Harley Hay

Harley Hay: Fixing toilet with right kit

Last week you may remember that I shared some helpful tips around how to fix a leaking commode. Displaying skill and dexterity slightly less than that of a three-toed tree sloth, I managed to leave our small ensuite bathroom in an ungodly state of flooding disarray by installing the wrong “Toilet Repair Kit.” And three toed tree sloths don’t even have opposable thumbs.

And when I say “installed,” that might be just smidgen of exaggeration in that after nearly five long and painful hours sloshing around on the bathroom floor hugging a large leaking pile of porcelain, I finally attempted to hook up a last tall plastic thingy in the tank, when I discovered that I, in fact, had purchased the wrong Toilet Repair Kit. Yay.

In a brave attempt by many of us desperados to hang onto a shred of sanity during this damn-demic Do It Yourself household repairs and renovations have become all the rage. So it’s no surprise that several hundreds of thousands of viewers have YouTubed: “How to fix that annoying squeak in your washing machine,” or “The best way to turn your lawn mower into a ceiling fan,” and “What you need to build your very own time machine.”

So I decided to DIY.

Part 2, Step 1: Go to computer and search: “What kind of toilet tank repair kit do I need?” When Google responds: “What kind of toilet do you have?” type in: “The big white kind.”

Step 2: Give up on research. (1.5 hours) Take photo of big white throne with phone. Head to hardware store. (Again.)

Step 3: Enter store, search for helpful hardware employee. (45 minutes) Locate helpful hardware employee running the other way. Show photo to the teenaged hardware staff person with the walkie talkie. Fight back amazed tears of gratitude when she picks out the correct toilet plumbing kit and hands it to you.

Step 4: Return home. Read instructions. Marvel at how this new reading experience is quite helpful.

Step 5: Check to see that main water valve is OFF this time. Leave room. Return and repeat. Call to Better Half to check water valve is still OFF.

Step 6: Remove remains of wrong repair kit from toilet tank, floor, garbage can, closet etc. Unbolt heavy tank. Place on sink. Towel up gushing floor water that has appeared from nowhere. (Again.)

Step 8: Carefully follow directions to attach large plastic pieces into tank. When they don’t fit, swear. Sit on tiny wet bathroom floor, find phone. Search YouTube. Watch toilet repair kit installation video. (2 minutes)

Step 9: Install toilet repair kit correctly. Note that all plastic piece fit. Fight back tears of grateful disbelief.

Step 10: Carefully lift repaired tank off sink, shuffle over, spread legs on either side of toilet bowl, lean slowly forward and lower heavy tank onto toilet bowl. Observe instant screaming shot of excruciating pain in lower back. Drop tank onto bowl.

Step 11: Take break consisting of (a) heating pad, (b) soft reclining chair, (c) chemistry. Ask Better Half for bowl of comforting chicken noodle soup. Have nap instead. (1.2 hours).

Step 12: Bravely return to cruel room. Finish attaching miraculously undamaged tank. Hook up silver water hose from floor to bottom of tank. Slowly turn water valve back on.

Step 13: Hold breath. Cross fingers. Cross toes. Resist urge to genuflect (not even Catholic). Flush.

Step 14: Do embarrassingly enthusiastic dance of joy.

And later that evening, still basking in unprecedented DIY success, a call comes from upstairs. It’s the B.H. “The toilet works fine, but that little silver hose is leaking!”

Step 15: Cry.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. Send him a column idea at harleyhay1@hotmail.com.

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