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When pushbuttons go wrong

You know what’s really swell? When you’re a stranger in a strange land and you cannot figure out how to flush the toilet.

I never worked out Uncle B’s toilet in London at all. It was a lever action, but you had to kind of lift it and then put a little english on it (appropriately enough). I actually had to call him in once. (Can you picture it? “Hello, man I am courting — I HAVE MADE BOOM BOOM”).

Shown above is our toilet flusher off the master bedroom. It’s easy enough. You push the button.

Well, you push the little button for a ‘half flush’ and the big button for a ‘full flush’ — or the other half of a ‘half flush’ if it hasn’t refilled. Okay, it’s stupidly complicated – and you haven’t seen the insides yet.

It went wrong tonight. It won’t flush. The button, it is dead. We took the lid off and…honest to dog, I’ve had cars that were less complicated.

I never thought I’d be homesick for a float valve. (Yeah, you thought I was going to say “cock and ball mechanism” didn’t you?).


Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: March 12, 2019, 9:26 pm

NO I did not.

Float valve is a fine and accurate description.
That other one….just no, MUST BE ENGLISH.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: March 12, 2019, 9:34 pm

soooo, Brexit – best 3 out of 5 national votes ya think?

Comment from Timothy S. Carlson
Time: March 12, 2019, 10:20 pm

We have a 5 gallon bucket – and a small hand pail (a ‘tabo’). Plus a little soap. I haven’t used a flush toilet, nor toilet paper, in almost 10 years.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 12, 2019, 10:39 pm

I haven’t followed Brexit, Durned. It’s all theater. I’m sure I’ll find out how we’ve been stabbed in the back sooner or later.

Cock and ball mechanism is perfectly good American usage. ‘Swhere I learned it.

*blinks at Timothy*

Comment from thefritz
Time: March 12, 2019, 10:48 pm

When we all meet up at Swease’s for that nifty cocktail party, remind me not to shake Timmy’s hand…

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: March 12, 2019, 11:00 pm

As usual, blame the hippies. It’s like washing machines or dishwashers taking hours to complete a cycle, just to ‘save water’.

I had a look at a few DIY pages and some YouTubes. Needless to say, our particular model (only installed three years or so ago) wasn’t featured. Time for the plumber.

More expense!

Comment from Armybrat
Time: March 13, 2019, 12:32 am

Toilets used to work perfectly fine until the effing greenies discovered we were putting water in the loo. A proper 3+ gallons of running water washed the sh!t down the pipes just fine. Then save the whales or climate change or something and now we’re allotted 1.6 gallons for systems designed for 3+ gallons. Now every house has a plunger sitting by the loo.
Hubby and I were up in ME last weekend, nice little B&B, old house from the early 1800s. The toilet was one of those “power assisted” flushes. He got up in the middle of the night, flushed the john…it was a “boom and whoosh” so powerful the floor shook and the walls swayed!

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 13, 2019, 12:59 am

Brexit has hit rock bottom. Last week they dragged out all the old people who came to the UK, married a brit, had kids, love the UK but couldnt be bothered to seek citizenship. The response I get is that it wasnt necessary. Sure, after 1992, but they were living in the UK 60+ years. Now they must — gulp, fill out a form on the internet. The horror!!!

Then there was the guy who applied for citizenship but was, again gulp, turned down & threatened with deportation!!!! (Because he turned in the wrong paper work.)

Seriously, you are the United Kingdom of Meanies.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 13, 2019, 1:01 am

blame that very large state on the other coastal end of the continent for all the ways you’re being saved without having to be asked.

Comment from Teej
Time: March 13, 2019, 1:25 am

I HAVE MADE BOOM BOOM made Captain Morgan come out my nose.

Comment from JC
Time: March 13, 2019, 1:40 am

I just today replaced a friend’s fancy-smancy italian/japanese racing toilet with a $89 generic, and she’s SO HAPPY

Comment from Bob
Time: March 13, 2019, 1:44 am

Here in California, AKA the land of water restrictions for people while we give free water to the fish, there are multiple versions of two-sized-flush contraptions. Ours is a flapper valve with a float attached. A quick touch flushes half the tank. A full push held for a second flushes the full tank.
When the flapper valve itself started slowly leaking, I looked inside the tank and quickly put the lid back on. I decided it wasn’t leaking badly enough to disassemble and replace.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: March 13, 2019, 2:39 pm

I have made Boom Boom?

Did you ever sub as a writer for Futurama?
“Death by Snu Snu”

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: March 13, 2019, 2:47 pm

Cock and ball mechanism is perfectly good American usage. ‘Swhere I learned it.
One of the chapters in Ian Fleming’s last James Bond novel, The Man With the Golden Gun, is entitled “Ballcock and Other Trouble.” And yes, it concerns Bond using the toilet tank to hide something, I forget what. So I suspect it’s British usage too.

Comment from drew458
Time: March 13, 2019, 9:28 pm

cock and ball? What cock and bull! It’s a ballcock. However, “float valve” is an acceptable alternative term.

I’ve installed a bunch of these dual flush mechanisms. They take quite a bit of fussing with, since the little flush is usually nowhere near enough, and the big flush is just a bit less than enough. They all have little slider switches on the cylindrical mechanism to adjust them. If you no longer have the instructions, just take both sliders to their top setting and see how it works. If that doesn’t do it, try them at their bottom setting. Yeah yeah, “bottom setting” on a toilet.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 13, 2019, 9:29 pm

I picked it up from that engineering company I worked for, so it probably had something to do with industrial dip tanks or something.

Universal principle, obviously — a lever arm with a float on the end.

Comment from drew458
Time: March 13, 2019, 9:31 pm

But on to the important news!

6000 French hens kill a fox in their henhouse!

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: March 13, 2019, 10:26 pm

Uptick for the Italian Japanese ‘racing toiler’ JC.

The only good laugh I’ve had today (our political class sold us into further slavery with the EU).

Comment from CantHarkMyCry
Time: March 13, 2019, 11:47 pm

Ball-cock is definitely native to the UK. I give you this from Dorothy Sayers’s Busman’s Honeymoon:
‘“And the cistern lives in a cupboard to itself—you open the door and fall down two steps and bump your head, and bring up with your chin on the ball-cock.”

“My God! You haven’t put the ball-cock out of order? Do you realize, woman, that country life is entirely conditioned by the ball-cock in the cistern and the kitchen boiler?”’

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