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Friday, January 25, 2013

FIXING TOILETS

BRYCE ON LIFE

- Not a fun job to do, but something most of us have to face sooner or later.

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As the man of the house I have had to do a lot of odd jobs around it, everything from fixing sprinkler heads and garbage disposals to replacing lights. However, I would have to say one of the most irritating jobs to perform is fixing the toilet. Regardless how clean they are, I don't think anybody likes to work on a toilet which typically breaks down at the worst possible moment, such as just before you host a dinner party.

It seems you never have the correct parts on hand to fix the toilet. You then have to go to the hardware store where you inevitably pickup the wrong parts which forces you to return them to the store and pickup replacements. For those of you who have had to fix a toilet, wouldn't it be nice if they had standard parts so you picked up the right thing the first time? I remember one time when I picked up the wrong overflow pipe. It worked fine, but the back toilet lid sat up several inches too high. I kind of felt like the guy on the old Ed Sullivan show who spun dinner plates on top of six foot wooden sticks. The wife didn't think it was funny either.

I also had to replace the copper tubing that feeds water to the toilet with some of the new flexible tubing. These worked great but the sales clerk sold me lines that were simply too long. Now my toilet looks like its got a Boa Constrictor hiding behind the bowl.

The biggest problem though is when you have to totally replace all of the guts in the tank. No matter how you try to drain the tank before you work on it, whenever you loosen the master screw underneath it, water inevitably comes out either on the floor, you or both. I'm sure the person who designed the tank did this deliberately for a good laugh. They also designed it so all of the screws are in the most uncomfortable place possible, making it awkward at best to loosen or tighten them. In most cases you feel like Helen Keller groping around underneath the tank.

Thomas Crapper is credited with the propagation of indoor toilets, hence the use of his name to denote what you are using the toilet for. I find it somewhat ironic that the name of the person who gave us what is generally regarded as the most useful plumbing device ever is now a term we use in a derogatory sense. I wonder what would have happened had his name been something else like "Schmidlap"? Would we say, "I have to take a good schmidt"? But I guess we use something like that already.

Toilets may be invaluable indoor commodities but I wish they were easier to work on. I guess the alternative would be to go back to outhouses and Sears catalogs.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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