I’m the son of a real carpenter, not some framer, sheet rock hanger, or cabinet maker. Those are all fine professions and I should know because he could do all of them. He was the real deal. We lived in an area of alot of historic homes and he was a go to for restoration carpentry, because he knew the “old ways”. But, he hated plumbing, not as much as he hated mechanic work, but it was a tight race. The only skill I inherited from him was his intense dislike of plumbing.
We are fortunate to have a house, but the toilets in our house seem to be prone to destroying the flapper valve with some extreme regularity. I’ve gotten good at doing the ‘handle jiggle’ to avoid replacing the flapper, but there comes a time when the dang thing must be replaced. It’s a simple task, but I have that anti-plumber gene. A little over a week ago I finally did it, I replaced the flapper. By the way have I mentioned that the toilet was working with the exception of the flapper. The beauty of the flapper replacement is there is no need to shut off the supply valve, no tools are needed, and the task is actually simple. So, flapper replaced. Tank begins to fill – tank is full – tank continues to fill. The fill valve seems to have taken notice of the new flapper and is not happy. The fill valve which had been working just fine before the flapper was replaced has now failed.
Alright this just got a bit more serious. Now I’ll have to shut off the supply valve and drain the tank to replace the fill valve. So, down to the floor and grab the shut off valve. The shut off valve turns and turns and turns. It doesn’t work! Now I have two failures and they are compounding failures. The fill valve is an involved repair, but the supply valve means I have to shut off the water to the house and may involve sweating a pipe. Fortunately I have fill valves with compression fittings – the first win in this entire affair.
Yesterday I bought all of the necessary plumbing supplies for the toilet repair and a sill cock for an outside faucet that needed to be replaced. Hey, if I have to shut off the water at the street I might as well make a day of it. I shut off the water and drain the system. Immediately I replace the sill cock and had that checked off the list. Next up that pesky toilet and the multiple repairs needed. I removed the supply line, drained the tank, and removed the fill valve. Next I removed the supply valve and replaced it with the new 1/4 turn valve. This is going really well. I had a bit of a hiccup with the new fill valve. The instructions were a bit unclear, but I muddled through and figured it out.
New supply valve in place, new supply line installed, fill valve in place and adjusted, floor is dried, all connections are tight, and I’m ready to turn the water back on. This is really going well in spite of my total disdain for any form of plumbing. Water is turned on at the street, I head in and turn on the supply valve. Success! The tank begins to fill. The fill valve shuts off as it should and I have adjusted the water level correctly. Now I check the connections for leaks and nothing is wet. I’ve really done some hydraulic magic today.
Two hours later, there is a small pool of water on the floor in the very area directly under the repairs I’ve just completed. Dang it. I check all of the connections and nothing is wet. I check a few other things and discover there is a leak at one of the bolts that hold the tank to the bowl. What the..? Apparently I own the throne of satan. I ain’t no dang plumber, but I do what I have to do. Next up I’ve got to get some bolts and gaskets. Fortunately I have that wonderful new shut off valve.