This past weekend I faced another home-repair demon and emerged triumphant.
As I have written in the past, home repair is not my strong suit. When I tackle a job beyond the very simple, my odds of success usually run around 50-50. Sometimes, the damage I inadvertently do creates a larger repair bill than if I had never attempted the task to begin with. As a result, I look at almost any home-repair job as a major challenge and all victories sublime.
Mrs. Poolman is my strongest supporter. You would think that after all the years we have been married, she would have picked up on some of my weaknesses. (Well, she has picked up on many of them, just not this one.)
“Oh, Poolman, we don’t need to call a repairman. You can do it!”
Which brings me to one of Poolman’s Lessons on Life.
Nothing is impossible for someone who doesn’t have to do it.
This weekend’s plumbing story began last week. We have two and a half baths, but with only two people living in our house full time, the master bath and the half-bath off the kitchen get 99% of the use. We keep the door closed to the seldom-used bathroom in the hallway, because one of our cats (Sid the Tail-less) has been known to use it for his functions. (“Hey, if you’re not going to use it, one of us might as well. Meow!”) Unfortunately, Sid has not familiarized himself with the proper use of the bathroom appliances. All of which means that when I stopped into that bathroom last week and found the toilet running, I had no idea how long it had been doing so.
“Oh, boy,” I thought, “what a great opportunity to try my hand at toilet repair.”
Actually, as it turned out, it was a fairly easy repair. I just went down to the handy Ace Hardware store and bought a new valve assembly. Surprisingly, it went together just like it said in the directions. That may not be a first for me, but it seems that it is rare enough that I am always surprised when it happens that way.
I ran into two minor problems, but I was able to think my way through them.
One issue was really stupid. I couldn’t get the hose connector unscrewed from the tank. “Lefty-loosey, right?” In this case, that is true – if you are lying on your back and looking at the connector from the floor, but not if you are kneeling and reaching under the tank to get at it. Duh!
Once I had the new valve assembly installed and made sure it was both working and not leaking, I had only one remaining concern. How much water did we waste all that time we didn’t know it was running? Coincidentally, the semi-monthly water bill arrived on Saturday. It was more than twice the normal bill.