Toilet Seat Adventures

So we needed some new toilet seats.  One of them was outright broken.  The others were getting skanky.  Who knows how old those puppies are?  So I stopped putting off that task and headed out to get some new ones.  I went to Lowe’s in South Burlington.  The place has been open for a while but I had never been there.  I had some errands in that direction and combined tasks into one trip.  Actually two.

The thing is, I just needed some toilet seats.  Toilet seats have the potential to be embarrassing upon purchase.  Like toilet paper, everyone uses it and everyone knows what it is for, but we kind of pretend it is just another thing.  If I were a cashier ringing up the purchase of a toilet seat at Lowe’s, I would have to try hard not to picture the purchaser using the item.  See what I mean by potentially embarrassing?  For everyone involved.  Anyway, I just needed three toilet seats to replace all of the ones in our house.  I was quickly overwhelmed.

Do you have any idea how many types of toilet seats there are?  There are:

  • squishy ones
  • solid ones
  • round ones
  • oval ones
  • decorated ones
  • plain ones
  • wooden ones
  • plastic ones (heavy duty)
  • plastic ones (light duty)
  • chrome hinges
  • plastic hinges
  • nickel hinges
  • fancy new easy to clean hinges
  • slow closing lids
  • ones with no lid
  • regular old slamming if you are not careful lids
  • anti-bacterial mystery substance somehow molded right in ones
  • your standard wash it to keep the bacteria away ones
  • and my personal favorite–the one with the glittery butterfly on the soft foam lid one

Like I said, I just needed some toilet seats.  Of course, it took me way too long to decide.  I went with the nickel hinges. I mean why not? But ack! There was only one left! After all that time deciding, only one left! Quickly, I recovered. I went with one nickel plated hinge and two chrome plated hinges. The purchase was speedy because I only put one on the shelf to be scanned three times.  All the same price, right?  And I was out of there.

I installed one. I installed two. I pulled the third from the box and ack! A cracked seat! Back it went into the box and back I went to Lowe’s.  Now, on the way home the first time, I had a small amount of angst that the “associate,” or whatever employees at Lowe’s are called, scanned the nickel-hinged seat as a chrome-hinged seat. I knew it would mess with inventory, even the price was the same. Justice was served, however, as I had to deal with returning the one that was incorrectly scanned. I played dumb, of course, as if I had no idea what had happened. I hope the associate (since I am sure this is tracked somehow) doesn’t take heat for that. I did get a refund, then got another chrome-hinged toilet seat.

So we have three new toilet seats. It was a small and satisfying project, one of which I will be reminded daily (more than daily on days like today when my gut feels less than healthy, if you know what I’m saying). We also, however, have a leak in the tank of one of them, discovered upon seat replacement. When I went back for the return I looked to see if the bolts were available to fix it. I should have guessed that there are at least three types of bolts for different brands of toilets.  I don’t know what brand of toilet it is.  It’s a toilet.  So it leaks still, to be repaired soon. Stay tuned, friends, for the continuing adventures of my toilets.

Busted Garage Door

I guess I can’t say that the door itself is busted.  That actually seems just fine.  But one morning my wife tried to open it with the remote opener and Crack! Ptwang! a cable went flying and the thing wouldn’t open.

The cable was unattached at the upper end on one side, so the door doesn’t have enough pull, so to speak, for it to open on its own.  It needs some manual assistance.  Kind of a pain, but workable for the short term.

I took some time today to fix it, but no go.  There is a big fat spring that provides some major leverage.  That spring is busted.  A hook at one end is just plain old cracked, wrenched, split.  The piece that connects it to the other piece just isn’t there.  I couldn’t find it.

What likely happened is that ice was holding the door to the floor.  The previous owner had warned us of this.  “I put a little salt down,” she told me.  We never put a little salt down.  Until today, of course.  Now that the door is busted, that will help only so some extent.

This is one of those boy-that-was-stupid-situations.  Some rock salt is certainly cheaper than a house call to have someone fix the dang door.  Live and learn, eh?  I guess we keep some local business in the black by calling them up and asking for some service.

At least no one got hurt.  Isn’t that what a responsible parent is supposed to say?  So I said it.  I still feel stupid.