Monday, November 16, 2009


Our toilet started leaking. This forced a decision. Either get new toilet guts or replace the whole thing with a new toilet, which was offered to us for free. Hmm. A new toilet would probably save on water. New toilet.

Cal took off the old toilet—oops, big problem. The new toilet was missing the tank bolts. Cal reinstalled the old toilet back because it was too late to buy new bolts. The new toilet stood in pieces all over my bedroom. “It’s okay,” I told myself, taking deep cleansing breaths, “it’s only for a few days.”

A few days passed. Old toilet came off. Cal scraped off the old beeswax seal and put on a new one and new bolts. Great. He secured them. I looked at the new toilet. “Uh, honey....”

He knows my tone. “What’s wrong?”

“The arm thingy that holds the float is snapped in half and there’s no float at all.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

Imagine me swallowing. “No.”

“Right. Let’s go to Ace Hardware.”

After a trip to Ace, Home Depot, and Lowes, we discovered they don’t make plastic “float arms.” Instead, they sell you new toilet guts. We returned home with new guts. Cal replaced everything. He turned the water on. The stalk thingy leaked.
He tightened it. Water back on. The valve for the water line leaked.
He replaced the line. He turned the water back on. It was dry. Yay!! I cleaned the new toilet, mopped the floor, and arranged the flowers on the back of the tank.

A few minutes later, it was leaking again. This time water leaked from the tank-bowl bolts. Another trip to Ace Hardware for new rubber seals. About this time I took Ariel to violin lessons—I was never so glad to have to go to music lessons.

I don’t even want to go into the fact the floaty thing won’t adjust properly. I read the directions, but after thirty seconds I realized that the directions were written by someone for whom English was a fifth or sixth language. I think we need to re-adjust the height of the stalk thingy, which would loosen all the seals that Cal just fixed. Instead, we’re just going to learn to hold the handle down for an extra second or two. So much for saving water.


  1. I feel your pain. How free was the free toilet?!!! We actually got a cheap used toilet for our outside facility at a garage sale and have had pretty good luck so far.

  2. What was wrong with the old one anyway?

  3. Hm. Just today, Ariel and I were talking about a stolen "projector thingy." I think I know where she gets her mechanical savvy. (FYI, it is called a docu-cam.)

  4. that reminds me of when the faucet popped off my parents' bathtub while on full throttle. Straight out of the Pink Panther franchise.

    Hope your toilet feels better!

    Grace Duke

  5. Sounds like something from "Calvin and Hobbes."

  6. Ah... We've been having troubles with our plumbing as well...