scribbles tagged ‘plumber’

cistern valve spigots

Thursday, April 7th, 2011 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

The Wendy House toilet has a high wall-mounted cistern. Fabulous water pressure flushes the toilet with a gravity induced whoooooosh.

Piping to toilet cisternBut the cistern has always filled slowly with a noisy trickle of water. The whole arrangement is reminiscent of Victorian school washrooms. While waiting 15 minutes for the cistern to fill is not a problem when I am alone, for guests  it introduces a timing problem at peak use times.

With an imminent Wendy House party, home improvements are on the menu. Replacing the limescale clogged cistern valve. Yay. No problem. Or so I thought. A quick trip to the DIY shop where the sales assistant didn’t even know what a valve that controls the waterflow into the tank above the toilet was. Sigh. I picked the valve that looked most like the one already installed and toddled off home. So far so good. I switched off the water supply to the house then climbed on a tall bar stool to reach the cistern, remove the lid and start trying to unscrew the current valve.

Things started going wrong. A bit of the old valve broke off in my hand. A close inspection of the instructions for the new valve revealed that despite diagrams I could now work out what this meant

fit ballvalve using backnut(s) provided and ensure that the spigot(s) are used to centralise the tail of the hose

The backnut, spigots, tail nor hose were labelled in any of the 4 diagrams. Quickly I resoted to visual matching, make the new one look like the old one currently looks (without the limescale or broken bit). Then I realised that I would probably have to take part of the wall away to access the pipes.

The doorbell rang

Hello I’m Rob White and I’m canvassing for the Green party in May’s election. Can I ask you if you know whether you are going to vote in the election

yes

I can ask you, you know if you’re going to vote, or you are going to vote?

errr… ..um, I am going to vote

Are you going to vote for the Green party?

Valve in hand, I look at the two young perky faced boys on my doorstep

Have either of you ever changed a cistern valve?

Oh no, that’s very complicated, I’d call a plumber, you’re a brave person

They start backing away slowly as if I’m holding a loaded weapon. I’ve replaced cistern valves before. Normally its a couple of minutes, an easy job. Their lack of willingness and skill is a tad disappointing. I reassure them about my vote and non-violent intentions then call Kevin.

Wonderful Kevin sorts out my cistern with Canadian calm

Cistern refill time has sucessfully been upgraded from a 15 minute trickle to a 30 second flow. Result! Almost grounds for a proposal.

cistern valve spigots
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new stop cock

Saturday, December 6th, 2008 | tags: , , , , ,  |

new stopcockThis weekend Kevin popped around with his supped-up white van and extensive De-Walt toolkit.   Kevin replaced the stop cock under the kitchen sink,   replaced a couple of washers,   showed me his toolkit and van customisations, offered me a half-price radiator, discussed replacing my kitchen, explained about the Canadian plummer training system,  and told me  about his courtcase against a tap manufacturer because their tap design is just so silly it breaks within 6 months and he’d installed 26 of them in a rich client’s house.  

part of Kevin's toolkitKevins weekly visits are definitely one of life’s luxuries.

new stop cock
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cold… …water

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

The combination boiler rattles in the kitchen,   warming water and pumping it around the Wendy House 5  radiators.  

Outside,   water on the patio has already  frozen.   Temperatures of minus 3 centigrade are predicted tonight.

Combination boiler
Inside, the radiator-free  kitchen releases a trickle of water from beneath the kitchen units.    A leaking pipe?   A phone call to Kevin.  

I discover that the mobile phone service doesn’t work when my head and mobile phone are both in the cupboard under the chilly  kitchen sink while I  try to answer Kevin’s questions,   to determine how many millimetres thick are the pipes that lead to and from my suspiciously rusty stop-tap.    

Will the pipes survive the predicted below freezing temperatures of the night?   Stay tuned for the leaky-pipe fly-on-the-wall,  phone-under-the-sink, real life potential plumbing drama.

cold… …water
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my very own set of rods

Thursday, November 20th, 2008 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Blocked drainKevin the Canadian wonder plumber stopped by.   Some people have implied that my unreserved praise of Kevin  may not be motivated by plumming necessities.    Heres a summary of our November rendezvous at The Wendy House:

1) 2 weeks ago to fix the hot water hose on my washing machine.

2) 1 week ago to fix the leaking bathroom sink plughole pipe.

3) this week to unblock the bathroom drain.

After unblocking the drain Kevin gave me, for free, his spare set of rods and tuition on how to unblock the drain myself.   Awesome,   with Kevins thoughtful tution I am gradually learning the basics of how to look after my home.   Kevins outstanding full service cost less than the basic call-out charge of any of the online drainage services.

my very own set of rods
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