There’s a flapper in my bathroom!

I don’t write about the perils of DIY plumbing on this blog (except for this post, which featured one of my favorite stupid puns), because them’s the breaks of home-sorta-ownership, right?

Anyway, the flapper in the upstairs toilet has been faulty for a few months now. After flushing, I have to take the lid off the cistern, tap the flapper down over the flush valve, or it’ll keep draining for quite a while until the flapper drops down on its own.

Today, I finally decided to pick up a replacement flapper and do the repair. It wasn’t too difficult: shut off the supply valve to the toilet, flush to empty the cistern, and remove the faulty flapper. (Note: my wife was on flashlight duty, ably assisting with light and tool-retrieval.) Since it was apparently a factory-assembled component of the fill valve, I needed to cut through it with an Xacto knife to remove it. It came off fine, and the new one fit just on easily. There was some experimentation with the length of the chain from the flapper to the flush arm, which necessitated turning the supply valve on and off, but we found a correct length, and all was good! Flapper repair: complete!

Then I noticed the leak on the floor.

At first, I thought it was a spillover from the cistern, since I did some of the work while the tank was full. But no: the leak was coming from the supply valve, which does not appear to have been replaced since the house was built. In 1968.

The leak would only stop when the valve itself was shutoff (meaning no water gets to the toilet). I called my dad, a genius of household repair, for his advice, but his tips were for naught. Good thing we have a second bathroom downstairs!

Now it looks like I need to engage in this guy’s strategy, shutting off the water in the house, draining the pipes, removing the valve stem, buying a replacement, and fitting the new one on.

You don’t want to go buy a replacement without having the old one on hand, because you will always buy the wrong one. So that means the house’s water has to be turned off from the beginning of the process to the end. And that means I’ll be waiting till tomorrow, because there’s no way I’d be stupid enough to start a job like this at night and risk being without water for another day!

Which is to say, I may skip Monday Morning Montaigne this week.

(Note: Sure, I could call a plumber, but this simply cannot be that complex a job and, with the NFL season over with, I need to do something manly this weekend!)

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