Monday, September 26, 2005


In my handwriting, it's sometimes a little difficult for me to be sure if I meant a 3 or a 5. It seems like that shouldn't be a problem a thirty-three year-old person would have, but I do.

In fact, a lot of things that don't seem as if they should be problems turn out to be one. Take our plumbing, for instance. Last Thursday I discovered that our toilet was leaking. Truth be told, at first I was a little happy to make this discovery. Our water bills have been higher than I thought they should be, and a leaking toilet would certainly go a long ways towards explaining the issue.

I got my tools out and set to work. Down on the floor trying to work in the nine inches of space between our toilet and our vanity, I discovered why normal people call a plumber. But I persevered, and managed to get the thing taken apart enough to realize that I was going to need a replacement gasket from the hardware store.

The hardware store wouldn't sell Pukka just a gasket, so we ended up with a whole new fill valve. It was ~$10 though, so whatever. Then we began the ten hours of installation. OK, not really ten hours, but it sure as heck seemed like it. Here's pretty much how it went:

Step 1. I tighten things under the toilet, while yelling random and fairly incomprehensible directions to Pukka, who's holding the things inside the toilet tank still while I tighten.
Step 2. I turn on the water.
Step 3. I cuss as water comes spraying out all over.
Step 4. I remember that it's probably best to turn the water off since this obviously isn't working.
Step 5. I turn off the water.
Step 6. I curse some more for good measure.
Step 7. I yell at any cats that have made their way into my field of vision to get out of the way.
Step 8. Goto Step 1.

After several attempts, we finally got everything back together and working without any water sprayage or obvious leakage. Apparently, Pukka'd had some communication difficulties between himself and the directions. In any case, we went to dinner as very happy people. However, that night before we went to bed, I touched the tile under the toilet, and sure enough, it was wet again. The toilet was still leaking, although much, much slower than before.

And so on Sunday, I found myself back under the toilet again. This time since we knew what we were doing, the whole operation took fifteen minutes tops. And I'm very happy to report that since that time, the bathroom floor has remained dry.

BUT, brilliant me says, "As long as we've got the water shut off, let's change the kitchen faucet like I wanted to."

I'm not even going to go into the events that transpired after that. Really, there's only three things you need to know:

1) There are good reasons why plumbers charge the hourly rate they do.
2) At this moment, we have hot running water in the kitchen, but not cold. Again, don't ask.
3) I'm heading immediately to the hardware store after work, and if the kitchen gods are kind, #2 will no longer be a factor by the time Pukka gets home from work tonight at 7.

Wish me luck!