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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

All screwed up

No this is not a tutorial on how to make a bag, sorry, it's a short lesson on how to do a bit of plumbing. The cistern on my upstairs toilet has a leak, it won't stop dripping, causing excess water to run out of the overflow onto the flat roof outside. It has been like this for a few weeks, I haven't really bothered about it because my house is full of niggly problems like this which I just put up with. Ignore it and it will go away, dont fiddle with things or you might make it worse.

Anyway, my friend Helen quite rightly pointed out that it wasn't doing the flat roof a lot of good being constantly waterlogged, and I am thinking that I am wasting water here, even though it is a tiny little drip. But as we all know, lots of drips make huge lakes if left long enough. Maybe I could turn my flat roof into a swimming pool! perhaps not :o)

First of all put the head torch on so one can see what one is doing, get up close because it's a bit fiddly, and take ones specs off they are in the way. Aha, I see. The water comes out of that blue wotsit. That white plastic screw is pushing that white plastic plunger thingy into the little white plastic box. When the water level rises the ball cock lifts up and pushes the screw which in turn slides the plunger in, thus cutting off the incoming water from the mains supply. Only the plunger is not going in far enough to stop the flow. I see. Hmmm, getting a bit complicated now.

What's to be done? That white plastic nut on the white plastic screw needs to be tweaked a couple of times to allow the screw to be lengthened, therefore giving it another milimetre to push the white plastic plunger in a bit further, which will stem the flow of water a bit sooner once the ball cock has reached the top.

One has a box of spanners around here somewhere, but one cannot be bothered to go rooting in the shed for them. These pointy pliers will do the job, but which way should one turn the nut? Two choices, try both. Hold the ball cock down to take the pressure off the screw, twist nut one way to slacken off, then turn the screw, let go of the ball cock and see what happens. Not right, it's dripping faster, try the other way and tighten screw.

Flush toilet and wait. Success it works, give onself a pat on the back :o) The water now stops running before it reaches the overflow, you can see where it came up to before. Yes I have got a plastic bottle in there filled with water.

Right, now I wonder where I can borrow a ladder from to get the roof tiles fixed,
ha ha.


  1. Congratulations. A saving I would estimate of more than 50 quid on a plumbers call out.

  2. Brilliant, with all the correct technical terms aswell - a job well done!
    Love from Mum

  3. Did I see you on the telly recently? Well, online actually, as we don't have telly! Fab stuff! :)

  4. Hi Tina, and welcome. You can see me on Super Scrimpers, the last four programmes, and on Hunt for Britains Tightest Person. Both on Channel 4, and still on 4oD online.

  5. I can never work out just how those things work and always get my ex-husband to fix it for me. You never fail to impress me Ilona.

  6. Phew , luckily it was just the do da, if it had been the doohicky you would have lost me!!
    Jane x

  7. :D I rewatched the Superscrimpers series not long ago. Some great tips on there! There was this one lady who wore boys pants.. :D

  8. Well done you! You must have saved yourself a small fortune. Now I'm going to look up Superscrimpers and watch it, I found you a couple of weeks ago while watching Britain's Tightest Person. There should be more programs like this, as this is education we all need.

  9. Ilona you are an inspiration - no fear of just trying things out (and rightly too, I agree!). Success, and no need to call a plumber for a simple repair!

  10. LOL...the pointy pliers are called needle-nose pliers in the US. I have not seen a ball float in years. Over here, they have been replaced with something else-- a cylinder that goes up and down on a shaft.

    Good job!

    Can you give the links for the places where I can find your videos on the internet?

  11. I cannot view the items you posted where you were on tv. Can you post it on youtube or contact the tv station and tell them there are Americans who are interested? Thanks. I am just dying to see this.

  12. Hi PP. I have put two more links on the side. The programmes are already on Youtube.

    I think this is the youtube link. I know what you mean about Christmas being challenging. I like the cards and gifts, but the pressure, it's just too much.

  14. Thank you Anonymous. Your link is to watch my bit in the programme, my link is for the whole programme. People can choose.

  15. You're welcome. After I posted that, I saw the text link on the side bar. I have enjoyed your blog this year. I like seeing how people live and it's really about quality of life, not about the money. It's interesting you find Xmas a dark hole, when you are generally an optimistic person, as you've discussed before. I find that too, and perhaps it's the fact that it's an external pressure, fully pumped from the retail sector, so it is so artificial, and just pulls people down and feels depressing as it is so unnatural. I like how you write about loving boots- you seem a real tomboy. When you wrote about your old boyfriend and how you think marriage might not suit you, I noticed you said he's really good at housework (clean home)and is a great cook. Perhaps those kinds of guys suit tomboy boot loving women- maybe he would have loved doing that role and you would have balanced each other. Just an idea. I can't fix toilets like you, but I noticed the Diane Arbus character Nicole Kidman played in the film about Diane Arbus, she did plumbing like that. I have never learnt.
    Anyway- enjoy your tomboyish independent life. Great to see a lady truckie who loves boots and still comes across as lovely and gentle! I have never seen a lady do a clothing post on "my boots"!! Very sweet and cool.


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