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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Replacing Two Bolts


If you read my blogs you know that I have ideas that range from enormous vacuum airships, submersible aircraft carriers, robotic lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners.  In stead of working on these projects I write about them on my blog and write science fiction action adventure novels.
The perfect example of why I am not a prolific inventor is my extreme bad luck with fixing or building things and with home repairs.  Case in point was this weekend I decided to attempt to fix something which only required changing two bolts.  My youngest boy loves to help me with any project and was excited about getting to help me and use some tools.
The project was to replace two bolts that hold the tank on the back of the toilet to the base of the toilet.  For months now the tank has been wobbly on the back of the toilet.  So for a meager investment of four dollars and something I was prepared to remove the bolts and put some new ones in and stabilize the tank on the back of the toilet.
I shut the water off behind the toilet and flushed it to drain the bulk of the water out of the tank.  The reason the tank had become wobbly is because the original bolts had become rusted and degraded to the point the tank was loose.  The original bolts were in such bad shape that they couldn't be tightened or to my later discovery removed by taking the nuts off the bolts.
After two hours of negotiating the bolts forcefully I finally removed them from the tank.  I installed the new bolts and turned the water back on to fill the tank in order to find out that through the process I cracked the tank removing the old bolts.  So I had to run to the hardware store to see if they sell just the tanks for toilets.  To my surprise they did.  I bought a new tank and ran home with it to install it on the toilet.
I had to take everything apart from the current tank and install it on the new tank only to find out that the mounting bolts from the new tank were closer together by a inch and half than where the holes were on the lower portion of the toilet.  Long story short this tank wasn't going to mount onto this toilet.  It meant now I had decisions to make, a definite trip to the hardware store and hours of work ahead of me.
My sons attention span had ran out before the first trip to the hardware store.  Five hours into this little project of switching out two bolts and I was now buying an entirely new toilet, watching a video on line on how to install a toilet, and preparing to completely tear out a toilet that hours before worked perfectly and only had a wobbly tank.
In order to spare you all the horrible details, the other things that were broke in the process, a bathroom that was partially flooded, after thirteen hours of work and three trips to the hardware store I finally had a working toilet with a tank that didn't wobble.  My plans to fix a wobbly tank and replace two bolts had cost me a small fortune and ruined my plans for the entire day.  I think I’ll stick to writing blogs and novels and leave household repairs to professionals from here on out.

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