Tuesday, June 21, 2011


So the toilet in the back bathroom has been getting decrepit: First it was the flapper getting stuck open, requiring the classic jiggle-the-handle adjustment. Then I noticed a stain on the floor behind it and found that one of the bolts holding the tank to the bowl had rusted enough so that fiddling with it with my fingers broke it right off.

What kind of dweeb uses a steel bolt under the water inside a toilet tank? How much more would a brass or zinc one have cost?

The other innards were on their last legs, too. Float arm was cruddy, water-valve tower grody, seals looking scummy. Time to fix it.

So, off to Home Depot to get a replacement kit. 

I am not handy, but I can, with dogged patience, attack a job that somebody who has a clue can manage in fifteen or twenty minutes, and manage to do it in, say, an hour.

The kit comes with everything one needs, and the instructions, in English and Spanish, are comprehensible. It's not rocket science, all you have to do is unscrew the old crap and replace it with the new crap, and the high-end kit runs $19.95. I considered the ten buck cheapie. Probably it would last as long, it all being plastic, but what the heck, live large. The brass tank bolts were the selling point. Would have run six bucks extra to get those and the rubber washers with the cheapie, so it wasn't that much of a deal. 


Water off, old tatty towel in the tank to soak up the last of it, unscrew this and that. Take the tank outside, puzzle over the instructions, remove the old parts, put the new ones in.

I've done this before a couple times, but once every ten or twelve years doesn't give you much in the way of familiarity, plus the hardware changes each time. Don't have one of those little floats on a rod anymore, the shut-off float is on the inflow-valve tower. Kind of elegant, actually, though the old brass-everything would last eighty years, and the new stuff considerably less.

Had to trim the overflow tube. Apparently it was not designed for the tiny-tank model I have and code says the tube has to be lower than the inflow value, and no way that was gonna happen. A pox upon the man responsible for taking away our full-size toilet tanks. You have to import those from Canada these days, where they still know how much water it takes to do the job. And it's stupid, because you always have to flush the damned itty bitty tank twice if there is any serious business in the bowl, and where is the savings in that? 

Oh, well. Got it all done, flushed it, and it worked. All a man can ask for.

That, and not waking up in the middle of the night and finding the bedroom floor ankle-deep in water because I forgot to tighten something enough ...


Dojo Rat said...

It's a shitty job but somebody has to do it.

Inflow valve tower, cool!

steve-vh said...

Best comment ever!!!!!