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August 2010

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April 9th, 2010

alaric: Front view of Caer Llewys (House)
Friday, April 9th, 2010 10:05 am

We've had to do a fair bit of maintenance lately, some of it expensive.  We had to replace almost the entire exhaust system on the Volvo after it rusted out (everything behind the catalytic converter).  We just re-seeded the front and side yards, bare since last fall's structural repairs to the house.  And we replaced both the toilet and stopcock in the second-floor bathroom after my attempts to replace a rusted-out tank-to-bowl bolt were thwarted by a crack in the bottom of the tank.

(The stopcock was actually among the biggest single headaches of the entire job.  I replaced it because it was leaking, but discovered only after cutting it off the water pipe to which it was permanently affixed that said water pipe was not any standard pipe size in existence.  To make matters more fun, the main house stopcock does not shut off fully either, so the cut pipe was dribbling water until I could come up with a solution.  Fortunately, it transpired the pipe was just large enough that I could solder a 2" stub of regular ½" copper pipe into it, after thoroughly scouring it clean, which the new compression-fit stopcock then went onto without the least hitch.)

Anyway, the replacement toilet we chose was one of these, a one-piece water-saving Aquasource model.  We chose it for two reasons:  It was on sale at $128 (regularly $168), and the one-piece construction meant I would never again have to worry about tank-to-bowl leaks in this bathroom.  The one reservation I had was that, probably largely due to being a water-saving model, it had the lowest "flushing power" rating of all the models on display — 2.5 stars on a scale of five.  Without going into details, let's just say that this middle bathroom has to date been by far the most troublesome we have in terms of failures to flush.

On the basis of experience so far, I needn't have worried.  If this toilet rates 2.5 stars, then a five-star-rated loo must just about be capable of flushing a live rhino.  The only concern now is that if somebody falls in, they may never be seen again.