Beating the system

What is your worst nightmare, you wake up in the morning and your computer won’t boot up.   This happened to me recently and after a few attempts it gave me a message on the screen “too hot.”   I knew it was hot outside, but I didn’t realize the computer would complain about it.  But, this has happened before, and I thought I knew the culprit.  So I opened up the side of the computer and checked the fans.   There are three fans in the computer to keep the electronics cool.  I immediately noticed that when the electricity was on the main fan at the back of the computer case was not working .  I thought maybe it was not meant to work all the time, but then I saw it was covered in dust, so it must have been working a lot.  So in place of it I brought a large fan next to the computer and turned it on and then turned on the computer and it worked fine.  So I thought I had found the problem.

I took the fan to a computer store and he gave me a replacement fan off the shelf for NIS 40 ($10).  It had a different connector, but the salesman said don’t worry, connect it to any outlet from the power supply that has a compatible plug and it will work.  So I took it home and plugged it in and it worked immediately.  The hardest part was screwing it into place.  Then I rebooted the computer and it worked fine.  This was the cheapest computer fix I ever had.  The moral is don’t be intimidated by all the complexity, it can be a very simple thing that needs fixing.

Another case in point, one of our toilets has been dribbling water all the time.  Since I had replaced the lever arm that closes the inlet when the cistern is full, and since the water was still running out, even when I turned off the inlet water at the tap, I realized it must be the seal that prevents water exiting into the toilet bowl that was not working.   When I opened the top of the cistern I could see the large round rubber seal that closes off the water outlet into the pipe that exits down to the toilet.  I let all the water out and felt that seal and my fingers were black, a sure sign that the rubber was rotting.   However, I was unable to remove the central plastic column to which the rubber seal is attached.   I tried various ways, but could not do it.  So rather than break something and not be able to use the toilet I had to succumb and called my friendly plumber Amnon.

He came with two rubber seals in his pocket.  He quickly removed the lever arm that shuts off the inlet water when the cistern is full, then he quickly pulled out the central plastic column of the other part.  I did not see exactly how he did it, he just pulled it out.  I asked him how he did it and he said “its a secret, if I tell you I will be out of business.”  Perhaps I was just too afraid to pull it too hard.  Anyway he took it out, quickly replaced the round rubber seal, and put it back.  Then he also replaced the rubber seal on the inlet tube, and put it all back together and the whole process took about 5 mins.  Smiling he told me his price NIS 150 ($40), this is the price you pay for specialized knowledge.  I wonder how long I could have let the water run to equal this cost, probably about a year.   The two seals themselves actually cost probably no more than NIS 10.   At least I know in future that the central cylinder can be removed.  Simple if you know how.


3 thoughts on “Beating the system

  1. Dear Jack
    Interesting article. To assist you in future, you can find anything but anything on the computer. Just google and voila! It tells you how to remove the rubber seal.
    Good luck for future dIY!
    I always enjoy reading your blogs. Thankyou.
    Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


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