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Friday, 26 April 2013

Toiling in the mens’ room.


And the ladies room for that matter. Toilets in FE towers are unisex. I wouldn’t like to be classed as anti feminist.

Let me cut to the chase, though you’ll wish I hadn’t.

There was one of those little jobs that I have been meaning to get around to for some weeks. Fixing the downstairs Loo. (Toilet for those who are not used to colloquial English).

The problem with this porcelain edifice was that it was failing to flush without handling the flushing lever like a demented person who has been affected by Sarin nerve gas. (Topical).

Now my cistern is of the type that has a little silver handle on the front, that when activated, empties the contents in one fell swoop into the toilet bowl. Thus flushing the accrued detritus away in one foul swoop. (Hah).

Amazingly when I interrogated the web site of a well known purveyor of DIY items (Starts with a “B” & ends with a “Q”), nowhere could I find a simple, one flush mechanism. They seem to think that we all want a duel flush system. Having had to unblock the bathroom toilet on boxing day two years ago has turned me off from these spawns of  Satan.

However another well known DIY store (Begins with “Home”) actually had what I needed.

Bye now your thinking that I’m going to tell you some tale of woe as the post about my plumbing exploits I regaled you with. Far from it. I sailed through the replacement without a hitch.

What I did not realise is the built in obsolescence of the water lifting diaphragm on both the old mechanism and the new. A piece of plastic sheet less than the thickness of a carrier bag. If I’d known this before the replacement, I would have repaired the old mechanism with a piece of plastic sheet from a heavy duty bin bag.

I won’t be caught twice.

You can got to sleep now.


  1. Been there, done that, the plastic diaphram that lifts the water and starts the syphon lasts a few years then splits.
    We still have plumber's merchants round here, I always use them, (and builder's merchants for household bits) rather than the DIY stores. Quality is usually better (if less flashy and designery) and nowadays they are often much cheaper.

  2. I put in a couple of dual flush units some time ago (from the plumbers merchants) plus filled the cisterns with half filled water bottles to reduce any chance of floating and have seen a good sized drop in water usage. We now use about 0.55M^3 per day instead of .65M^3 which over a year is a useful saving at over £2.00 a M^3 for water and sewage. (Family of 5 with teens and 20 yrs old)


  3. At least you have shins and when they fail they don't flush. Newer toilets must use EU approved flushes, either a rubber flap pulled upwards, or a sliding tube valve with a rubber seal. When those seals fail, it will leak continuously down the flush pipe, bad news if you are on a water meter.


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