Monday, August 9, 2010

Ask me how to fix a running toilet

The toilet in our master bathroom has been running on and off for months now. Last week, it began running all the time. It was driving me nuts and, more importantly, wasting a lot of water. Something had to be done. So I read up on the subject online and set to work.

Now, I’m not what you’d call a “handy” person. I don’t know the real names of tools. I like to call things doo-dads or thingyamajigs. But I managed to find the problem. Sadly, in the process, I broke the tall thing with the floating ball on the long arm. (See, you knew what I was talking about even though I didn’t use the proper name, right?) I went off to the store and got replacement parts. It turns out that would be just the first of several trips because as one thing got fixed, another broke.

In the end, I spent the better part of two days, tearing apart my toilet tank and learning how to put it back together. It was way more than I wanted to know, but I did it. And now the toilet doesn’t run. (It still leaks a little, but I’m working on that, too.)

As I was scrubbing the black gunk that used to be gaskets off my hands, I discovered that this whole experience was kind of like revising a novel.

Sometimes, you know something isn’t working. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you set off to find the problem and then the solution. But things turn out to be more complicated than you anticipated and the only way to really fix things is to tear the whole, darn thing apart and put it back together.

It’s not pretty - or fun - but it’s the only way to get the job done right.



  1. Whoa, I never thought of revising as compared to fixing a toilet, tho I guess it's true! I see it more as thinning out deadwood in the forest or weeding a garden. To make things bloom, you've got to put on the gloves and start pulling. Sometimes redesign the garden, even. But now I'll never look at a repair job the same. Ha!

  2. This is one good example that proves a woman can do a man’s job. Good for you to have fixed your running toilet, unlike me. After reading an instructional guideline on the Internet, I tried to fix my toilet once, and I just made it worst. :(
    {Bibi Karpel}

  3. @Bibi: Well, there’s always a first time for everything. Hehe. Though the good thing about that is when you are involved again in another plumbing work in the future (I hope not), at least you already have an idea on what to do. If you’re not sure, you better ask for the help of others. ;)

    Darryl Iorio

  4. At least you will benefit from it, like learning how to do things and be able to master them. Thanks for those informative tutorials! Most of us learned a lot on how to repair stuff at home. And yes you're really good at describing things without knowing the name. Haha!

    Carmella Vancil


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