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Amusing Plumbing Contractor

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Amusing Plumbing Contractor

Post by Steve1960 » Fri, 27 Feb 2015 9:02 am

So, I finally got around to replacing the toilet sanitary ware in our second bathroom. The cracks were getting worse and I feared a scream one day from the maid as the whole thing fell apart with her sitting on it.

Just by chance a couple of weeks ago I found a local plumbers merchants who could match the colour of the toilet to the existing sink so I didn't have to change both (original HDB coloured suite). Against my better judgement the 'Arthur Daley' type in the shop persuaded me to allow them to fit it. I was going to do it myself I have done many many before and have the tools.

The fitter arrived, I left him to it passing by a few times to see how he was getting on. Man he was slow, in the end it took 3 hours just to replace a toilet and cistern. Plus he had a problem which really made me laugh and the reason I post this.

I was watching when he located the cistern on top of the toilet. The cistern is supposed to sit on a rubber doughnut which is then compressed as the cistern securing bolts are tightened. Well as he rested the cistern on the toilet there was the 'clank' of porcelain hitting porcelain or whatever they are made of. For me the alarm bells went off but he carried on regardless. I didn't tell him what the problem was and the inevitable outcome, this was amusing and I was not paying by the hour. Sure enough when he filled the cistern and did the first flush water pissed everywhere. Lots of cursing and blaming poor quality Chinese components followed.

So he took it all apart again. Then came his solution which was not 'sorry sir the rubber doughnut is the wrong type and I will have to go get a new one'. It was to wrap an entire roll of PTFE tape around the doughnut and put it back on!!! Well I let him continue because I was getting tired of having him there and I figure if (when) it leaks again I can just replace the rubber doughnut myself.

It's not just a Singapore thing, its all over the world. I just thought it was amusing for a Friday :-)

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Re: Amusing Plumbing Contractor

Post by x9200 » Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:37 am

I don't remember whether I posted this story earlier....

When we moved in, the toilet in the master bathroom had a funny property: after it was flushed, the cistern did not fill back in until the tap of the nearby basin was opened. Not difficult to guess something in the cistern's valve was slightly stuck so when the basin tap was opened, it changed the water pressure in the pipes and gave the valve a kick already good enough to get it working.

As it was still under the initial move-in 30 days warranty period the LL's agent arranged for a plumber to visit. The plumber arrived, was introduced to the problem, the workaround and then, without any hands-on checking, he gave me his verdict: it is like this, because this is an American Standard (the name of the brand) toilet. I looked at him and started laughing. When I got a grip on myself I told him, this is not the first AS toilet I used and apparently all the other AS toilets did not have this interesting property. More-over, I took him to the guest bathroom toilet, also AS, working fine. He tested it by himself flushing it few times. It didn't convince him. He went back to the master bathroom, opened the cistern and proposed to replace the whole valve (the complete internal column) for $250. When I said I was not going to let him do it even if the LL would pay for it, he put his hands inside the cistern probably looking for the overflow holes, because when he finished he suggested to partly block the holes with epoxy.

I though this was probably already enough so asked him to put everything back in place what he did still trying to convince me to one of the proposed solutions. When he finished I pressed the flush button to check whether he did not #####-up something more seriously. The water flushed and to my surprise the cistern started to fill in as it should without any extra kick – yes, the guy just moved/bent the valve column when he squeezed his hands between it and the cistern's back wall. I had a good laugh for the second time that day. The plumber was slightly confused or maybe even embarrassed but not to the extend to cancel his on-site visit expert examination fee of $40. The toilet works fine till this day.

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Re: Amusing Plumbing Contractor

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 27 Feb 2015 1:37 pm

Plumbing here doesn't actually appear to be a time served trade learnt under the hawk eyes of an apprentice master.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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