While You Were Out
My wife and I had just moved into our first house and a few days later decided to celebrate with a night out on the town. When we got home, I slipped into the dimly lit bathroom, lifted the toilet lid and slammed it back down in horror! How much beer had I had? I turned on the lights, brought in my wife and we confirmed that yes, that indeed was a huge, very dead squirrel floating in the bowl. I guess when a home inspector suggests you put a critter guard over the end of the plumbing vent on the roof, he means now. We’d planned on getting to that little task soon, but apparently not soon enough. Even with the critter guard securely in place, we still have a houseful of squirrels, as friends and relatives send us lots of ceramic and stuffed varieties to remind us of our first houseguest.
My wife came home with one of those $10 chlorination gadgets for the toilet that ‘self-cleans’ the bowl after flushing. Installation seemed simple enough, but within minutes I had broken the fill valve assembly at the base. I quickly turned off the water supply at the wall and tried to loosen the coupling nut that secures the valve so I could replace the part. It was corroded and wouldn’t budge. I decided to pull the toilet for better access to the stuck nut. I removed the flange nuts and lifted the toilet with all my might…and learned that the caulking bead around the toilet base can be exceptionally strong. The bowl base broke into three pieces and water spilled everywhere. My wife and I decided that I should quit while I was behind and call a real plumber. The $350 bill was an expensive end to a simple task, but there is no cleaner toilet than a brand new one.
Last year my fiancé and I started our first home improvement project together, aptly, a shower. We installed a new control valve along with new tile. Although my fiancé was still grouting the tile, I decided it was safe to turn on the main water supply valve because we’d finished the plumbing. A second later, a scream echoed through the house. I ran to the bathroom and saw that the shower was blasting on my fiancé. We’d left the valve in the open position and she couldn’t turn it off because we hadn’t installed the handles. Anyway, a year after this first shower, we’re happily married!