Sunday, May 13, 2012

One mystery solved...

Besides which switch is used for the hot water heater, that is. (Yeah. I forgot. Between rewiring the circuit board last August, not being up here long enough to use the hot water system since September when I drained it, and not updating the paper sheet on the inside of the circuit box's door.... Luckily I had a written copy sitting on the kitchen table.)

I got the toilet to work properly...for now. First an explanation: A flush toilet works by holding a quantity of water (1.5 gallons in the new version, closer to 3 gallons in the old) in a tank. Flushing the toilet requires opening a valve that lets that water rush into the bowl building up pressure to push water over a system of humps inside the base. (Think a combination of water slide and roller coaster.) When the water gets above and over a critical hump, it creates a siphon that pulls the balance of the water (and other stuff) in the bowl into the drain pipe. It all depends upon that valve.

My tank has a flap valve that gets pulled up by a chain attached to the end of an arm attached to the exterior handle that you push to start the whole thing rolling. The simple flap is soft but stiff rubber it's own weight and the weight of the water in the tank holds it firmly closed until the chain pulls it upward. Somehow, while getting all the water out of the tank last year, the chain was adjusted and became too taut. It would not allow the flap to fall that extra 1/10th of an inch necessary to form a seal. I couldn't see that last night until I shinned a flashlight in there. (The inner workings of a toilet are dark and secretive. And the water in the tank was damn cold!)

Solution, let the chain out one link--about 1/4 inch--and everything is hunky-dorey. For now.

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