What is one of a man’s worst nightmares, getting up in the morning and finding a flood of water on the floor of the toilet. The first question, as you slog around in the water with cloths to soak it up is, “where is it coming from?” This is not always an easy question to answer, especially as in this case when there is water everywhere, on the floor, the walls, the pipes and on the water tank or cistern. Flushing the toilet and watching adds to the flood, but allows you to judge the source. Finally by taking the lid off the cistern I was able to see water squirting out of the valve on the top of the doohicky device, you know what I mean, the one that stops the water flow after the cistern is full that has the lever and float attached to it. It is also called a “thingamyjigabob,” but let’s not get too technical. What was happening was that instead of pouring nicely down the plastic tube until the valve shuts off, water was squirting everywhere, in all directions, including into my face. I quickly evaluated the situation, “we need a new doohicky.”
In order to leave the situation safe while I went to buy a doohicky I had to shut off the water to the toilet. There is a faucet (tap) to do this, but I must admit that I was not strong enough to turn it. It probably had not been turned for years and was stuck. So I had to flush the cistern to remove all the water and then take the plastic cistern off the wall and off the top if its pipe to the toilet get a good grip on the faucet. I did this and managed with a pair of plyers to turn the water off nearly completely, although it still dripped a bit. Then I went and bought a new doohicky in a shop, you try explaining what a doohicky is in Hebrew. Anyway I got a one for a few dollars and returned home and replaced the old one, no sweat.
But, things never go smoothly. When I replaced the connection to the water pipe and turned on the flow, of course there was another leak. So I fiddled with the two connections, to the water and to the cistern, and finally gave them an extra turn, and suddenly there was a crack, and one of the plastic connectors had broken. It was old and tired and so were the washers. So I rushed back to the strore and bought a replacement plastic pipe and sure enough it attached easily with the new washers and no leaks and then the doohicky worked fine and now I can go to sleep with a smile on my face, having once again defeated the forces of chaos. But, of course, I am anxious about the morrow.
In the morning I discovered another small water leak from below the cistern where it joins the pipe to the toilet. So I took the whole thing apart again, spilling half a cistern’s worth of water on the floor in the process. Then I cleaned the joint and slathered it with vaseline, the plumber’s friend. Vaseline did the trick, no more leaks