Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Not Breaking the Tank

Today I handled my new toilet tank with all the care and tenderness that I might apply to a little puppy, resting the tank on a big Styrofoam pad that came in the shipping container. After watching it there for an hour or so, I got up the nerve to start with the first step: gentling nudging the big rubber gasket into place on the bottom of the tank.

Gently, more gently still, I slid the washers onto the two main bolts and threaded these through the little holes on the bottom of the tank--doing it this way despite my better judgement to insert the bolts later--doing it because the little instruction sheet demanded it.

Then on both knees I caressed the smooth porcelain sides of the tank, very cool to the touch and delicate, reluctant to pick it up for fear that that my fingers my bruise the surface or cause it to shatter due to my unbridled strength and ogre-like clumsiness.

And then, blindly now, because I can't actually see if the bolts align with the holes, I inch the tank down, inch by inch, over the toilet, not daring to breath or blink, until the gasket magically finds its way into the hole.

No time to relax though. The secret is in tightening the screws: too little and the tank will leak; too much and... but I can't stand the thought. So, small turn on the left screw, matching turn on the right, back and forth, gently rocking the tank to determine if mating has been achieved. And then not a scosh more, not a micro-inch more or Chaos might wrap its arms around me and never let go, throwing bits of porcelain into the air, blasting the roof off the house and leaving me as a blackened cinder on an otherwise pristine bathroom floor.

And then am I done? No. Gently, gently, I turn on the faucet and watch the water rise into the tank, but only a few inches so that I can watch for leaks.

Looks OK for now...

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