Monday, May 23, 2005

Flooding at Church

This Sunday I witnessed the flooding of the church men's room!

As our regular schedule took us to church this Sunday, Cathy & I sat down to enjoy the worship service. I got my hands dirty messing with the sound stage equipment, necessitating the washing of my hands. As I went into the men's restroom, I discovered that the urinal was stuck on 'flush'. Being frugal and a former deacon, I had the sensation that I was watching money flushing down the drain. I asked a friend who used to do maintenance around the church what the problem might be; she indicated that the gasket is probably torn again.

That was at 11:00; it was almost three hours later that I got to wash my hands.

Here's a picture of a flushometer valve. See that elbow on the right which connect to the wall? That's a "control stop"; I was under the impression that the water shutoff is in here... you remove the cap to the control stop and turn the screw clockwise to stop the flow of water.

I spent some time looking for a large enough wrench to open the control stop until a fellow church member found me and informed me that the urinal is running.
Me: "Yeah, I know."
Him: "We can turn it off in here." (points at control stop)
Me: "I've been looking, but we don't have a large enough wrench."
Him: "I'll run home and get one!"
Me: "Nah... I'll ask Mike to go home after the service."
Him: "Really, it's no trouble! I'll be right back."
I went back and enjoyed the end of the worship and caught about 5 minutes of the sermon. The poor man came back 10 minutes later with a bucket and some tools. As I watched, he did what I was planning and opened the control stop; unfortunately, the volve was merely a spring-loaded shutoff. We should have twisted the control stp until the water quit instead of removing it.

As soon as he had the control valve loose, water started coming out. Then, it came completely off, and water was gushing out of the one-inch pipe at a very high rate, and he could not get the stop back on the valve, and neither could I. By the time I got back from my trek to the water main (on the other side of the church property) he was standing in an inch of water. It was so sad it was funny.

We started scooping water with plastic trash cans until the water was low enough to mop up. Then he would push the water into the trash can and I would empty it. By the end of the service, I was able to convince him that I could finish mopping and he could go on home. He felt soooo bad... but he only saved me from doing it first! He did find the problem... the diaphram was torn. I went to Lowes and purchased a replacement.

I did not get to hear the sermon, but I enjoyed the service. Our kitchen and bathroom remodel has served me well! There is very little I am afraid of trying my hand at anymore.

A point of interest... Shanghai's Moon River Art Park has a $600,000 toilet!

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