Jeff the Handyman

So I got a little inspired today and decided I would fix one of our two toilets that need fixing. We only have two toilets, by the way. Anyway, it was an adventure for a couple of reasons – the fix was relatively easy.

The toilet I fixed was leaking out the handle. Yea, that’s weird. We figured out it was because when we flushed it, the cap on the intake shaft was probably clogged. Sure, I could have cleaned that, and I tried to figure out how to get to the dirty parts, but I decided after having done some research that it may be just as well to replace the thing. The other toilet, we have to hold the handle down to get it to flush properly. Yes, I could also probably just adjust a screw on the thing, but I think it has some other problems too.

The first reason it was an adventure is because I’ve never done this before. I did do the first thing right – turn off the water. But the next steps were not quite as obvious to me. Fortunately, the kit that I got, the FluidMaster Water Saving Dual Flushing System, had complete uninstall and install instructions. So, I figured out which screws to remove and in proper order. After verifying I was getting everything in proper (ensuring to cut the overflow tub to proper height – note: use a dremel tool, not a hacksaw as they suggest) it was time to put the screws in.

For as expensive as this kit is, they provided everything and great instructions. This included the brass bolts, rubber washer, metal washers and nut. Unfortunately for us, our tank had 1/4″ bolt holes and, apparently, the standard bolt hole for tanks is 5/16″. The hole was 1/16″ too tiny. I tried forcing a bolt in but ended up stripping it. So Rachel and I packed up and went shopping. After over an hour looking in both The Home Depot and Lowe’s, Rachel was very tired and I found out nobody has the 1/4″ bolt that is needed for this type of job.

I ended up getting a glass and tile drill bit. I was quite nervous about this because drilling into ceramic is a careful job. It also required running water through the hole while the drillbit was doing its thing otherwise it gets too hot. In any case, I was successful at creating the hole and not breaking my drill by getting water in it.

After that it was just checking to see if I had any leaks (I did and had to dismantle the tank 4 times before getting it on straight and tight enough.) Then it was fine tuning the float adjustments to maximize water saving with flushing power. So, here’s to saving water and water bill costs.

The whole job took me way longer than it should have. But having never done this before, I think I did good. The other toilet should not take nearly half as long to complete. The next challenge is to remember to flush UP when a light flush is needed.

One Reply to “Jeff the Handyman”

  1. Super good job! Now we just need to figure out why the tank is wobbly. I guess your research is not quite finished yet. Nevertheless, I'm very impressed with what you accomplished today.

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