By WR Jones
Like the faux charcoal drawing above, what you see is not always what you get in a home handyman. My wife views me as plumbing repair capable. Nothing could be further from reality. Yesterday she ask me to repair a leaking toilet at a relatives home.
There are kits to do the repair at Home Depot. Really, how hard can this job be, UNLESS……. you think you can do it without looking at instructions, then break, and trash can one of the necessary pieces. I don’t know how I thought that big plastic pipe next to the flapper wasn’t important. As I looked at the first diagram of the instructions – oh oh, I need that pipe. Down into the large trash bin to fetch it. I had broken the pipe. I had to mend it or replace the toilet. But to replace the toilet I would have to buy a hacksaw and work in a very cramped space to remove a rusted bolt. Or I could buy an angle grinder, zip through the rusted bolt, and then zip through one of my fingers. Seeing the suck job I had ahead of me due to my moron-ness, I went into a road rage like state. I wanted soooo badly to foist this misery on my wife; hey, she asked me to do this job. I guess I can’t blame her for my being an idiot. Still, it might be worth a try.
I opted on fixing the broken tube. This meant another trip to Home Depot to purchase my FOURTH bottle of super glue in a month. Yep, you are reading correctly. I lost the three previous bottles of glue I used on other hopeless repair jobs. I bought a bottle of superglue gel and some epoxy that you knead in your hands then apply like putty to seal cracks. I Applied the gel liberally to the broken pipe. After waiting for the glue to dry I touched it with my finger to test. It was still wet. That left a thin wet coat of superglue on my finger. I rested my hand momentarily on the counter top. My finger stuck to the counter. With some pulling and small loss of skin I got the hand free. Then I cut off a chunk of epoxy, kneaded in by hand and applied to the pipe. This left a white residue on my finger tips. I tried to wash it off. Didn’t come off with soap. It started to burn my fingers. I read the package. Turns out you should use gloves, it is a skin irritant. I tried all the cleaning products I could find in the house with no success. In panic I used a piece of sand paper to sand down all my fingers. This worked but left my fingertips sort of raw. Further, now I can’t get into my new iPhone using my fingerprint. And I forgot the passcode. I thought well I will have to go through the 9999 possible numbers to log on. But after a few attempts the phone locks up for several minutes. I hope I can get into my phone by next Christmas to order stuff. It’s not a huge problem since no one has called me since mom died 10 years ago and all she ever wanted was payment on that loan.
Anyway all’s well that ends well as they say. That toilet hardly leaks now that I worked my magic. I’m quite certain that the plush carpet piece I placed next to the toilet will soak up the excess water. It could be looked at as a plus in that it will help keep the room humidified.