Toilet Training

For a few weeks now the toilet in our bathroom has been on the fritz. It all started in the middle of the night at around 2AM and I thought the water I heard was from the shower of the neighbors upstairs, but upon further inspection it was the toilet. A high pitched hissing noise was coming from inside the tank, so I took off the cover and everything looked okay. Upon further investigation of toilet valves on the internet that morning (yes still at 2) I found a users manual for the equivalent model from the company that bought the company of the toilet valve. From the manual I deduced that the valve had sensed that the water was near the top and closed the valve which lets water into the tank, but it was so weak it couldn’t close it all the way so a small flow kept coming out of it. Luckily the flow in compared to the flow out of the overflow tube prevented the tank from overflowing. After flushing a few times it fixed itself for the time being only to return a week later and more often as time passed. Eventually it annoyed me enough that I would just shut off the water to the toilet and go to sleep.

On Friday night I walked into the bathroom and the tank had a lot of condensation on the outside. Upon further investigation the tank was out of water. I flushed the toilet and it filled back up and there didn’t appear to be any leaks. The next morning the same thing occurred and I flushed the toilet, but this time the valve didn’t stop the water and it started to flow at a rate greater than what the overflow could handle and I shut off the water valve. Now not only was the valve broken, but the gasket at the bottom was also leaking. I left the water off for Saturday night and planned to fix the toilet on Sunday. We ran into our landlord who said it would be okay if I tried to fix it and said she would reimburse me for the cost of the parts. I was ecstatic, because ever since getting a bunch of tools for Christmas I have been dying to do work around the house.

Sunday afternoon I went to Home Depot to getthe parts I needed, but they didn’t have the brand I wanted, so I went back home and walked to the hardware store in Porter Square. They also didn’t have the brand I wanted, but since my options were limited I bought it anyway and headed back home. I quickly drained the tank and began unscrewing it from the toilet. The first two screws came right off, but the third was being difficult. After about a half hour of messing around with it, Melissa came over and spent another half an hour with me trying to get it off. I had espresso that morning so I was a bit shaky and impatient so I went to the hardware store again to buy WD-40 and a hack saw just in case. I made it back home after what seemed like forever and sprayed the WD-40 on the screw, but it didn’t improve the situation, so I just sawed the bolt in half. Once the tank was off I cut the giant gasket off the bottom, but once again came across another stuck screw road block. I fiddled with it for five minutes before just hack sawing through it too. Melissa and I moved the now clean tank into the living room for better work. Twenty minutes later everything was screwed into it and we placed it back on the toilet. It wasn’t long before I turned the water on and did a couple trial flushes without a problem. I cleaned up the huge mess I made and put my tools away before checking on it again.

Everything was okay except for a small drip around one of the screws in the back. There wasn’t anything noticeably wrong for it and let it slowly drip while we went to dinner. After chatting with my dad he suggested that either there was some dirt between the gasket and the tank or the screw was so tight it was pushing up the sides of the gasket. I drained the tank again and slowly loosened the screw to the point where I could clean underneath the gasket. After it was tightened I filled it up with water again and haven’t seen a drip since. I have to say I am looking forward to this do it yourself thing.