Repair Diagnoses Super Power

When I got dressed this morning in my pseudo workmen’s overalls I had no idea I was actually getting dressed to play pretend plumber. A couple of days ago I discovered that the spare toilet paper holder had gotten water in the bottom, thus ruining a whole roll of perfectly good toilet paper. Thank goodness this did not happen a year ago when toilet paper was more valuable than gold.

I chalked it up to condensation since it sat right beside the air conditioning vent. Then again today I noticed some water next to the toilet paper holder. It was a clean wet spot, but definitely wet. This was not condensation.

I dried the floor off and cleaned it with bleach cleaner. Then I put a dry piece of paper towel next to the base of the toilet and flushed the toilet. Sure enough a tiny amount of water wet the edge of the paper towel.

Proud of my detective work I called my wonderful brother team of plumbers and left a message saying, “I know you all are the professionals, but I have a leak at the base of my toilet and my best guess is the wax ring has failed.”

The plumbers were at my house within two hours and I got a gold star for my correct diagnosis. They said that it was great I called when I did, because most people don’t catch this issue fast enough and it can do major damage.

I am thankful to forty years of watching This Old House and learning what a wax ring is. If you don’t know it’s literally a big circle of wax that goes on the waste line pipe in the floor of your bathroom and the toilet sits on top of it. The wax ring makes a seal that keeps the water going where you want it.

I guess my overalls are like my superpower workmen’s cape. When I put the. On I can diagnose a home repair in a single bound, but I still need to call the experts to fix it.

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