Tag Archives: new flapper

My Broken Toilet: Part 1

5 Oct

No blog post that is titled “My Broken Toilet” should be more than one part and yet, here I am.

Last night as I was getting ready for bed I used the toilet, shocking I know. I pushed on the handle and felt a teeny tiny jolt come through, like that of something snapping. And then the toilet did nothing, as in it didn’t flush. I thought what some of you are probably thinking, the chain slipped, no biggy.

I opened the tank for the first time since living in this apartment and discovered that the flapper (that is the part that lifts up when you push on the handle, and then lowers again to stop water flowing so the tank fills) didn’t have a chain like every other toilet out there. Nope, this one has to be different *rolls eyes*. This one is like an all-in-one, the flapper, which is rubber, had a snake like piece of rubber attached to it that came up and hooked on to the same spot a chain would.

So I guess it is just like a chain, only rubber, and not as easily fixed. I tried to get the end of the rubber “chain” thing back through the hole on the plastic piece it attaches to so moving the handle would once again flush the toilet but nope, not happening. I ended up leaning the rubber “chain” against that floating ball thing that is part of the rig that stops the water when the tank is filled so hopefully the next morning I wouldn’t have to submerge my hand in to a tank of cold water just so I could flush.

Glamorous life I lead isn’t it? 😉

After work today I went to Canadian Tire, (side note, I always forget what a wide selection of items Canadian Tire sells, you could wander those aisles for ages if you had the time). Okay, back on topic! Went to Canadian Tire and bought a new flapper. I couldn’t get one labelled for a specific toilet because I have no idea what the name of my toilet is, is generic an option? They had a flapper that was labelled universal and looked like what I thought mine looked like. To be honest I hadn’t looked that closely at it, I just assumed there was only one type, who knew there were so many to choose from? Do we really need to be spoiled for choice in all things? Eesh.

One instructional YouTube video later the universal flapper and I went in to the bathroom. First step was sweeping around the toilet, I was worried I might mess up horribly and have water rushing over the edges of the toilet somehow and thought it wise to have the water go onto a clean floor, cause ya know, logic. In the process I discovered two spiders, which means I also killed two spiders. Who knew they liked chilling near toilets? The little weirdos.

After I turned off the water I drained the tank as much as it would drain and discovered the inside of my toilet tank is disgusting. I know I know, it is clean water, it is fine, but it is still disgusting. Minerals and I dunno what else builds up over time and it is gross. I popped off the flapper from where it hooks on, modified the universal one as per instructions on the package to make it fit like the one I was replacing, attached it to the hooks, attached the chain (a real chain this time, not some weird rubber snake thing), and was oh so proud that I just performed a household maintenance type chore.

Don’t get happy for me, that pride went away pretty damn fast.

I turned the water back on and waited for the tank to fill so I could do a test flush and confirm it worked perfectly. Well, uh yeah, all I could confirm is that there was a leak because (1) the tank never filled and (2) in the toilet bowl there were ripples, which YouTube taught me means there is a leak coming from the tank in to the bowl.

I tried wiggling the new flapper around a bit, help it get a better seal, and discovered that if I was willing to leave my hand submerged in the tank so I could apply pressure to the flapper then the leak would stop. Since that is not a life choice I am willing to make I tried to figure out other ways to fix it…which meant I pushed on it a bit more, turned the water off, put the tank lid back on, scrubbed my hands and arms, and went to ruminate on what to do. Oh, and by ruminate I mean I made tea, got a snack, and watched something on my computer for a bit.

Eventually I went back to YouTube and started searching for more help and was given the tips of (1) apply vaseline or lube to the underneath rim of the flapper to give it a better seal when closed or (2) clean the flapper and the edge of the part it closes onto to give it a better seal. I then started googling how to clean the inside of a toilet tank because I was starting to think I was going to have to get my landlord to help and I’m embarrassed for anyone to see something in my apartment be that gross.

Turns out you are supposed to drain the water from your toilet tank, fill the tank with vinegar, let it sit for hours, then flush, twice a year to keep it clean. Am I the only one who didn’t know this?! I swear, when you turn legal age wherever you live you should be handed a book with all this adulting stuff in it so when you’re trying to figure out why your toilet is having issues you can flip to the toilet section and see that oh yeah, you’re a dumbass who hasn’t been cleaning the inside of the tank on schedule and you need to up your adulting game.

You know that meme about not growing up because it is a trap? Never has a meme been so right.

Lucky for me I had the type of sponge the one video said to use for the cleaning of the edges, so I scrubbed. I also applied vaseline because I was desperate.

Nothing. The tank gets almost but not quite full, the water is rippling in the bowl still, and there is water oh so slowly constantly running because the toilet is trying to fill the tank but is unable to.

All this means I have turned off the water, I can’t stand the thought of wasting it, and will turn it back on whenever I need to use the toilet…guess whose gonna be skipping drinks for the next little while and getting a tad dehydrated? This girl!

Tomorrow after work I will buy a large container of vinegar, since apparently that is what those are for, seriously how did I not know this? I’ll try cleaning the entire inside of the tank, see if that helps the flapper to seal properly. I will also pop by Canadian Tire again to see if there is anything in the toiler flapper section that looks like it might help this situation.

I’m really hoping Part 2 of My Broken Toilet saga is also The End! *crosses fingers*

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