Before we bought the house, we knew from the disclosures that the downstairs toilet was loose. A plumber we had at the house earlier had told us that since the seal wasn’t leaking, we could probably just tighten the screws holding the bowl to the floor a bit, but not so much that the porcelain bowl cracked. This sounded easy enough for me, so I attempted it one evening.
Well, in the process of tightening the screws, I must have moved the water reservoir tank, because it started leaking quickly on one side where a screw held the tank to the base of the toilet. To avoid a flood, I shut off the water supply and flushed the toilet to get out as much water as possible, then inspected the screw.
It looked like the screw and the rubber gasket that were supposed to prevent the water from leaking out had come loose. I didn’t know what to do about the leakage, so I suggested to Pamela that we replace the toilet. Luckily, she quickly shot me down and said that we could probably just replace the screw assembly. (Now that I’m thinking about it again after the fact, we might have been able to fix the problem just by tightening the existing screw, but that didn’t occur to me at the time…)
Anyway, she was right, of course. I went to Home Depot (they’ve been getting a lot of business from us lately) and found that they sell replacement parts for exactly this problem. I bought the little bag of parts (two screws, some rubber gaskets, washers, nuts, etc.) for our brand of toilet.
Back at home, it was a messy but straightforward repair process. I unscrewed the tank from the base of the toilet and the water supply, cleaned it up a bit, then followed the instructions on the bag to reassemble everything with the new parts. I was a bit surprised when I turned the water supply back on and everything worked! No leaks, no bugs, no additional feature requests. Whew.
I think this makes me a level 2 homeowner. Still noob, but a little more experienced.