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Not quite a plumbing disaster, yet..

Discussion in 'DIY Disasters' started by 2oldtim, 22 Jan 2016.

  1. 2oldtim


    22 Jan 2016
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom
    I’m offering this just to cheer everyone up.

    My “close-coupled” toilet wouldn’t flush. At first I thought it was something to do with the handle/lever arm, but when I detached this bit from the syphon (I was gradually picking up these terms from the internet..), I managed to get a bit of weak flushing, then nothing. So - faulty syphon.

    When I googled further, I got a friendly, competent sounding chap on an Ultimate Handyman video, who informed me that it was probably just something called the diaphragm that had failed (other videos seemed to confirm this) and that, although it was only a simple thing, older syphons required the whole cistern to be drained and removed from the wall in order to replace it - and that, if you were doing this, you might as well replace the whole syphon with a spanking new Thomas Dudley Turbo 88 - which (uniquely, it seemed from the presentation..) allowed replacement of the diaphragm without removing the cistern from the wall. I looked in my cistern, and I clearly didn’t have a Thomas Dudley Turbo 88 syphon.

    I decided to Be A Man and go for it - starting with removing the cistern. It wasn’t easy. Removing the connections for water inlet and overflow weren’t too bad, but the screws holding the cistern to the wall were rusted (one broke off as I was turning it with pliers), and the bolts holding the cistern to the pan (unusually, it seems, for older cisterns, mine has bolt holes actually in the cistern as well as in the pan) were in an even worse state. I eventually got them off by a combination of hacksawing and drilling.

    I cleaned everything up and toddled off to screwfix to get my Thomas Dudley Turbo 88. As I was removing the shrink wrap I thought “I should really have checked that it would fit”. It didn’t fit.

    Ah well, I thought, maybe if I put all the bits in a clear plastic bag and seal it, screwfix will take it back (I’ll find out tomorrow..) - but, after all, the cistern had to come off anyway!

    So, I turned my attention to the old syphon, and the problem of obtaining a new diaphragm for it (the old one was clearly ripped). For the first time, I read the name on the top - “Derwent Macdee Metro 3-part Syphon”. There were also instructions on how to remove the “bell housing” - the bit with the diaphragm in. I wiped a tear from my eye.

    I googled how to get replacement diaphragms, but found you could make them from CD sleeves, using the existing diaphragm as a template. After about half an hour's work, I thought I’d made a pretty good job - but the last slight tug to make the new CD-sleeve-diaphragm lie perfectly flat, caused it to rip. I wiped another tear from my eye.

    I’ve ordered replacement diaphragms that should arrive next Thursday. The new bolts should have arrived by then too.

    As I say, I hope this cheers you up, and serves as a warning - assume nothing!
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