On Saturday night the chain inside my toilet broke, the one that connects the handle to the flush valve. I jury-rigged it with a paper clip, thinking I would stop after work on Sunday and pick up a toilet repair kit. Later, I get to the store and there are different levels of kits, up to a total replacement of all parts. I thought, “Well the old refill valve is acting up and not shutting off properly sometimes, I might as well replace everything. I’ve done it before, shouldn’t be too hard.” Which leads us to the first rule:
#1. Do not utter the words, “It shouldn’t be too hard.” There is no god, but there is Murphy, and Murphy will fuck you. Hard.
I get home, I eat dinner, I watch Doctor Who on the TiVo, then I get to work on the toilet. Which leads us to the second rule:
#2. Do not start projects on Sunday night. Seriously, what the hell were you thinking?
I shut off the water to the tank, flush, sponge up the remaining water - so far, so good. Then I go to unscrew the fittings, and discover that the parts have corroded and either won’t turn or strip really easily. This results in much cursing, contortion, and bruises.
#3. If you know your house is older than Cthulhu, [del]expect probems[/del] [del]prepare for problems[/del] brace for fucking impact, you poor dumb bastard. Also, Cthulhu’s best access to your house is through your toilet, so it’s bound to be horrible.
Finally I get all the bolts and other metal parts off, lift off the tank, and I’m left with a plastic nut holding the flush valve and fill pipe in place. It’s supposed to be hand tightened only, but whoever installed it used a wrench, or had hands like vices. I either need to get a bigger wrench, or saw the plastic off. I decide to try to find a bigger wrench in case I want to stop and put the existing parts back in place. The problem is, it’s late Sunday night at this point and Wal-Mart is pretty much the only place open.
#4. See #2. (Sunday rule)
#5. Wal-Mart does not have bigger wrenches. Even if they did, it would probably be made out of tin. Don’t bother.
#6. Next time, just saw that shit off to begin with. It’s already broken, dumbass.
OK, so now I’ve hacked off the remains of the old valve, adjusted the new parts and installed them inside the tank, and now I’m ready to put the tank back and hook up the water line. At this point I notice that the water line is an old, rigid copper pipe that has been poorly bent around into position. The new fill valve needs the water line in a slightly different position, so I try to rebend it and the goddamn thing falls off at the water shutoff valve. In a way it’s probably good I discovered this, because it might have burst with the water turned on and made a giant mess. On the other hand, now I have to replace the fucking thing. So I try to find either a 24 hour plumbing supply or a 24 hour plumber.
#7. See #1. (Murphy rule)
#8. See #2. (Sunday rule)
#9. See #3. (Cthulhu rule)
#10. Chuck Norris will cry before you find a 24 hour plumbing supply. And then, because no one can be allowed to tell that tale, he will roundhouse kick you in the head. While Murphy laughs at your stupid ass.
#11. 24 hour plumbers will not actually come to your house late Sunday night, even though their ads claim they will come forthwith at your summons. The earliest they can come is in the morning, at which point you might as well go to the then-open plumbing supply and do it your damn self.
#12. EZ Rooter and Rescue Rooter share a dispatcher, because they are in fact the same fucking company. And they still can’t come until the morning, but now they have twice as many opportunities to be lying assholes.
So now I have a toilet bowl sitting by itself in its normal place, and a toilet tank and various parts lying around on the floor. If you have disregarded my previous advice on this matter, there is one more rule that may be useful:
#13. In the event that you have a thick skull and now have only half a toilet, you can still flush it by pouring a bucket of water in the bowl after you do your business.