Fix Things On Your Own

Not long ago, I called the plumber to come to my house and fix my toilet because there were a few things wrong with it. It was continually leaking water in the bowl because the O-ring at the flush valve was worn out due to old age (I didn’t know this was the problem at first).

Not only that, but the top of the fill valve – where the float arm is connected – was busted so there was water shooting out from the part where it broke.

When the plumber – who is employed by my landlord – came to fix it, he didn’t do anything. He just turned the water pressure way down that way it stopped leaking. It was a bullshit fix, the kind of repair that is emblematic of someone who doesn’t give a fuck.

Eventually, I had to go to the Home Depot with my dad, and he bought all of the necessary parts and showed me how to fix it. To be honest, it was relatively straightforward.

After my old man showed me how to fix all of this shit, I ran into a problem again. There was a kid at my house recently who flushed an apple core down the toilet, so once again I had issues with it.

At first, I was pissed because I’m not that great at fixing anything. After going to a store to buy a toilet auger, I tried to crush the apple inside of the toilet trap, and it didn’t work.

I had to take the toilet apart one piece by one and fix it myself. It was super simple. I turned the water off, disconnected the water hose that’s connected from the wall to the back of the toilet, then I had to scoop out the water that was in the toilet bowl that way when I took it apart there wasn’t a giant mess.

Toilet Diagram

With a flathead screwdriver, I undid the three bolts inside of the tank near the flush valve seat, then unscrewed the two screws on the base of the toilet.

At this point, I was starting to worry that I wouldn’t be able to take the toilet off the ground because I noticed there is a wax ring around the base.

I took a flathead screwdriver and undid the wax ring around the base by the outlet, and with a lot of pushing and shoving from side-to-side, I eventually broke the toilet loose.

I sat several grocery bags on the ground, that way when I lifted the toilet off the ground, I had somewhere to set it that way I didn’t spill gross water or mark up my already destroyed floor.

At this point, I have the contraption off sitting near the bathtub, and I can see the hole that goes down into the sewer. I clogged the hole with a few paper towels to stop the sewer smell from creeping into my apartment; then I had to get to work.

Before I clogged the hole, I looked down it, and I couldn’t understand where the apple core sat to cause the blockage. However, after a bit more reading on the internet, I discovered the toilet trap is at the very bottom of the toilet and not inside the hole leading to the sewer.

I flipped the toilet on its side, and lo-and-behold, there is an apple core jammed right in the bottom of it. I took some pliers to it and pulled it out.

After that, I reconnected everything and used silicon around the base of the toilet to make it look cohesive again, connected the water hose to the back, turned it on, and voilá, it works now!

I’ve never fixed anything significant before in my entire life; I have to be honest with you, it felt awesome. When I struggled to remove the toilet from the floor, I considered calling the plumber, but I’m so glad I didn’t because it would’ve cost me probably $250 at least to have one there.

I saved a significant amount of money, and I didn’t even need to buy the shitty toilet auger. In total, the repair cost me $12, and I didn’t need to spend that because I already had a flathead screwdriver as well as a ratchet.

Anyway, now that I know how to do that, I feel like there’s so much shit around the apartment that I’m entirely capable of fixing.

In conclusion, I think it’s great to learn how to do things on your own. Once you figure something out by trial-and-error, it’s incredible how much you learn.

You’ll never forget how to do something like that again and whenever you have trouble, you’ll be capable of fixing it.

Once you know how to take a toilet apart and reinstall it, then you also know how to install a new toilet if you ever need to.

I discovered that it’s not that hard. To top it all off, you save a lot of money fixing things yourself.

With that said, If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware that it’s better to fix things yourself, but once you do it, the benefits become evident in a way that’s entirely comprehensible. After all, there is a difference between an awareness of something and grasping it entirely.