Friday, August 11, 2006

Do it yourself toilet repair

TOILET WARS!!!!!!!! OK, every couple I know has this little game going on. NO NO not Toilet Wars; but rather, some ongoing war over something trivial. For some it is underwear on the floor, or maybe an annoying sucking of the teeth...and on and on. I think you get what I mean. If you have experienced it, you know right away.

With us, it is the toilet. Mary hates our toilet. I can't figure it out, but I suspect it is just the first battle toward a complete bathroom renovation. Now, I have no deep feeling toward our toilet, but I have been pricing out bathroom renovations......and we are talking serious vacation money coming out of circulation! So as I sit down for my daily meditation, I ponder the relative value of a sleek porcelin beauty under me, or a trip to wine country. I think you can guess the outcome so far.

So Imagine my horror when our big beige beauty started hissing away the other week! Luckily, Mary was out of town and I was given an opportunity to get a quick toilet fix into place. Last year the old flusheroo just about did itself in by developing a leaking valve. I was sent around to the hardware stores to price out a replacement......not a toilet valve replacement, but ( yes you guessed it) a complete toilet replacement. I won that battle by discovering that you could buy all sorts of spare parts for toilet valves at plumbing supply stores ( yes they do sell to the public) for just a few dollars. I popped in a new flapper and it was happy times at the ol' WC.

But this time things looked serious. The toilet valve in the tower looked like it was gone. Now you can get a new tower for about $10, which is very cheap. The expensive part is installing the thing. I knew that I could do the job, but also knew that it would be messy, and that there was a chance of chipping the tank, which would be a death sentance for my old buddy. Mary was due back soon, and I knew just what would happen if she caught me midstream in repairs.

Then a flash of intuition hit me. Why not try some " Jig-a-Loo" ? This stuff has become my new best friend this summer. I have been trying it on all sorts of things. I'm not sure if it is just silicone lubricant in disguise, but it sure makes things move easier. Well to make this long story short. I tried it as a toilet repair kit in a can. I sprayed the top of the tower while I depressed the float bar a few times. And yes it worked! The toilet stopped hissing and has never hissed since. I guess that the Jig-a-Loo worked its way into the toilet valve, or perhaps it just lubricated the hinge. What ever it did, it worked. The ol' flusheroo has been saved. I'm ready to fight another day. And we are planning our next vacation to wine country.

Life is bliss.

'till next time


PS. I'd love to read your questions or suggestions. Feel free to email me by clicking the link under my profile. And I'd be honored if you included me in your RSS feeds.

P.P.S. Thanks for your responses to this post. One common comment was that those pucks that go into the tank seem to wreck the flapper. This is why a new toilet will start to leak in a few months. Yes there are flappers that say they are "resistant" and there are pucks that say that they are "safe", but I have quit using them. Instead, I pour a little enzyme cleaner in the tank every now and then. It keeps the scum and gunk from forming, and cleans the interior water flow areas. The cleaner I use is Pink Solution . Thanks again for your feedback!

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