Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Laundry On Line Too

Toilet's leaking. Every five minutes it slurps in more water pssssh for a second. I figured the tank was losing a smidge of water and refilling. Just to make sure I looked it up on Mr. Internet and yes indeedy it's a flapper issue. An easy fix. You drain the tank, pull off the old flapper, go to the hardware store with it and have the nice lady pick you out a new matching one, and snap it back on. So I did. Felt pretty cool about it too, especially since I injected the enterprise with extra virtue by walking two miles to the hardware store and back.

It worked great! If what I was after was having it slurp in more water pssssh every minute instead of every five minutes.

So Mr. Internet has a million entries on replacing a flapper, and all of them agree on the procedure, and that it's a slam dunk. Guess what? If you search for "replaced flapper toilet still leaking" you get another million hits. Hey, it's a thing! Unfortunately this fix isn't as easy, but there's a replacement kit you can install in your toilet. Adhesive is involved. This is starting to sound like plumbing.

The other thing it's starting to sound like is computers. Suddenly I'm not so confident that the new fix is actually going to work. Suddenly I'm not as motivated to even try. It's like what happens when something you've always done on the computer quits working. You Google it. You go to the search bar and type: "blog blows up for no fucking reason."

You get back a whole forum. Someone out there has the exact same problem as you. Cool! She puts it out to the community and gets answers. They sound something like this:

"Sounds like it's probably a function of an overactive html weasel. Try going into the Computer Intestines tab and pull down the Flappination menu. Click 'weasel hyperactivity' and uncheck the 'flappination is on' box. Click save settings. Now open a new document and let a fourteen-pound cat stroll across the keyboard.  Highlight and copy result. Open your browser and go to File>Settings>WeaselControl and paste the code into the box. Hit Save. Close out this window and open another window, look for the toolbar that is not available on your model, close out, click the Install button, check the box that says you agree to do whatever Victoria or Nelson in Bombay says, click Shut Down, wait twelve hours, and restart. That should do it."

Sure enough, there's a cheery note underneath from the original questioner that says "Thanks a lot, Splatmaster, that worked great!" So you give it a go.

The next day you go to the neighbor's house to borrow their computer and search for "Computer poots out blue smoke at reboot."

I turned off the water intake valve for the toilet and mentally clicked "Ignore." I had laundry to do. Laundry I understand. Within the hour, I had achieved serenity. It's done with wooden clothespins in your mouth. All your sheets and towels and underpants are on the line. Solar power is brought to bear for free. Everything dries crisp. It's a beautiful dang thing. Works first time, every time.

44 comments:

  1. Actually, replacing a toilet's innards is fairly easy. Both my husband and I have done it several times over the years. Thank goodness that toilets have not become computerized. Yet.

    Not so lucky with stoves, though. We bought a new one a couple years ago. A Samsung. Yes, they make ranges, too. I bought it because it has a steam-cleaning feature, which I figured was better than the usual self-cleaning feature, which creates toxic fumes. Also, it has a ceramic cooktop, which is so much easier to keep clean than the usual burners. I was happy with it.

    However....

    Last month, it suddenly stops working. Instead it makes an obnoxious beeping noise constantly and flashes an error message. (Yes! Just like a computer! I have an oven with a motherboard!) I unplug it and call the repairman (difficult to find one who even repairs that make, as it's mostly computer) and it's just a wire that needed to be replaced in the back for the oven. He got the stove to work, but the oven was out of commission until he could order the part.

    From Japan.

    It's a month later and he's coming this morning to replace this little wire so that I can use my oven again. Oh, elation!

    Lesson learned: next time I need a new oven, I'm getting a wood-burning cast iron stove. It was good enough for the pioneers, dad gummit, and it's good enough for me!

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    1. Oh, the horror. I had an entire car like that. Nothing was wrong with it EXCEPT ITS BRAIN and it kept dying right on the interstate. Thanks for the warning about kitchen appliances. I'm going to remember to keep it simple.

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  2. I love sun dried laundry! For everything that goes wrong around here, I call an expert or at least a maintenance man. I usually have to go to the housing office and call on their direct line and then get told to be home on Thursday and Friday because they're busy and can't give me an exact day or time. A little annoying if I call them on a Monday, okay if I call them on a Wednesday.

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    1. I hang laundry all year long, but I have to admit the sun is a lot more efficient than my rack inside a cold winter house.

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    2. Our lines are communal, two per eight flats, so they're often full of either someone else's clothes or dusty spiderwebs, so I have a mini line out in the back porch which doesn't get any sun. During summer, I get my washing done early enough to snaffle the biggest and closest line so I can keep an eye on my stuff. Things sometimes go missing around here.

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    3. Nobody want our underpants. That's just a fact.

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  3. I have also experienced flapper replacement failure. Plumbing is much more difficult than advertised.

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    1. mimimanderly has encouraged me to start replacing everything. I did put in the replacement repair kit and it still leaks. Now I'm suspecting a gasket, but which one? Fill valve or flapper pole? (OK, I don't know the real name of the flapper pole.)

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    2. I have an old yellow Reader's Digest Do It Yourself Home Repair Manual that I got at a garage sale decades ago. I found it very user-friendly for all manner of home repairs, whether it be plumbing repairs or rewiring a lamp. They probably have a copy at your library. I found the diagrams especially helpful in avoiding "what if I don't remember how everything goes back in?" Even if it's fairly obvious how something goes together, I still like to have a book around, if only for the moral support.

