ted & pamela

Posts Tagged ‘toilet’

Home maintenance, part 2

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Before we bought the house, we knew from the disclosures that the downstairs toilet was loose.  A plumber we had at the house earlier had told us that since the seal wasn’t leaking, we could probably just tighten the screws holding the bowl to the floor a bit, but not so much that the porcelain bowl cracked.  This sounded easy enough for me, so I attempted it one evening.

Well, in the process of tightening the screws, I must have moved the water reservoir tank, because it started leaking quickly on one side where a screw held the tank to the base of the toilet.  To avoid a flood, I shut off the water supply and flushed the toilet to get out as much water as possible, then inspected the screw.

It looked like the screw and the rubber gasket that were supposed to prevent the water from leaking out had come loose.  I didn’t know what to do about the leakage, so I suggested to Pamela that we replace the toilet. Luckily, she quickly shot me down and said that we could probably just replace the screw assembly.  (Now that I’m thinking about it again after the fact, we might have been able to fix the problem just by tightening the existing screw, but that didn’t occur to me at the time…)

Anyway, she was right, of course.  I went to Home Depot (they’ve been getting a lot of business from us lately) and found that they sell replacement parts for exactly this problem.  I bought the little bag of parts (two screws, some rubber gaskets, washers, nuts, etc.) for our brand of toilet.

Back at home, it was a messy but straightforward repair process.  I unscrewed the tank from the base of the toilet and the water supply, cleaned it up a bit, then followed the instructions on the bag to reassemble everything with the new parts.  I was a bit surprised when I turned the water supply back on and everything worked!  No leaks, no bugs, no additional feature requests.  Whew.

I think this makes me a level 2 homeowner.  Still noob, but a little more experienced.

Home maintenance, part 1

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

We haven’t even moved our furniture in yet, but Pamela and I are already learning the never-ending joys of home maintenance.

So far, I’ve had to deal with three main issues:

  1. The shower in the upstairs hall bathroom dumped out water and barely functioned as a shower.
  2. The downstairs toilet was loose and had water leaking from the tank.
  3. One of the garage doors got stuck halfway open.

The first issue was pretty easy to deal with.  After determining that the shower looked like it should fit a standard shower head replacement, we went to Home Depot to buy a new one.  We spent a while standing around confused by the assortment of shower head options from $2 to $80+, but eventually decided on a mid-range shower head with both a standard adjustable spray and a secondary head on a flexible pipe.

Upon returning home, we discovered that we couldn’t actually take the old shower head off.  We didn’t have a wrench that was the right size, and our attempts to improvise with pliers and whatever else we had around just scraped metal off of the shower head.  For a while, we doubted that we had a standard shower head that could be taken off, and we gave up for the night.

The next day, based on a suggestion from Pamela’s dad, who happens to be a plumber, I went to my parents’ place in San Jose to borrow an adjustable wrench from them.  The wrench had no problem getting the old shower head off, and the new one was fairly straightforward to install.  I guess it just goes to show that having the right tools makes things a lot easier.

I tried it out that night, and happily, it was much, much better than that sorry excuse for a shower head that we used to have.