Plumbing mishap

I thought I’d be clever and change all the washers in the bath, and show the kids how it’s done at the same time. The shower ones were okay, but when we tried to take off the bath hot, it broke away.

Result: nothing to grip onto. I assume the whole bit will have to be replaced, but how do I get it out, given the only thing I can grip onto just broke off? There is a hexagonal section, but it’s beyond the level of the tiles, and inaccessible, at least with any spanner I own.

Plumbing mishap

Ideas welcome!

5:20pm: Have got the hexagonal bit that can grip onto it, but it’s not budging. Have called for reinforcements.

Also got a replacement part, which may or may not match the other one precisely, though functionally I expect it to work — as the lady in Bunnings said, “they’re pretty much universal.”

6:50pm: Reinforcements (my highly talented brother-in-law Adrian) arrived, and with the aid of a longer lever than is supplied with the hexagonal sockets, managed to get the thingo out. We’ve replaced it with the new one, which as expected doesn’t quite match the old one; the thread where the cover thingy is meant to go doesn’t match… but it’ll do the job.

Tap is fixed (thanks Adrian)

Adrian also noted that it’s better when changing a washer to use the hexagonal socket at the base of the shaft thingy rather than a conventional spanner at the top; less risk of breakage.

If you don’t have a highly talented brother-in-law called Adrian to help you with plumbing and other household mishaps, I highly recommend getting one. A highly-talented step-father called Peter would also be able to do the job… but mine is in America at the moment.

Also thanks to Dean from the Twittersphere, for the tip on getting the hexagonal sockets. (Three cheers for the #LazyWeb!)

PS. Adrian also told me something I’ve believed for ages: don’t tighten a tap too much. Tighten it just enough to stop the water. Beyond that is bad for the washer; it’ll just wear it out quicker.


Spotted (by Marita, actually), this amusing van:
If you need a plumber, call A.Carpenter

Meanwhile on the corner of Latrobe and William Streets, they’ve painted arrows and lines to help show drivers where to wait to make their hook turns:
Lines and arrows for hook turns

PS. There are also animated/flashing signs signalling for right-turning drivers to wait. Will see if I can snap a pic of one.

PS. Thursday morning. Here’s a pic showing one of the new flashing “Wait” signs. Similar signs have been installed at the Elizabeth St/Latrobe St corner.

New hook turn signage

The gurgle

It seems at my place that once or twice a year, the back toilet will become a temporarily slightly clogged. The flush fills up the bowl with a suspicious amount of water, and empties more slowly than usual. And it becomes a battle of wits: should I call in the plumber (with his special machine) again or hope the problem goes away before anything overflows?

My natural procrastinating stance usually results in the latter. And it does go away by itself. The tree-roots or whatever is down there will clear, and it’s back to normal. When I asked the plumber about it, he basically said there’s no easy permanent fix to this — only a complicated/expensive fix.

One day earlier this year it spontaneously cleared itself like this while I was sitting on the can. It did so with quite a loud gurgling blurping noise which for a split second left me most alarmed as to the state of my bowels.

But no, all was well, and the toilet once more was flushing with the best of them.