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June 4th, 2014

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Home Maintenance Goes Down The Toilet

SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK


            In honor of my son-in-law coming over to replace the toilet in my house—as far as I know, the old one was original equipment—here’s the story from a few months back, about what happened that led to its retirement.


            The best possible advice about home improvement comes in two simple words:

            Call. A. Professional.

            Okay, that’s three words. I screwed it up, just as I screw up every attempt to fix my home’s ancient and decrepit pluming. It’s a story old as time, just like my house.

            I used to be smart about it. I used to rent. Sure, there was the possibility of an uncaring landlord who wouldn’t fix something, but at least it was on them, and not me.

            But nooooo …. I had to buy a house.

            My first attempt at home repair was to replace a leaky trap underneath my kitchen sink. A trap is the little curvy thing that keeps sewer gases from coming up, and also serves as the last line of defense against permanently lost wedding rings. My trap was of metal made in the 18 something’s, which was now no line of anything.

           I didn’t know plumbing metal could get brittle. When I couldn’t get the couplings to turn, I hooked on a wrench and gave it a good, hard pull. The trap exploded in my face. It was a trap!Collapse )

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