Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Toilet, Heal Thyself!, or The Crapper is Haunted

The big problem with major appliances is that they typically put a crimp in the DIY mentality. When it comes to electrical or specialty stuff, I leave it to the pros. But toilets, well, that's a pretty physical and mostly mechanical household object that I feel comfortable working on. When we moved in and installed a new toilet, I had to rush over to Home Depot for a new ballcock assembly (yes, that's what it's called), and when the metal water tube corroded and began to leak downstairs, I went to Ace (pre-walking baby in tow), bought a new flexible tube and installed it myself.

Yet several months ago the upstairs toilet kept running after it was flushed, and the only way to stop it was to lift the tank and jiggle the arm. I thought it was breaking or broken until Alma's mom visited and the problem went away. I figured she just fixed it herself, but I never asked how. Then, a couple of months ago, the problem started again. At first we thought perhaps it was weather related, but the downstairs bathroom is far colder, so that didn't seem right. My sister visited and the problem persisted. And then Alma's mom visited again and ... the problem went away! She did nothing to it, I did nothing to it, and the toilet has been fine ever since, which can only mean one thing: we are clearly being haunted by a sewage spectre who enjoys the company of Alma's mom.


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