September 21, 2020


Sunday, May 29, 2005
All I wanted to do was fix the toilet. The toilet in the guest bathroom downstairs would constantly refill every hour or so. Since I couldn't find any water anywhere on the floor indicating a leak, I assumed it must be leaking into the bowl.

Neo and I went to Home Depot and got a new flush valve assembly, including the gaskets that go between the tank and the bowl. I removed the old tank and exchanged all of the old rubber washers and gaskets. While installing the new flush valve assembly, I noticed something on the directions. It said to make sure to use an angle adapter on the refill tube going to the overflow pipe. If I didn't, the refill tube could create a siphon effect and constantly suck a small amount of water from the tank into the overflow causing the tank to constantly refill. Hmm, when I removed the old one, I think it was just stuck in the pipe, exactly like they said not to do. That must have been the cause. There probably was no leak, and I now have toilet parts all over when all I needed was to pick the tube up. Here's a better explanation:

"The refill tube should aim directly into the overflow pipe but should not reach below water level. If the tube extends too low, it will siphon tank water silently away."

Well, I figured the new parts would be good anyway, and proceeded to put everything back together. Then, turning the water on, I realized that NOW it leaked. A lot. I tightened bolts for hours, then decided to take everything off and redo everything. I took the entire tank off and tried again. I tightened everything up, and filled with water... it leaked like it was cool to leak.

So what did I do? I did what any Graffagnino would do... keep tightening while I constantly tell myself, "You shouldn't tighten any more. If you do, the tank is going to crack." But surely, the next quarter turn on this nut was going to stop the leak. And I kept doing that for quite some time using only a small bit of water in the tank to test for leaks. Then I filled it up all the way. Still a small leak in the back.

Me: "A few more turns. It's almost there."

Common Sense: "Dude. You're dumb. You've been tightening these bolts for 3 hours."

Me: "If I try just a bit more, and the leak stops, I will be done with this damned toilet."

Common Sense: "Alright, but don't say I didn't warn you. I'll start the A/C in the car since we will be shopping for a new toilet soon."

Well, a few more turns and ... BOOM! The tank just exploded. About 7 gallons of water filled the bathroom with a whooshing sound that sent a dagger straight into my pride. There is nothing more humbling then standing there with water up to your ankles, holding your wrench in your hand.

So Neo and I went to Home Depot and bought a new tank. I brought it home praying that it would fit my existing bowl so I wouldn't have to go back and buy the matching bowl. It fit... kinda. It didn't really fit... but, it doesn't leak. And to me, that's a perfect fit.

Now that I took care of that, it's on to the ceiling fan in the guest bedroom. Apparently, the lightning fried that too.


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