old sinks, windows, shutters and yes, toilet tank lids. It’s actually a pretty awesome place to walk around and just look at all the stuff that’s available there. I saw a collection of light fixtures, table lamps, a really nice pair of huge Koss speakers, tumbled stone, piping, etc. The list could continue on forever. The best part is you’re buying something that was previously owned by someone else and most of the stuff is in pretty good condition.
You will get dirty there so don’t go picking around in your white Sunday suit, but what you’ll find there is a steal. I saw a Mom and Daughter who were obviously picking out stuff for art projects. I’m sure a lot of the Burning Man people have made many a visit to the place. Every time I’ve gone there I’ve found it to be rather warm, surprisingly so even. That doesn’t mean it never rains there as I found while looking through toilet tank covers and picked one up off the top shelf outside only to find out it was filled with water.
That was the only time I can say I got soaked at the place. In the end, I didn’t find a #4043, but I was able to find an American Standard #4050 which is almost the same dimensions as what I needed, just a 1/4″ deeper, cost – $10. So my tank cover sticks out a bit, but that works fine for us. If you go by be sure to ask for Wayne, he said he’d give you a 10% discount. He might have been joking, but things are so cheap there it won’t hurt if you don’t get it. They had some nice bathroom sinks already installed in granite countertops. I might go back and check those out and see if I can find a replacement for my downstairs bathroom vanity.