The contact lens and the washer and the amateur plumber

Amateur plumbers can be the curse of the hotel keepers life. This tale started with the room below complaining that there was water coming through their ceiling. Eventually a complete analysis of the offending bathroom led me to the cause. It was not the bath, it was not the loo, it was not a leaking pipe, but it was a problem with the wash basin

If one filled the basin with water, the basin and overflow were watertight, but as soon as you let the water out of the basin - woosh, water everywhere and of course most pours through the ceiling into the room below.

Now why would a basin suddenly start to act in this way? I found out when I examined the pipework. It looked fine, but a washer was missing. A washer does not suddenly go missing in a pipe, it does not suddenly self destruct, somebody has to remove it.

My opinion was that a guest had lost a contact lens down the plug hole, and had, in a moment of inspiration decided to unscrew the U-bend to find out if the lens had lodged in the trap. The joints on these unscrewable pipes are made watertight with things called rubber "O-rings". Our amateur plumbers had unscrewed the pipes, examined the trap, found or not found the lens, and put the pipes back together again.

The only problem was that the O-ring was lost in the moves (or else they had no idea what it was for). The completed job looked as if nothing was awry. The guests left, unaware of the time bomb that they had left us with. So the next time the basin was emptied, it was as if a bucket of water was poured straight onto the carpet.

Just another of the many tasks that a hotel manager has to tackle


                            And if you want to stay in a nice hotel by the sea in Cornwall, Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall

                                                                                                       Corisande Manor Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall

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