Monday, November 27, 2006

Up to my armpits in it...

Do you know what that is in the picture
I know what it is.
I know what it is because I've fitted three of those in the last 18 months.
The latest one on Friday night when I should have been on a pub crawl in Otley.

Its a toilet flush siphon valve assembly.
And they are made by fekkwits in the far east who use the flimsiest of materials so that heavy handed females in the UK will break them when they wrench the toilet flushing lever too hard.

Lets get technical - when its at rest in your toilet cistern that green box thing (ours was clear plastic) is submerged in, and full of water. When you pull the handle to flush the toilet a panel of plastic film inside the green box is pulled up to the top of the box thus forcing all of the water in the box to run up to the top of the green thing there, and then run down the tube into the toilet - pull the handle and let go and only the water in the box will flush the toilet, pull the handle and leave it pressed down and the syphon effect of the water will drag more water down the tube with it until the cistern is empty.

There, its easy isn't it ?
Do you know how I learned all that ?
By being to skinflint to employ a proper plumber and doing all the plumbing in our house myself.
Its a piece of piss is plumbing.

So last week I got the call from the upstairs bathroom from one of the females in the household "dad the toilet won't flush - again" I knew straight away that it was the crap Taiwanese flush valve that was broken again, and I knew straight away that I would be expected to fix it immediately and that my Friday night in the pub would be replaced by me standing at the toilet cistern with my hand down inside it.

Are you bored yet ?

I don't care, I'm still pissed off about ruining my Friday night - to change that valve thing you have to take the whole of the cistern off the wall, disconnect the live feed pipe and the overflow pipe, carry the full cistern over to the bath and empty it - I didn't manage this last bit because I tipped up the wrong end and half of the water came out of the overflow and all over my legs and the bathroom floor, so that didn't help my mood very much then.

I fitted the new one pretty quick, put the cistern back on the wall then connected the water feed pipe back up, turned the local valve to switch the water back one (I've fitted local valves and flexible connections on all of the tap connections - I'm fucking ace at plumbing me) and it pissed water out everywhere.

Problem is you see the flexible connection from mains pressure feed pipe is a chrome connection whereas the input pipe the sticks out of the cistern is plastic - chrome to plastic screw thread, not good.

Oh piss off then if you're that bored, I'm going to finish this anyway.

Wrapped some more PTF tape around the plastic thread and tightened the nut up until I just got one drip every minute, good enough for me, put a bowl underneath it and made a mental note to empty it in the morning.

Got called back immediately by the wife, "that can't stay there" she yelled, pointing at the bowl, "we're supposed to be selling this house"

"They'll understand" I pleaded, "anyway, it usually stops dripping of its own accord after a few days", which is true, it does and I don't know why.

So since friday I've been tweaking the nut just a quarter turn before I go to bed, emptying the bowl then seeing how much water is there in the morning - I've got it down to one drip every five minutes now which is good enough for me but I just know that tonight I'll give it a quarter turn, something will crack and I'll be soaked again - its happened before.


Alan said...

Possibly the most fascinating post you've ever done.

Then again...

Gary said...

She's removed the bowl under the pipe today - and we've got someone looking at the house tomorrow...

"this is the bathroom, yes we know the carpet is wet, my husband is trying desperately to fix the toilet cistern leak after I broke it, he's useless you know..."

Alan said...

Hey just prior to Christmas I fitted a new low-level cistern complete with gubbins for just £23.00 very pleased, no probs and reliable..

Even included a chrome handle. I bought the Macdee Concord, from Godfreys; or try

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