Drip, drip, drip

We had a defective faucet (tap) in the sink in our toilet, so Amram the smiling plumber replaced it for a fee.  But, from the first the faucet kept dripping.  I am sure everyone has suffered from a dripping faucet.  I complained to him and he said, “just turn it hard.”  But, the females in our house were unable to do this, and even I, with my greater wrist strength could not stop it dripping.  I checked the water main outside our door as Amram told me to do and sure enough the tiny rotor was turning around quite fast, indicating water leakage even when none was being used.

So after procrastinating for several weeks, I finally did what was necessary, I turned the water off at the main (since there was no local shut-off), and opened the faucet up using a screw driver to take off the handle and a wrench to remove the internal mechanism.  Then the washer was revealed, the rubber item that actually seals off the water when the handle is turned off.

There are two main kinds of washer, round ones with holes in and what are called “top hat” washers, because they are shaped of course like a top hat.   The one in this faucet was a modified top hat washer, with a  smaller rim than usual.  The flat end of the internal mechanism goes down when you turn the handle and the washer fits into the flat end of the water inlet.   But the washer’s surface has been indented due to use and therefore the water escapes through even when it is closed, thus causing the dripping.

How to stop this?  I had an idea, I took some black electrical tape and folded it over several times, then I cut it around to fit under the base of the washer.  This raises the washer by a very small amount, say 1 mm. And after I reassembled it, guess what, no dripping, even from the females!  I think Amram would be proud of me.  I should buy a new washer, but how do you explain a “modified top hat washer” in Hebrew.

While I was at it, I kept hearing a shushing sound from the toilet tank.  I knew that there was a leak and no amount of adjusting the arm of the flushing mechanism would change that.  So I bought a new arm mechanism (NIS 40, $10) and replaced it and lo and behold no more leak.  Still the little rotor in the water meter keeps turning around slowly.  There must be another mysterious leak, but where?


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