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    3. You know, I used to have something like that. I should go hunt for it.

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    4. I had the same book! Mine was red and hubby #1 took it when he left home.

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  4. Don't you have a handyperson somewhere nearby? I often get stuck with that kind of thing, but someone with a little experience can usually figure it out pretty quickly. The reason for that is that they (I)have made all those mistakes at least once.

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    1. I am fully capable of making the same mistake numerous times, sir.

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  5. It's 5am, cold and I've only had one cup of coffee (so far), but my brain is doing that weird dance it does when its neurons aren't sure whether to trigger the laugh or cry response...
    All I can offer is the small wisdom of NOT installing a toilet with an automated flush, like they have in some airports.Sweet Baby Jesus * !! A person can be sitting quietly, not yet ready to pull the metaphoric chain when WHOOSH! The backside of said person is doused in freezing cold water.
    No, I think you're better with the toilet you have, even if it has a malfunctioning flapper pole.Try calling the local strip joint -they must have had issues with their poles.

    * that's a beer.Honest to goodness beer.The label says chocolate peanut butter, but hops are involved,too.

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    1. CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BEER? I just blacked out.

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    2. S'true. Right there in right side of the U S of A.I found you a linkhttp://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1924/88269/

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    3. Well, I'd try it. But it's not in my parts, as you say.

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  6. I do not do plumbing... but I am a pro at hanging clothes on the line.... love me the crisp towels especially!!!

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    1. Well I do too, but I think we're in the minority. I have been told to put the guest room towels in the dryer so they're fluffy because that's what people like. I don't always do it, though.

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  7. Mmm on line dried washing (even better sheets dried in the sun over a lavender bush). Sigh on the recalcitrant toilet front.

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    1. Over a lavender bush. Now that's a new one. That works?

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    2. It does. And laundry infused with sun and lavender smells WONDERFUL.

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  8. Some days are so hard I have to hang out laundry and jump on the lawn tractor and behead a bunch of clover. And if it's really hard, I'll burn trash. It's like having my brain go boil some water when my nervous system is giving birth to a cow. I know you'll understand. Crisp towels on your pillow, jz

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    1. You just can't hang out laundry and burn trash at the same time- or vice versa. One of the great things about being w fiber artist is that you're always hanging out things to dry and about half of them are really beautiful- the color of clover and coreopsis and calendula...Murr, your description of the bulletin board computer fix is precisely accurate. Re the toilet? Just keep shortening or lengthing the flapper by one notch on the chain. It works. :-)

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    2. It works, as long as it's not a gasket...which I suspect it is. Right now, I've got the sucker turned off. I flip on the valve when I have something important to flush. I'll get to it eventually.

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    3. I skipped the fix-attempt, and proceeded directly to this very stop-gap. As-needed flushing is the ultimate in water conservation, right? But lately I worry about the number of twists one can expect from the average toilet-fill valve. Cue the flood nightmares.

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    4. Right! Our valve is a relatively new one. Only, what? Twenty years old? Gaaah. It shuts off very nicely and doesn't have that twist aspect. Still I worry.

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  9. I did not know anyone still hung out laundry!

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    1. I started doing it about five years ago. I run my dryer about twice a year--usually when I have house guests! It's EASY.

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    2. I hang my laundry (count me among those who like scratchy towels. Soft ones don't dry you properly, for one thing.), but since I can't do it outdoors (too many trees = too many birds = having to redo laundry too much because of poop.), I have clothesline strung up in the attic. It gets very hot in the summer, even with the windows open, so the clothes dry even faster than they would in the dryer. (In the winter... not so much.) I only use the dryer for things that would otherwise wrinkle and would have to iron.

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    3. God, Mom used to hate the mulberry bush next door. She'd hang out her (white) sheets and BOOM. Then it's back to the clothes wringer and all that there. Iron? What's that?

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  10. Damn those html weasels anyway. Bet they don't even LIKE sunshine. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  11. Two of our toilets were running a couple of years ago and I'd tell you what we did to fix them except by "we" I mean "my husband" and I don't have a clue what eventually worked. I know he had to go back at it several times and this is a man who can do just about anything around the house except remember to eat.

    Loved your description of the "solution" to the computer problem. You nailed it.

    And some of us can't hang laundry because of allergies. To pollen and to bird poop.

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    1. How do you discover you're allergic to bird poop?

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    2. By your reaction to it when it happens. And by "reaction" I mean the crying and swearing :)

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  12. Your explanation of what happens when you Google how to fix your computer was too good not to share. I excerpted it and passed it on to my son, a programmer at MicroSoft. It's making the rounds there--so I sent on your blog address. Mayhap this will result in a few more fans.

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    1. Thanks! Just off the top of my head. I've had a LOT of experience with this.

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  13. I have on occasion had success by gently scrubbing the brass collar under the flapper with really fine sandpaper. No knowledge of or guarantee that this works for anyone else.

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    1. Gaaaah. No brass collar. All porcelain, and it looks pristine. Send in the Romans! Make my poop go away! (OK it does. I keep turning the valve off.)

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  14. I suppose you could always switch to what is known here as "the long drop." Just google long drop, people.You'll go down the rabbit hole to Australia, land of strangeness...

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    1. I got more than I bargained for googling that.

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