Friday, May 26, 2017

That leaky Flapper

Ma's comment brought to mind something I learned recently. Her comment was that she had a humungous water bill lately due to a leaky flapper in the commode tank.  Everyone at one time or the other has experienced a commode that caused excessive water use.

I discovered a replacement part by accident that can save you big if your commode were to keep running while you are on vacation or away for a long period of time.  When we bought the house in Deltona the commode needed rebuilding because of age.  I  purchased the parts. Never once thinking there was anything special about this filler valve.  I replaced the filler valve. Not the flapper yet.  The next day I went in to check the commode, flushed it and nothing happened for a few seconds. Then the tank began to fill. In a couple minutes it flushed normally.  

Later that day I used the commode and it would not flush, I quickly looked inside the tank and it was just beginning to fill. Ah, something is not right, a tank should stay full and ready to flush, not fill before flushing, we all know that. So I went to the trash to get the paperwork and packaging just in case I needed to return the valve.

I had not read the information on the valve. I have replaced probably 30-40 valves over the years.  Looking, I noticed these words, “This fill valve will not refill a leaky tank”. Then I ‘axed’ myself, “How do it KNOW?”

Now I was interested.  I READ the information and looked at the valve. It has two flush chains. One to open the flapper, the other to open the fill valve. SOOOO this sucker will never put water in the tank unless the flush handle is used. In other words, if your flapper is leaking, you will only lose one tank full.  If you are gone a week, you only lose ONE tank not thousands of gallons. If you come back from vacation and the commode does not flush at first, you will know you have a leaky flapper, and you have saved yourself some money.  I decided I like this.

Nite Shipslog
PS: Info on the valve.
Disclaimer: While I like the valve I just talked about, I cannot speak for everyone. I am a handy man and it works for me.  If you are not handy, ask your plumber about it when you get the commode worked on. Note: older plumbing can be tricky. 
 It sells for less than $15 Walmart/Lowes/Amazon and is a simple job.
Company info:
Help keep your toilet working correctly and more efficiently with the Fluidmaster Fill Valve 400LSRP4. It will automatically save water in two ways. This Pro45 fill valve prevents automatic refill of a leaky tank, which helps to alert you to a problem with your flapper. It will also only allow the right amount of water to be delivered to the bowl. Preventing too high of a refill to the bowl will reduce waste of water down the drain. This toilet tank fill valve will also help avoid too low of a fill, which can cause an improper flush or allow sewer gas to leak into a room. 
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 1056 Ford and matching Tear Drop

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Our water Bill

(This is the beautiful sinking spring, used by Abe Lincoln's parents when he was born. Other than the fence is is the same as when Abe was born)

Water is essential. In my life time I have known kin folk who took their water from a cool spring. I have also dropped the bucket into a well and raised a cool bucket full from a hand dug well.  

 We have had well pumps and used water from a machine dug well, both  6” and 2” holes.  Most of the time our water has been city water. I have never had a complaint about water service (except the well pumps when they acted up, they seemed to be touchy at times).

 I am smiling now thinking of my friend H. Jack Darnell from Coker Creek, Tennessee. Old Jack is also an author and types his books ‘Appalachian Tales’ on a manual Royal Typewriter. He still gets his water from a beautiful spring and has no electricity in his home. The some home he was born in over 70 years ago.

Now back to the city water. Our new home in Deltona, Florida has city water. When we are away the bill is less of course. So this month the bill was in the $30 range.  It is deducted monthly so I seldom pay attention to the bill. Today I looked.
There is a note on the back on the bill in fine CAPITOL print.
I like to think I am a logical person, if I don’t get this bill how can I read this note?
Anyway that is not the kicker. The bill was like $30 but the amount due if late is $101.00!  WHAT?  We have had water service in at least 15-20 different towns and addresses, WE always pay on time, but remember the late fees listed were as I remember, like $5, but 3 times the regular bill?  WOW

Am I behind the times?  Is that normal now?
Nite Shipslog

 1955 Ford with a matching Shasta Trailer.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mr Rogers and Helpers

There are special people in this world. I just read an account of a chance meeting of Tony Brezni— and Mr. Rogers. Tony was having a bad day and by chance he met Mr. Rogers on an elevator. He said he didn’t want to impose but had to tell him how much he had enjoyed his program as a kid. Mr. Rogers then said, “So you were one of my neighbors!”

There are a lot of cyber myths concerning Mr. Rogers. (Pedophile, Green Beret, Sniper, Super SEAL, etc.) None of those are factual. As I understand it, he was just a nice guy but was never in the military.  Anyway Tony had recently lost his Grandpa. Grandpa had been one of his favorite people.  In this chance meeting Mr. Rogers invited him to sit and talk.  They both shared stories of their grandpas.

Now us Grandpas SMILE when the grands like us. But the point Tony wanted to express was he remembered as a kid that Mr. Rogers had said, “When there is a tragedy in this world, do not zero in on the tragedy, but look at the helpers.  Tony said, that day Mr. Rogers proved he practiced what he preached, he was a ‘helper’.

I was reminded of the many tragedies I have known (on the news and personally) when the ‘helpers’ were there. Just in the last couple days the tragedy in England, brought out hundreds of Helpers.  Not everyone was running for safety, many stopped to HELP.

There are many WONDERFUL people left in this world. Some of them comment on this blog. Folks who would take time to ‘compliment’ a worn out clerk or help someone with a flat. I have no doubt if many of you were faced with the results of a terrorist attack, YOU would be right there to help. I hope none of you ever are faced with that situation. But I know YOU WOULD BE A HELPER!
As my daddy would say, “You guys are keepers!”

I can’t help it, I still believe in humanity. I am convinced there are still more GOOD folk than evil. I seldom believe conspiracy theories. I still KNOW I have good friends. Since I have, it stands to reason that you have too. That’s just plain logic.  I would be one depressed dude if I thought this country was ‘headed to hell in a handbasket.’ (Dad again!)

We have laws, we have a constitution, and I know, we do have some problems. This country had REAL problems in 1941 and the USA rose to the challenge!
Nite Shipslog
PS: After Katrina hit the Gulf Coast Thousands of folk volunteered to help. I talked to several folk who had paid their own way to fly from Washington state to help.
1951 Hudson Commodore with matching trailer