Just after I moved into this house, the flush on the toilet stopped working. Well, actually, it usually just DIDN’T stop working. Every time you pressed the button, the flush would continue until you removed the cistern cover and pushed & prodded things. So, mistakenly assuming that I was a capable, rational human being – I decided that this was something I could handle without any problems at all.
Firstly, there was the trip to the hardware store, where in horror, I found a multitude of different “flushy things” for the toilet. Now this dear friends, is where the embarassment started…
Hardware store guy: “Can I help you?”
Me: “I need a flushy thing for my toilet”
Hardware store guy: “A flushy thing?”
Hardware store guy: “What type of toilet is it for?”
Me (Triumphantly, sounding like I was answering the million dollar question): “A white one!”
Hardware store guy(suddenly realising it was a baaaaaad day): “A white one. Do you happen to know what brand?”
Me: “There’s brands?”
Hardware store guy: “OK, what does it look like?” Leading me over to the toilet display… “Does it look like any of these?”
Me: “Oh, yes, it’s like that one”
Hardware store guy: “Are you sure”
Hardware store guy: “Really sure”
Me: “Yes, but a bit different – mine has pink bits” (oh my god, did I really just say that)
Hardware store guy: “Okay, I’m pretty sure this is what you need” He hands me a flushy thing
Me: “Okay, but what if it doesn’t fit”
Hardware store guy: “Take the old one out, if they’re not the same, BRING (his emphasis, not mine) the old one in and I’ll know exactly what you need”
I return home in triumph, proudly clutching my new flushy thing. Time to tackle the big job. Firstly, showing an uncommon amount of good sense for me, I turn the tap off, so that water won’t be flooding into the area I’m working on. The toilet bits come apart surprisingly easily, the new flushy thing is exactly the same as the old flushy thing, except a whole lot cleaner. I assemble the flushy thing, insert it into the tank and put everything back together. Easy peasy! So I cleaned up the mess and put everything in the bin. Including a little rubber thingo that with hindsight, did look suspiciously new. But hey, it was working, so there’s no way it could have been an important little rubber thing.
A couple of hours later, walking past the bathroom, I noticed that there was a sound of running water and the carpet was unusually damp. Hmmm, gingerly, I open the door only to be swept down the hall by the gushing water. OK, so that’s an exaggeration, but it does sound good. In reality, there’s about 1cm of water all over the floor and it’s not stopping gushing out the bottom of the cistern. Wading through the mess (ugh – toilet water)! I turn of the water supply to the cistern and pull everything apart and reinstall the flushy thing again. This time, I actually waited for the cistern to fill before I left the room and sure enough, it starts as a little trickle, but pretty soon, water is pouring. Again, off goes the water and I toddle outside to hang upside down over the wheelie bin to try to find the instructions.
*Note: If all else fails, read the instructions.
Ahhhh – it dawns on me that the sealing ring mentioned, looks incredibly like the extraneous little rubber thing. See if they labeled them properly, I’d know! So reassembling the whole thing, using ALL the parts that came in the box, I once again try installing the flushy thing. Woo hoo! All is good in the world, my toilet now stops flushing, the water is only in the places where water should be, and I’ve learnt a few lessons…
* Lesson #1: If something needs replacing and it’s removable, take it to the shop with you.
* Lesson #2: If someone tells you good service no longer exists, get them to go to my hardware store. They have the patience of a saint and don’t make you feel like a total twit, even when you are.
* Lesson #3: A flushy thing is also known as a “flush valve”
* Lesson #4: Just because you don’t know what something is for, doesn’t mean it’s not important.
* Lesson #5: Don’t throw the instructions in the bin until you’re sure everything is OK, unless you’re tall enough to reach the bottom of the bin without having an embarassing accident.