Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Seeking Corporate Sponsorship!

Hi, everybody. I'm sorry I haven't blogged about fixing a toilet lately. I really intended to write exclusively about fixing toilets, but to my surprise, there aren't many toilet issues cropping up lately.

In the meantime, I fixed the backstage slop sink at the Access on Monday night. I thought I'd take a moment to appreciate two special plumbing goodies: teflon tape and silicone adhesive. Anyway, the drain pipe was leaking and, upon closer inspection, I noticed that the 1 5/8" nut that attaches the drain to the tail piece had a bad fit.

Now there's nothing like teflon tape for fixing a problem like this. You just take a good length of tape, wrap it around the pipe threads in a contrary direction to the tightening of the nut, and even a poorly fitting nut becomes watertight.

Unfortunately, the tool room was a mess and I couldn't find any tape. Instead, I found a caulking gun with a tube of silicone adhesive. This works just as well as the teflon tape, but it's just a little messier. I gooped the whole joint and then washed the adhesive from my ten fingers with the best available solvent, a bottle of bay rum. Mission accomplished!

Now there are lots of plumbing parts on a toilet, so teflon tape and silicone adhesive belong in any toilet-fixer's tool kit. So I'm appealing to teflon and silicone manufacturers to sponsor my blog. In exchange, I'll conspicuously use your product on each of my toilet fixes. I'll also wear your t-shirt in the pictures. Sound fair? Send me an email and let's get this PR party started!


Friday, October 20, 2006

Art Imitates Life (What Else?)

I want to thank Professor of the Drama, Dr. Floyd Britchcraft for this delightful new play, wherein a benevolent toilet-fixer based on yours truly banishes the devil from a haunted toilet.

Interestingly enough, this piece was inspired by an actual incident from my experience as a building superintendent, in which I replaced a rusted flusher arm for the francophone family on the fourth floor.

The devil wasn't actually in the toilet, however; he was waiting for me out in the hall.

Much gratitude to you, esteemed Dr. Britchcraft. Please send my love to your mother and the kitties, little Mittens, Spelt, and Prue.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Toilet Emergency Phrasebook: Western Hemisphere Ed.

As a service to my readers, I'm presenting this handy emergency phrasebook in the predominant languages of the Western Hemisphere.

English (US, Canada): Please, where is your toilet plunger?

Espanish (Mexico, Central and South America): ¿Dónde es tu tocador émbolo?

La French (Quebec): Où est votre toilette plongeur?

Portuguese (Brazil): Onde é seu toalete atuador? (Pron: "Blau blau blau!")

Let me know if this is useful! I could follow up with more guides in the future. For instance, 1) Central Europe, 2) your favorite Pacific Rim nations, and 3) the Indian Subcontinent (with 4000 languages, but only one kind of food: Indian).


Bad Motor Flusher!

As I promised on Friday, I attacked the flusher problem on my own toilet with the kind of ferocity that befits a toilet barbarian like myself. I'm happy to report that the flusher now fires like a cannon at the slightest pressure on the flush handle.

The problem was somewhat different than I anticipated. Instead of an air-pocket flapper, the flush is actuated by a non-buoyant flat-flapper and an attached foam "floater", a contraption that I haven't encountered before. I also noticed that the flusher arm is offset diagonally from the handle rotation, which reduces the mechaniacal advantage of the flusher arm and makes the precise tuning of the chain length a particularly important factor.

I adjudged the foam floater to be an eco-friendly modification that allows the flapper to close before the tank is empty, thereby reducing overall flush volume; I raised the floater position to save a little more water, because I care about the enviroment. (Earth: Love it or leave it.) I also lowered the valve arm by loosening the nylon nut on the adjusting joint and choosing a more simpatico position for the floater ball.

Then I removed the ball-chain from the clip on the flusher arm and shortened the free chain length until the flapper was just barely closed--essentially giving my flusher handle a "hair-trigger". Finally, I closed up the patient and performed a few trial flushes. Success! My toilet is now a high-performance, hot-roddin', fast-flushin', waste-evacuatin' machine with improved per-flush water economy. Fool, you can't touch this!

On a personal note: my father visited my blog for the first time this weekend. This was particularly poignant for him, since he has always claimed to be responsible for my "crappy sense of humor" (no pun intended). As much as I yearn for his approval, I don't think there's anything funny about how totally supreme I am at fixing toilets...period. So stop laughing.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Big Weekend Plans!

Saturday night's alright for fighting! We have a situation with the toilet in me and the missus' new apartment. You have to hold the handle down for a five-count before the flushing begins in earnest.

My theory is that we've got an air-pocket style flapper and an extra long chain, meaning that it's taking some time for the flapper to open wide enough for a strong waterflow through the flush valve. The chain is the ball-link style-- familiar to most from military dogtag chains or raver jewelry-- as opposed to the more familiar chain-link, so it's a little tricker to shorten.

It's a good thing I live there instead of someone else. Oh--and also that I have the whole weekend to fix it. Tune in on Monday! I'll let you know how it went.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Employee Suggestion Box

This is a Men's Room I recently visited in midtown. Note the infrared proximity detector that operates the flushing apparatus. Considering the fact that we're in the Men's Room, I would suggest upgrading to an automatic triple-flusher. Note also the can of Lysol on the bowl. This could be more automatic as well, methinks, but it's better than a pink urinal cake strapped to the side. B+


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Crapgate: House Official Implicated in Sordid Photo Scandal

Flushes with Coyotes stirred up some controversy over yesterday's post by claiming that the linked photo was actually an image of someone else's toilet. Confession: I am a Gay American. Also, I borrowed a picture of a toilet from Flickr as a placeholder until I was able to get the actual image off of my camera-phone. I'm so sorry.

In point of fact, the toilet was running and evidentally had been doing so for weeks. The problem was verifiably resolved as reported in the post. Any statements to the contrary are, as Condoleeza Rice would say, flatly false.

Some figures in the administration claim to have notified the proper authorities according to prescribed procedures; this is also untrue. It appears that the critical situation was effectively covered up by certain individuals who have more secrets to hide. Like other "controversies" that Access Management has deposited in the back bathroom, this incident will continue to stink the place up until full accountability has been established.

So here's some wisdom for you to squat over, Flushes: "He who faked it, baked it."


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dressing room toilet running (for weeks!)

Here's the dressing room toilet behind the stage space at the Access. Stephen text messaged me with a report that it had been running (silent, solitary, alone), possibly for weeks. I took the tank lid off and noted that the flusher chain was unusually long and was dangling into the flusher valve, which prevented the Flapper from making a good seal. So water had been flowing from the inlet through the flusher without ever filling the tank completely. I shortened the chain by looping the free end back onto the flusher rod. Problem solved! Then I had the idea for this blog. Get ready for more excitement!