For two years and 24 days the toilet in the master bathroom ain’t been right. Both bolts that hold the toilet to the foundation had been rusted in two since before we bought the house. I know very little about plumbing and thought that perhaps these bolts were actually fastened to the foundation. Repairing the toilet seemed like a contractor-worthy job that might entail the use of a jackhammer, duct tape and a NASCAR wind jacket. For two years and 24 days one would need to brace oneself while using the toilet in fear that it might topple over and leave said user of commode in a compromising position.
Last month the valve flapper on the toilet decided it would prefer to remain in the upright and locked position upon flushing. This meant that the user of the commode would have to wait until the flush cycle was complete and then jiggle the handle to allow the tank filling process to complete and ultimately quiet the commode.
We woke up yesterday morning and Elise said, “Are you ever going to fix that toilet?”
“Egads, woman! Dare you challenge me to engage in battle the one who thrives off excrement?”
I stuck my chest out, checked my armor and accepted the challenge.
I shut off the water supply and quickly disassembled the commode with breakneck speed. It was right at this point that I doubled over with pain. I got a cramp in my stomach that put December’s stomach cramp episode to shame. I blame this on either 1) Couvade Syndrome or 2) the General Tso’s chicken at China Hill. To spare you the details, the only other toilet in the house also got some special attention from your humble narrator.
I’ve only been sick enough to go to the doctor twice in my adult years. The first when I threw out my back while water skiing. The other time was when I spiked a 104-degree fever for three days and Elise dragged me to the doctor. I honestly thought I might have needed to go to the doctor yesterday. I gently rested myself on the bed and put a pillow over my head. I was sick. I passed out around noon and woke up at three.
After rest and rehydration I began working on the toilet in the master bathroom again. I replaced the flapper valve in the toilet’s tank and fastened the toilet to the floor flange with new bolts. I placed new gaskets and bolts on the tank and set the tank on the toilet. This took me a good couple hours because I was learning the way of the toilet as I went and I wanted to make sure I was doing everything to code.
Alas, the challenge had been met and I was victorious. The toilet bowl no longer wobbled and there was no longer need to jiggle the hangle. I turned the water on to the toilet, checked my armor and headed for the kitchen for a celebratory beer. I walked back to the water closet to check my handy work and stepped into an inch of water on the floor.
I took the tank apart three more times before I finally got everything sealed correctly. I literally spent 8 hours on the toilet yesterday.