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Dawn Damalas Meehan is a single mom living in Orlando with her six children, ages 17 to 6. She's the author of Because I Said So and You'll Lose the Baby Weight (and Other Lies About Pregnancy and Childbirth). When she's not blogging, she can be found playing chauffeur, getting buried under a mountain of laundry, or explaining to her kids why they can't have an indoor Slip 'N Slide or a pet squirrel.

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This is Why You Should Teach Your Kids How to Fix a Toilet

By Dawn Damalas Meehan |

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The toilet in my bathroom has been making this trickling sound for a good month now. Water constantly dribbles into the bowl, which wouldn’t be so bad, but my bathroom is connected to my bedroom — and for someone who has given birth 6 times (thus has no bladder control), the unending sound of running water was causing me to awaken every night. I first tried to fix it by simply closing the door to the bathroom. Voila! No dripping water sounds. After a couple weeks, however, the drip morphed into a steady current. Then it progressed to a torrent. Then I started worrying about my water bill.

Yesterday I decided that I couldn’t put it off any longer. I ran up to Ace after work and walked to the aisle labeled “plumbing/toilets.” I stood there for a minute staring at the shelves as if I had a clue what I needed. When nothing jumped out at me, I admitted that I had no idea what I was doing and I hunted down a helpful hardware man.

“Water keeps trickling from the tank to the bowl of my toilet. Here, I took a picture of the tank,” I stated as I showed him the picture on my phone.

“You need to replace the flapper,” he said handing me a package with a small rubber disc. He continued, “But I would replace the entire thing. You have an old system and you’ll probably have to replace other parts soon. This one,” he indicated a box on the shelf, “is more efficient and will save you water.”

I eyed the box full of parts. “How hard is it to do?” I asked warily.

“It’s pretty easy. You have to take the tank off though.”

“Whaaaat? Take the tank off?! That’s way beyond my capabilities. I think I’ll just replace the flapper,” I said, looking at the package in my hand, wondering if I’d even be able to manage that.

“It’s really not hard to take the tank off. You’ll just need 2 hands so you don’t drop it or it’ll break and it’s hard to find a replacement tank that will fit so you’ll probably need to replace the whole thing if you break it.”

I just stared at him. “Do you need a bunch of tools to fix it?”

“You just need a screwdriver and a crescent wrench.”

“I have no idea what a crescent wrench is. I know what crescent rolls are though. Mmmmm, I could go for some crescent rolls,” I drooled a little. Then, snapping back to the present,”I pretty much only have a butter knife and a shoe.”

Another guy standing in the aisle overheard me and laughed. He laughed! He didn’t offer to come over and fix my toilet for me, no. He laughed.

At this point, the Ace guy changed his mind. “Actually, you should probably just replace the flapper. This is all you need,” he pointed to the package in my hand.

“No. Now it’s a quest! Now, I have to fix it the right way! I have to take it apart or die trying!”

He looked at me, mouth open, brow creased, eyebrows raised.

I shrugged. “I need a blog post.”

So this is how I fixed my toilet.

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This is Why You Should Teach Your Kids How to Fix a Toilet

Everything You Need

Since it says that it includes everything I need, naturally I assumed Ty Pennington was in the box. He wasn’t. Lie #1.

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About Dawn Damalas Meehan

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Dawn Damalas Meehan

Dawn Damalas Meehan is a single mom living in Orlando with her six children, ages 17 to 6. She's the author of Because I Said So and You'll Lose the Baby Weight (and Other Lies About Pregnancy and Childbirth). Read bio and latest posts → Read Dawn's latest posts →

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2 thoughts on “This is Why You Should Teach Your Kids How to Fix a Toilet

  1. Ruby says:

    Good for you! I am also teaching my kids to kill all the bugs, so they won’t be weenies like me.

    My ex-MIL once sat down on a toilet without checking, which really irritated the 7 scorpions between the seat and the rim, who blamed her for ruining their nap.

  2. Tina says:

    Proud of you…I grew up in a home where my Dad knew the phone number for every repair man, but never fixed a thing for himself (which was probably cheaper in the long run!)

    Newly divorced, I’m like you and can’t afford to call people to fix things, and agree with you that the sense of accomplishment is wonderful! Just saved myself $129 last week by fixing something myself.

    Now…to figure out how to fix the latch on my door so it stops opening by itself.

    You have inspired me to much over the years to just do it myself! Girl Power!

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