Monday, December 8, 2008

Plumbing Phobia

I may not be a plumber but that doesn’t stop me from playing one in my own home.

I have Hydroletiphobia – a fear of the toilet overflowing. Thanks to the Internet I know I’m not alone, there are others out that share this phobia.

I know when my phobia began. I was two years old I attempted to flush a fluffy stuffed bunny and it got stuck just beyond reach. I remember with vivid details the sight of my father and his friend on their knees in the bathroom pulling the toilet away from the floor trying to reach Mr. Fluffy.

And because we only had ONE toilet in the house I had to use a white with red trim enamel chamber pot complete with lid until Daddy was done which only added to my trauma.

Just Like This One

The flipper part of one of the toilets at Quirky Cottage was sluggish and unreliable. During a trip to the local hardware store I discovered that I could replace all the inner parts for a mere $20. I had just watched HGTV segment showing how easy it was plus the box had photos showing the product going from box to toilet in five easy steps.

I was a little dismayed when I pulled the directions out to discover 27 steps. But with the addition of many more photos I was sure I could do it.

Plumbing is a dirty job

The first time I refilled the tank with water it leaked in all four possible locations for leaks. Don’t you wish you could have a sit-down with the instruction writer? It should have said, “If you are a regular at your local gym and you work out 6 days a week, hand tighten only.”

Instead, it only said, “Hand tighten only.”

I took everything apart and tool tightened all of the connections. Refilling the tank and discovering that it held water I was doing the happy puppy dance. Then I flushed it and water began to appear in ever increasing volume between the tank and the seat. I was discouraged and left the room.

Later I read and re-read the directions trying to detect what I had missed. Eventually it dawned on me that instead of shoving the gasket up against the tank I was supposed to just slide it into place.

Once again I took it apart and this time with the help of the Cottage Master we managed to get the pieces aligned correctly. We refilled the tank, flushed and with some skepticism in our abilities -- we kept looking for water leaks that never did appear.

We high fived each other and danced around. It was fun to save the $100 or more that a plumber would charged to do the job.



Melissa said...


You are full of surprises. Sounds like you can start a whole new career.

BTW! I adore the floor in the bathroom.


Kim said...

I didn't have a fear plumbling phobia until our son David came along. Since then he has flushed a friend of mine's engagement down the toilet- she had left it on the back of the toilet and got scared when someone knocked on the door. Also there was the time he removed the back of the toilet and took everything apart to see how it worked. That is how water came to spew out the top of the toilet.