Sunday, April 14, 2013


hi there

OK, this is one of those peculiar posts that may be of not interest to some, but could well be fascinating to others. do bear with me, dear reader.

another universal law of children (see last post) is that if you have them in your house, things get broken. an expansion on that is that when they are of an age to use the bathroom the flush is the most awesome thing ever and they want to see it work again and again right up until it breaks, at which point you hear how it was not them that broke it.

can you take a guess as to what happened in our house?

yes, the flush on the toilet that the boys use was broken. not quite 'fubar', but broken and in need of replacement if not repair.

i am, it has to be said, a DIY disaster. i envy the vast talents that friends such as Jayson, Nayeem and Dewaldt have, and of course the kings of DIY for me, my Dad and Grandad. as Jayson and Nayeem tend to stick to cars, Dewaldt is always off camping with impressionable young boys, Dad is bothering Mersey music legends and Grandad is busy holding conversations of a stark nature with people who say "she can't have been all that bad", i had little choice but to either pay someone a large fee to fix it, or have a go myself and risk having to pay someone even more to fix the flush and whatever damage i did.

here, if for some reason you are interested, is the broken mechanism.

i did, just before he went off camping and said "oh dear me, i only brought the one sleeping bag, we will have to bunk up laddie", consult Dewaldt on the ways of buying a new toilet and having it installed. when i explained what was wrong, he said there was really no need for a new one and took me off to his supplier of choice to get a new flush mechanism. two, actually, since there are two bathrooms that the boys use.

Dewaldt then gave me a brief (he is a very busy man) but insightful rundown on how to go about installing it, and indicated that he expected to hear news of how i got on with it soon. as in, best i have got it done by the end of the weekend or i would face consequences, possibly the business end of a sleeping bag.

i had little choice, then. but to go ahead and give it a whirl. the results were somewhat surprising (very surprising, i know Dad), as i managed to get it installed with no damage at all, unless you want to get a touch pedantic and point out a few drops of water hit the ground!

i am in no way an expert on what goes on in the world of toilet mechanisms, for i am not my friend Spiros, but i must say this one looks rather snazzy. i am, needless to say, well impressed with the fact that i managed to do this all by myself (well, Michele made me a cup of tea) and did it properly!

the trick, if i may be so bold as to forward advice, is to basically do the obvious. make sure you have switched the water off for the toilet (there's usually a little tap on or near the pipe feeding in to it) before you start, make sure you have unscrewed and disconnected everything before you take the flushy bit off and, with thanks to Dewaldt on this one, make sure you put it down on cushions and/or towels so you don't break it as you fix it, it being some sort of ceramic thing.

here it is filled with water, lest you think i just shoved the above in to simply show off.

wow. i can hardly believe that i managed to do this "on my own", although the guidance and encouragement of Dewaldt must not be underplayed. to some reading this it all probably seems like a big fuss over a nothing, straightforward job, which is fair enough. i'm one of those many who are terrified at the prospect of this kind of thing, the fear being you break things as you don't know what you are doing and make the damage worse.

victory is mine, then, and to show off, here's a picture of the new flush button!

it's one of those two speed, "half flush or full flush" button things, designed presumably to help save water. in Keith Richards terms, you would use the "i" button when the coppers call and you only have a few lines of cocaine to dispose of before assisting the constabulary, the "ii" button being used when you have a significant amount of coke, plus some grass and probably a few unspecified pills that need to be vanished before you say "how i can i help you, officer?".

if you are reading this because you have a broken toilet, your fixing skills are of my level and you are contemplating having the toilet menders come in and revamp the whole thing, well, your decision. armed with the advice from Dewaldt and pretty much technical jargon-free instructions in the parts package, i found this to be, from start to finish, an hour long job and relatively straightforward. you may not, so proceed with caution. if the flush in your toilet is knacked, though, then as long as you switch the water off first you have little to lose in having a go yourself, so long as you ensure you don't drop and break the top bit. cistern, it might be called.

i wonder what i should have a  go at mending next? i do have a class drill here, after all.....

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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