If a picture paints a thousand words, then a video must paint a million. No wonder people are watching more and more videos. Not only do they provide easy entertainment, they also can explain so well how to get things done. So often now when I am confronted with a challenge, I go to YouTube and type the issue in the search box and within a few clicks I find a clip that shows me exactly what to do. And for the most part, I have been able to successfully get the desired result. That is until recently.
Enter my plumbing fixing nightmare. My toilet was having issues. After flushing, the water would just keep running unless I jiggled the handle vigorously. I lifted the lid and could see that the thing-a-ma-jig that stops the water from emptying out of the tank was not closing properly. My spirits sank as I dreaded having to call a plumber and pay lots of money. But then I thought of all the smaller projects I solved with YouTube. So I went to my computer and once again quickly found a video that explained that often times the flapper gets hardened by water impurities and it could easily be replaced.
So the following Saturday morning, I went off to hardware store and tried to look really knowledgeable when I asked the salesperson for a new flapper. The guy was not impressed. Once back home I went into the bathroom with the new flapper, turned the little toilet valve off and reached in to replace the old flapper with the new one. But when I tried to take the old part off, a plastic piece broke off. I tried putting the new flapper in but when I re-opened the water, the toilet was running worse than before. I stood there a moment feeling very annoyed with the situation, particularly with YouTube and the person in the video who didn’t warn me about this possibility.
However, I wasn’t going to give up that easily. Back to YouTube I went and asked what to do next. Another video showed me how to replace the entire contraption that was inside the toilet tank. So off to the hardware store I went again and was greeted by the same salesperson. He found the replacement part and gave me pointers. By the time I got back home, it was 6 p.m. Obsessed with finishing the project, I decided to skip dinner. Big mistake! This time, I brought my laptop into the bathroom and put it on the vanity counter so that I could watch the video as I worked. Two hours later, I finished replacing the contraption and turned the water back on. To my shock and horror, water started pouring out of the bottom of the toilet tank. Some very nasty words came out of my mouth. I then gave the cabinet door a swift kick, turned the water off and had a good cry. I was so mad at YouTube and at myself for believing those misleading videos. That was it, I was done, ready to call the plumber and pay hundreds of dollars. After twenty minutes or so, I felt much calmer having given up the struggle. Then I noticed on the floor a small rubber ring. I jumped up and replayed the video. I found out that I had forgotten to put in the rubber seal at the bottom where the contraption attaches to the tank. I felt new hope and a second wind swell up inside me. So I started the job over from the beginning. An hour later, when I turned the water back on, there was no leaking. A big fat wave of relief, and joy washed over me. I did it!
Not sure if this experience was a success or not. Sure, I saved a bunch of money but I lost my entire Saturday on the project and experienced some serious stress. Though I have a love-hate relationship with YouTube, I know that I will keep going there. One thing for sure, I will be more cautious of “easy fix” videos moving forward. I also hope my do-it-yourself experience will benefit some of you. As a wise person once said: “it is a good thing to learn caution from the misfortunes of others”.