Things that go flush in the night

So those of you who know me may have picked up on the fact that I am a master procrastinator. I tend to think of it as being very patient most of the time, but deep down I know that I’m just putting things off.

For example, we’ve had one and a half toilets downstairs for some time now. Not one and a half baths (well… that, too) but one fully functional and one that would spew water everywhere if flushed more than once a day. Yesterday morning while finishing up my morning routine the remaining functional toilet exploded. Water everywhere. Joy.

Fixing the half toilet wouldn’t have been such a chore and not put off so long but for the fact that the contractor who built our house in 1983 was high on crack. The shut-off valves for all three toilets were sweated on — with, presumably, a malleable rubber washer inside them. It was sacrificed to the fires. So, to work on the toilets requires shutting off water to the whole house. I have replaced the shut-off valve in the master bathroom, but learning from that experience, the remaining two won’t be replaced until the toilets and carpet are out of the way. Since I am planning to put tile in the entire downstairs of my house this year, I was hoping to sneak by a little longer and only do this job once… No such luck.

So, I stopped by Lowe’s on the way home yesterday afternoon and retrieved two complete toilet kits. I had done an emergency “3 a.m.” sort of repair on the master bath toilet a few years ago by finding an appropriate size bolt and some washers in the parts drawer in the garage. I figured now would be a good time to replace all the parts in both toilets. I was correct. The tank to bowl flange/washer/thingy on both was deteriorated. That’s a polite word for it.

And, so, a few hours later, quite a bit of swearing, some invention (built a “wrench” from some used bicycle chain and vice grips), and dropping the rotten rubber washer of the flush valve on the carpet twice, I had two fast filling, quiet and positively stopping toilets.

Life’s little pleasures…

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