Friday, December 18, 2009

Adventures in plumbing

Alternate title: only a little person could fix this toilet, and how come universal doesn't mean universal?

Earlier this week, the upstairs toilet began leaking. From the tank, so it was not the gross disaster it could have been, but no fun nonetheless. Interestingly enough, it turned out that that toilet doesn't have a shut off valve of its own, so I had to turn off the cold water to the entire bathroom (given that it was 11pm and I wasn't attempting toilet repair). So, on Wed, I gathered up my "universal" toilet innard replacement kit, some tools, some patience, and set to work.

I thought it would take me a half hour. 1.5 hours later, the bowl and toilet were reunited. But the water is still off. Why? Well - because it is now leaking from joint between the input tube to the water valve. I will buy the magic plumbers paste stuff and try again. But here's the big question - why on earth would you use a fixed length pipe as the input tube instead of the braided steel one that has give and can adjust height easily? Inquiring minds (and sore fingers) want to know.

Things I learned:
1. The "universal" replacement kit contains pieces that are in fact too big for my toilet. Therefore the tank no longer rests snugly on the bowl. Know what? I don't care. As long as it stops leaking.
2. There's also a lot of grease in the tank. How come? No idea. But there's still grease on my hands.
3. Sometimes it's a good thing I'm small. Because I'm pretty sure the plumber that installed it originally was my size or had eyes in his fingers. 'Cause there's not much room for maneuvering to the bolts!

Now, it never actually occurred to me to simply call the plumber to fix the leak. No, I have to try to fix it first (thanks for that, Dad, Mom and Bumpa). But, um, is the time it's taking me to fix it worth the money I saved on the plumber? I dunno. I guess I'll find out if the downstairs toilet starts doing the same thing - hopefully I'll be able to fix it faster next time ;)

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