The worst home repair job I ever did involved duct tape (as do most terrible repair jobs). We have all attempted to fix something that broke using duct tape or some other method we Googled. We do this because we don’t want to spend the money to hire a professional to fix that leaky water heater or repair that broken glass. Sometimes we think that we know what we’re doing when we clearly don’t.
Hint: If duct tape is the only tool in your repair kit, you don’t have a clue.
I live in an apartment now, and the repair jobs I’ve attempted were simple ones. Sure I could call in a work order and hope that our maintenance men, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, come and fix it.Of course, this will take anywhere from three days, to four weeks, generally when they feel like getting around to it. So, I am often left to attempt to fix stuff on my own, and can only fix it just “enough” until they get here. However, messing up a repair like that(especially if you don’t own the property) that can cause water damage in an apartment, is a sure-fire way to get the maintenance men to actually come by.
One night, my toilet broke while I was asleep. To this date I don’t know how it happened, but it started leaking and would not flush correctly. So after a week of a slightly flooded bathroom every morning, I attempted to repair it, using everyone’s favorite DIY repair tool, duct tape. I quickly learned that duct tape was not the ideal tool to use for a broken toilet.
Again, I didn’t want to call maintenance, I was afraid that I may have incurred charges. I figured if I closed the water valve, I would be able to drain the tank and do some kind of repair. For some reason, I thought that I could simply use a lot of duct tape to prevent the water from leaking. So out came the duct tape, and I wrapped the area around the water valve as much as possible.
Whatever I had done, caused the toilet to really go overboard. All of a sudden, I see that I have stepped in a puddle of water, and I was in my kitchen. So I ended up having to call the emergency line, which they did come in a hurry. They said it was a ridiculous easy fix, all that it needed was a new chain and flapper, which even I could have fixed if I wasn’t trying to be cheap. So now I had the pleasure of soaking up a few gallons of water, without a mop. In hindsight, I think I turned the water valve all the way up because I didn’t know what I was doing.
I’m much older now, and not so cheap or arrogant to try to get away with home repairs now. Even the small ones aren’t worth the inherit risk, especially if it is someone else’s job to do it.It is a mistake I won’t repeat anytime soon.