Saturday, January 06, 2007

Water Torture

For the last few months my toilet's been gurgling. It's a kind of torture really. As soon as I turn off the radio or the tv, there's the sound, drilling softly into my head. And if I got involved in something and forgot the noise for a while it always came back, louder than ever. The most annoying thing was that I couldn't figure out what was causing it. The gurgling was accompanied by a hissing sound so I thought maybe it was air traveling through the pipe. Then I took the flush valve apart and put it back together. The gurgle stopped. I was elated. But my victory was short lived. A couple of weeks later the gurgle was back. Then I discovered that if I blocked one of the holes in the bowl (the one leading to the water source) that the sound stopped but water started leaking from the rim holes. Proof that it was water leaking through the valve. But how? In an earlier effort to appease the toilet gods I'd bought my toilet a new diaphragm and new vacuum breaker. The offering was unsuccessful but I new that the parts were new and shouldn't be failing. Now, I was really trying to avoid calling a plumber. Who wants to pay a bunch of money for what might be a simple thing? So I posted on a plumbing site and got a couple of suggestions which weren't really useful. Then I went to this plumbing supply place on the upper east side. It's called New York Replacement Parts and that is just what it sells. It's one of two places in the city that sells parts for old fixtures. They can also custom make stuff for you. I thought I would ask their advice. They weren't able to help but a plumber who was there suggested that there might be a nick in the brass that the diaphragm sits on. This morning I took the nasty thing apart again. No nick in the brass. At least in that part. Turns out there is a tiny hole in the bottom chamber of the valve and the water is leaking through. And there's just no way to repair that. I'm going to have to buy a new valve. At least I know now.

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