Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why Me?

What were you doing at one o'clock this morning?  Most people were probably blissfully asleep, getting all nice and rested for work or school.  Maybe some of you were battling insomnia.  The rest of you -- spare me the graphic details of your exploits, please.

Me?  I was performing surgery on my toilet.  Yeah, you read that correctly.

 I bought an older home a couple of years ago.  My older home also came with an older toilet.  I don't really care as long as it does the job.

Last night (early this morning, whatever) the stupid thing stopped working.  I pushed down on the handle, and nothing happened.

As I am not a plumber or even a handy-man/mechanically-inclined person, this was a problem. I knew the problem had to be in the top, the reserve tank area, as it was the handle that seemed to have broken. 

Awesome artwork by me!

As you can see in the picture I made especially for you, the handle attaches to a rusty metal bar.  Now, there should have been a metal chain, relatively rust-free, that attached to the end of the rusty metal bar.  Instead, the chain was laying in a blob on the bottom of the reserve tank next to the plug-thingie  that opens to do the flushing and closes to fill the reserve tank.    Ignore the other stuff -- there is a thingamajig there, but I don't know what it is and it wasn't actively involved in my problem.

Please don't be overwhelmed by my use of technical terms.

Now the rusty metal bar is really rusty.  I can't stress this enough.  I'm surprised there weren't barnacles growing on it or something. The metal chain has an clasp at the end, as this is supposed to hook into a hole in the rusty metal bar.  Well, this isn't so hard!  I can handle this level of repair, no problem.

Step #1
There are 3 holes in the rusty metal bar.  What the hell?  1 am is not a good time to start springing decision-making things on a person, toilet.  

Start with the first one, all the way on the end, I guess?  First place is always best in contests, so first hole on the rusty metal bar should be the best flushing.

Step #2
The chain doesn't reach hole #1 on the rusty metal bar.  Fabulous.  So I unhook  the clasp, figure out the right place where it should be on the metal chain, and then hook it to the rusty metal bar.  Or not.

Step #3
Hole #1 is so rusty that it has rusted right on through.  The clasp did hang there for a moment, but then the slight disturbance in the water I made by removing my hand caused it to fall back to the bottom.  Freaking brilliant.

Step #4
You know what?  Hole #2 was secretly my favorite all along.  It seems much nicer and more cooperative.  So I repeat all of that stuff above, measuring the chain and moving the clasp to the right place.  Everything is going swimmingly.

I try to flush, and the stupid chain falls out again!  WTF?!  Did it just rust through before my eyes?  I'm beginning to think the mouthwash is somehow to blame for all of this.

Step Whatever -- it's almost 2am and I am tired
Hole #3, it is all you, buddy. If you don't work then I give up.  No pressure.
*pleasdon'tbeall rustypleasedon'tbeallrusty*

The chain is going to be on a really weird angle at this point.  I don't care. We're pretty much at the f#*k-it-all stage, folks.

I hook the clasp and the chain.  It stays!!!  OMG this is so awesome!

Step Solution!
I give it a flush...and it kind-of works.  I mean it works, but not really the way it is supposed to, if that makes sense.  You have to push the handle down and hold it there for a few seconds, until the water drains out a bit, then you are all good to let go and it will finish.  Victory!

I'm awesome at repairs!  

....and I might also be the proud owner of a special toilet now. 

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