About six weeks ago, I began to notice that my toilet was spontaneously flushing. It sort of creeped me out, but I figured there was a logical explanation, and my brother told me what it was. The flapper inside the toilet tank had probably lost its seal, and water was leaking, giving the flushing sound. Hmmm. All that it needed was a new flapper. All? Then he told me how I could fix this myself. I was to turn off the water to the tank, flush, wipe the area at the drain with bleach, and attach a new flapper. It sounded easy enough.
I went home, and took the lid off the tank, peering in to see what I could see. Then I tried to turn the water off. The handle wouldn’t budge. AND I got a headache leaning upside down in the cramped space between the wall and the toilet. So I replaced the lid, and ignored the flushing sound that seemed to occur just in the middle of the night.
Over the last five years, I have come to rely on my own abilities to perform simple household maintenance, thanks to several of the wonderful family members who have advised me on such tasks. I just needed to have a think.
Checking in with me, said brother asked of the progress. Well, I had bought a new flapper. I had read the directions on the back of the package, which corresponded to the directions I had previously been given. I explained of the difficulty turning off the water at the wall. Bro told me to be careful as those turn-off taps could sometimes break off, and said I could replace the flapper without turning off the water. Eewww.
A few weeks passed. Brother called with an idea. I could prop the lever in the tank open with a rubber band. That would empty the tank, and then I could replace the flapper. Voila! It worked. I now have a new flapper, no spontaneous flushing in the middle of the night, and a very strong sense of self-satisfaction.
One of my first blog posts was about my regrets at losing the handiness of my former spouse. He was very handy, but I find that I am handy, too. Now, I guess I better try to do something about my doorbell, which has begun to spontaneously ring …in the middle of the night.