Monday, October 24, 2011

Toilet talk

When we moved in we discovered our toilet seat was broken. It would move around when you sat on it and often just come apart from the toilet completely. Many times I walked in the bathroom to find it on the floor with only a gaping hole to sit on.

I guess old habits die hard as my first response to this problem was to go to the store and buy a new one. Typical consumer, right? While in town I looked at new toilet seats. They cost $15-20 and all had something I didn't like: cushioned seat, cutesy pictures on the lid, etc. So I went back home to come up with a new solution. I looked the toilet seat over. There was nothing wrong with it. The problem was it was held on by two plastic bolts. Like this:

A slightly blurry plastic bolt and nut

The plastic nuts kept slipping off and one of them had been lost forever. This was the cause of the wobbliness and falling apart of the seat.

So, I walked back to the store, taking my plastic nut with me. I found a metal bolt and nut approximately the same size for 79 cents. I got two of them for a grand total of $1.58. I took them back home, screwed on the toilet seat and check it out!

Notice the metal bolts!

The toilet seat is fixed. I saved at least $13.42 and it didn't take much time or effort.


Its unlikely that you'll have the exact same problem with your toilet seat, but I wanted to share my story to encourage you to resist that first impulse to "just buy a new one" and try working with what you've got. You might save money, save something from going in the landfill and learn something along the way.

What's your most money saving do-it-yourself repair?

1 comment:

  1. With all of the rain in Springfield lately, I've frequently been using the mini umbrella I keep in my purse at all times. One day when I tried to close it, it wouldn't close all the way. From then on, every time I opened it, there was one droopy side, and again, the non-closing issue. I got frustrated and told myself, "Well, you get what you pay for." Each time I was at the store, I forgot to get a replacement, so I just kept using the broken umbrella for weeks. One day at work, before going out in the rain again, I took a good look at the broken side and realized it was just a bent wire that was unhooked from its proper place. I borrowed some needle nose pliers from a coworker, messed with the wire for a few minutes, and (like you) TA DA! It was fixed. No cost to me, I felt proud that I fixed it myself, and now my umbrella looks normal without the droopy side which always embarrassed me and left my backside wet. Sigh. Sometimes it's so easy to save money that it's not even funny.


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