So, a couple of months ago the toilet in my condo stopped working properly. It would keep running and running, but wouldn’t fill up the tank all the way, and wouldn’t shut itself off. So I emailed my landlord, who said he’d come by to fix it. Weeks went by, and then months. Finally, I decided to try and figure out what was wrong with it on my own, because I frankly have more faith in my own plumbing skills than in my landlord’s. I did my research (seriously, how did we find out anything before the internet? :-P), and figured out that it was the fill valve that was not working. So, I went to Lowes to try and find a part to fix it. Well, apparently you don’t really fix fill valves, because they’re not exactly expensive to replace. I got a fancy water-saving one for under $12.
I brought home the new fill valve, got out the instructions that came with it (which were awesome!), and got to work. Turned off the water and disconnected it, and then attempted to unscrew the bolt holding the old fill valve. No luck. Apparently you need a wrench that’s as big as my entire freaking forearm to get that stupid thing undone. Needless to say, I did not own a wrench that big (though I do have a rather impressive collection of tools). So a few days later I finally made it back to the hardware store and got a gigantic wrench.
This time, everything went smoothly. Disconnected the water, got the old fill valve out, put in the new one, got everything reconnected, and no leaks! And even more importantly, THE TOILET WORKS PROPERLY NOW!!! With the added advantage of being far quieter, and using less water! (And when I have friends over, I don’t have to warn them about my ghetto toilet! :-P)
Yeah, I’m kind of insanely proud of myself.
Total cost for my first advanture into plumbing: $12 fill valve + $13 wrench = $25, plus less than an hour of time over the course of two evenings. Woot!