Sunday, 11 February 2007

the manly man

ballcork systemmy main water tank in the house has been bleeding water due to the defective ballcock system for the past two weeks. while ideally the repair should have been done immediately, i didn't do it due to other commitments that i have at home (read malas). wifey had also suggested calling a plumber to fix the problem which i spontaneously disapproved, dismissing it as simple as purchasing and replacing the parts d-i-y style. boy, i was wrong.

the stop-valve system is similar to the one in the diagram (for the uninitiated). basically how it works is that the water level will raise the ball filled with air and if the water level and the ball is high enough, it will close the valve (zoomed in figure 2). the system in our house also came with an additional feature of an overflow outlet that will drain excess water into the bathroom. it will prevent water from spilling over the water tank in the event of failure of the ballcock system and the excess water will be drained into the bathroom instead of falling all over our ceiling.

the dreaded holeso, on one fine saturday morning, i dragged my feet (drove really) to a local hardware store to find the replacement parts that cost merely rm10 without going up the dreaded hole which requires me to perform some kind of acrobatic moves and chin up to heave myself above the ceiling. that was the first misjudgment that i made. when i finally manage to lift up the water tank cover with required a superhuman effort due to its sheer size, i found out that parts that i have bought was too small to fit the gigantic pipe supplying the water tank.

at least the solution was simple enough. i have to go back to the hardware store, buy the appropriate-sized one, climb up above the ceiling again, fix the new parts and i should live happily ever after. unfortunately, the live happily ever after did not immediately come after fixing the new parts.

during the testing and commissioning of the system (to avoid going above the ceiling again and enjoy the not-so-pleasant sauna in the searing heat trapped between the ceiling and roof), i found out that the overflow system was not constructed properly. ideally, the outlet should be placed higher than the maximum water level or else it will be a never-ending loop of ballcock system filling up the water tank and overflow system discharging "excess" water into the bathroom. the workaround done with the defective parts was to bend the rod connecting the ball and valve downwards which should reduce maximum water level below the overflow outlet.

shouldn't be a problem, right? all i have to do is take it out and bend the rod. which i did with the brand new parts and discovered that either i'm too strong or it's a shoddy copper that it easily snapped into halves. daymn!!

super stained langkawi tee and shortsso, for the third time running, i trudged into the hardware store, begging for new parts. by that time, wifey already insisted on a plumber which again i stubbornly refused out of pride and anger. i was definitely not going to let a simple mindless system like that defeat me. to ensure that i won't break another one, i asked the hardware store apek to replace the brand-new rod with the bent one from the original defective one.

my fine handsand with a bismillahirrahmanirrahim (which i forgot to do before), i went up above the ceiling again and finally, it was as easy as i thought it should be. in the end, it doubled the cost of fixing it for buying the same part twice but undoubtedly cheaper than calling up a plumber to fix such a simple problem like that. i finally lived happily ever after, fixing the ballcork system with my own hands. however, the same cannot be said with the 1angkawi souvenir tee and shorts that i was wearing.

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