Cheap and easy bath­room fixes

Lesotho Times - - Property -

IF your toi­let won’t shut off, you can try jig­gling the han­dle. It might work. When you get tired of that — and you will — it’s time for a more proac­tive ap­proach, and that doesn’t al­ways mean pick­ing up the phone.

Flush­ing a toi­let sends wa­ter from the tank through the siphon and rim holes to push wa­ter into the bowl through the in­te­gral trap. Res­i­den­tial toi­lets are re­mark­ably sim­ple, and most can be fixed for un­der R50. The trick is in di­ag­nos­ing the prob­lem.

Toi­let types There are three main toi­let types: grav­ity-flow, pres­sure-as­sist and a few older, silent-flush mod­els. The last kind is best left to plumbers.

Grav­ity-flow toi­lets use head pres­sure, or the weight of the wa­ter in the tank to push the waste­water over the bowl’s in­te­gral trap. The taller the col­umn of wa­ter, the greater the down­ward pres­sure.

All grav­ity-flow toi­lets have two main com­po­nents: a fill valve that brings wa­ter into the tank, and a flush valve that sends wa­ter from the tank to the bowl.

When a toi­let like this acts up, re­move the tank lid and watch the flush. Most prob­lems can be spot­ted read­ily.

Pres­sure-as­sist toi­lets use wa­ter pres­sure to com­press and store air in a plas­tic tank. a burst of air is re­leased with each flush, which helps clear the bowl.

Th­ese toi­lets re­quire a dif­fer­ent re­pair ap­proach from the grav­i­tyflow mod­els. A slug­gish flush in a pres­sure-as­sist toi­let can orig­i­nate from a leak­ing flush valve or a fouled air in­ducer.

1. In­ter­mit­tent run­ning When a flush valve in a grav­i­tyflow toi­let leaks, it causes the toi­let to run in­ter­mit­tently.

To re­move a de­fec­tive tank ball, the tra­di­tional flush-valve de­sign, shut off the wa­ter and un­thread the ball from the lift wire. Run a fin­ger around the valve seat to check for min­eral build-up or pit­ting.

If the valve seat is not pit­ted but feels rough, scuff it with a scour­ing pad, then in­stall a new tank ball.

Watch the tank ball fall onto the valve seat dur­ing sev­eral flushes. If it lands off-cen­tre, ad­just the liftwire guide to the right or left.

A flap­per valve is an in­ex­pen­sive fix for a leaky tank-ball flush valve.

Buy a con­ver­sion kit and re­move the old lift wire and guide. Slide the mount­ing col­lar down the over­flow tube.

Hook the flap­per wings over the col­lar pegs and make sure the flap- per is cen­tred over the valve seat. Then at­tach the flap­per chain or rib­bon to the flush lever.

a pit­ted valve seat can­not be re­paired, so you’ll need to re­place the valve or in­stall a re­place­ment seat.

To re­place a flush valve or leak­ing spud (tank-to-bowl) gas­ket, you’ll need to re­move the tank. Drain the tank and use a long screw­driver and ad­justable wrench to re­move the brass bolts at the bot­tom of the tank.

Lift the tank off, turn it up­side down on the floor and use large pli­ers to re­move the jamb nut that holds the valve in place.

Next, clean the area around the tank hole. In­stall the new flush valve with the valve off­set ori­ented away from the fill valve. Coat the new gas­ket be­fore mount­ing the tank on the bowl.

2. Con­tin­u­ous run­ning If the toi­let runs con­tin­u­ously in a faint trickle, look to the fill valve. In this case, the prob­lem lies with the ball cock, a com­mon valve that uses a float mounted on an arm to shut the valve when the tank wa­ter has reached the cor­rect level.

Re­move the di­aphragm screws and look for sand or min­eral grit

3. SLUG­GISH FLUSH If your grav­ity-flow toi­let flushes slug­gishly, use a stiff wire to clean min­eral build-up from the siphon hole in the bowl.

Ream the holes un­der the rim as well.

If your pres­sure-as­sist toi­let flushes slug­gishly, re­move the tank lid and look for wa­ter around the top of the flush-valve car­tridge. If you find wa­ter, re­place the car­tridge.

First, re­lease in­ter­nal pres­sure by turn­ing off the wa­ter sup­ply and hold­ing the flush lever down for one minute. Insert plier han­dles into the top of the valve and back the car­tridge out.

Check your owner’s man­ual to see if lu­bri­ca­tion is re­quired on the O-rings of the new car­tridge.

If you don’t find wa­ter atop the flush-valve car­tridge, as­sume that you have a fouled air in­ducer.

Undo the in­ducer’s large nut and re­move the spring and pop­pet. Soak the pop­pet in vine­gar for a few min­utes, then roll it be­tween your fin­gers to re­move any min­eral grit. Re­place the parts and turn on the wa­ter. — Prop­erty24

If THE TOI­LET RUNS CON­TIN­U­OUSLY IN A FAINT TRICKLE, LOOK TO THE fill VALVE. IN THIS CASE, THE PROB­LEM LIES WITH THE BALL COCK, A COM­MON VALVE THAT USES A FLOAT MOUNTED ON AN ARM TO SHUT THE VALVE WHEN THE TANK WA­TER HAS REACHED THE COR­RECT LEVEL.

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