i was temporarily convinced that my toilet was possessed when out of nowhere, at least ten times a day, water would suddenly gush into the tank as if hell itself had just flushed. i know the basics of toilet mechanics. i mean bare-bones basics. last year i learned how to effectively plunge a toilet. i know about the float, i know about the chain, and thats about what i know. so when i took the top off the tank to get to the root of this water emergency, i felt somewhat confident that i could handle this on my own. as i watched, the water level ebbed and water was continually trickling into the bowl. suddenly there it was the familiar and maddening rush of water. the rubber stopper at the bottom of the tank was not entirely covering the tube that goes to the bowl. therefore the damn toilet was refilling every four minutes. and driving me positively insane.
after resolving to replace the rubber stopper in the tank, i promptly cut the water to the toilet off so i could sleep at night without a flaring temper.
shopping for a new toilet flap the next day
as told by kara:
“so, off to home depot we went. navigating through home depot to find a “toilet flap” is like trying to find the straight man in a gay bar; you know that they are there, just conveniently hiding out in the corner all together (all three of them). we cautiously approached the “flap” from the rear, so that it kind of snuck up on us as well. tell me why there are thirty different kinds of UNIVERSAL toilet flaps. what the hell is so universal about them if there are thirty different kinds….”
the funny thing about any of the stoppers that were labelled “universal” was that they were each a different size and diameter, a different color from the last, and the prices were on a scale from $2.99 to $9.99. being the thoughtful individual i am, i did not remove my existing defective plug and bring it along for proper sizing. i decided to eyeball it. and as far as practicality goes, i decided on the $2.99 stopper so that if it was the wrong size, my losses would be less.
as a side note, i was amazed and delighted at the fact that they carry each individual part for repairing a toilet. i had the idea in my head that there would only be toilet tank kits or sets and if you only needed one part you’d have to buy the rest anyway.
almost like a whole new world opened up.
i then raced home to try my hand at toilet repair. the packaging said i needed a screwdriver and a pair of adjustable pliers. i elected to run and grab them if i needed them. water was already off so i followed the directions and the diagram aptly labelled A, B, C. i removed the existing flap, and disconnected the chain, then eased it off of the overflow tube: picked up some new vocabulary too. i kind of tossed it into the sink just for good measure. the new flap was kind of hard to wiggle down the tube but i got it all the way down and got it to stopper the hole its supposed to cover. that was the part i was most concerned about: will it fit??!!?? lastly i connected the chain to the lever that the handle controls. turned the water back on and the tank filled up like normal. great! now for the long-awaited test flush: flap closed right away because the chain was too long. no matter, i just shortened the chain. three more times. and still it closed right away unless i held it open long enough to allow for a normal complete flush. so i moved the chain back and forth between the three holes on the lever and adjusted the chain so that now it operates good as new. and where the screwdriver and the pliers come in in this story is beyond me.
unfortunately, the old flap became my dog’s new favorite chew toy. ew.