Flush me, Amadeus

Hey, I’m not so bad at the home improvement / Mr. Fix-It tasks.  Let me give you the recap:

A few months ago, I noticed a small leak in the upstairs guest / kids’ bathroom under the toilet coming from the left side under the fill valve, right where the water enters the tank.  This happened last year to the toilet in our bathroom, so I knew what the culprit was — a leaky fill valve.  [Dun dun DUN!] The fill valve is that thing (the scientific term is “doo-hickey” but I’m laymanizing this for you) that goes down when the tank is flushed, fills the bowl with water, and rises again to the original height.  When it reaches the specified height in the tank, the water stops pouring in, and you’re ready to flush again.

The repair requires draining the tank and replacing the original fill valve.  Not that easy, because you have to lie down on your back under the toilet bowl (as a germaphobe, not my favorite place) and loosen the fittings with pliers. The last time (and really, first time) I did this, I made multiple trips to Home Depot and Lowe’s to return and replace the wrong components.  Yes, one of those fabled “I made 10 trips to Home Depot” stories.

Not fun, so I’ve put the whole thing off in typical procrastination fashion.  A little water on the floor?  Nothing a paper towel can’t pick up.  Did you ever leave something, hoping it would be fine, and have the whole thing get progressively worse? Two weeks ago, I was in the dining room, and I heard this strange tapping sound. A slow tapping. A weird, unnerving slow tapping.  I discovered the tapping to be the result of water dripping onto paper on the dining table. Dripping from the ceiling onto the paper on the dining table.

Dripping through the ceiling light mount, through the chain/wiring holding the ceiling light,  down the ceiling light, onto the paper on the dining table. Thinking that water and electricity don’t mix, suspecting the worse, I ran upstairs to confirm that the toilet sits above the ceiling light in the dining room.  I turned off the water to the toilet, and sent Josh to start using the downstairs bathroom. I had so little time over the next few days, and I hated doing that actual repair,  I was able to hold off on the repair work.

This couldn’t last forever, and especially since we were expecting family friends to stay over this weekend, I finally took the proverbial plunge. This time, I knew what I was doing.  It only required one trip to Lowe’s to select and purchase the correct fill valve, and the work itself took approximately an hour.  It’s been three nights, and so far, no floods, and no apparent damage to the house.  Not so bad!

I still hate laying down under the toilet bowl.  Disgusting!

Edit: Picture of my handiwork below.

A new fill valve installed in 60 minutes

A new fill valve installed in 60 minutes

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