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Where’s Our Windmill Gone?

If you’ve recently visited our shop, or perhaps if you were just passing, you may have noticed that the iconic Dutch Cafe windmill above our shop is no longer there. Don’t panic, it’s not gone forever! We’re currently in the process of having the windmill refurbished and we’re expecting to have our windmill reinstalled in the next couple of weeks. Here’s some of the history of the Dutch Cafe:

The Old Dutch Cafe was also known by some as “Frank’s Cafe” and “Dutch Eddies”, the cafe was a popular place where Paul McCartney and John Lennon would meet (circa 1958). It is believed that The Beatles played pinball in the rear room! Best friend of John Lennon, Pete Shotton became a partner in the Dutch Cafe at this time. It was ran by Frank and Bette Morris until they retired in 1972.

To find out more of the history of our shop and to checkout our selection of great products, pop into our showroom today at 314-320 Smithdown Road.

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Plumbing FAQ: Why is my lever flush toilet not flushing properly?

This can be one of the most irritating plumbing problems that many come across and there’s usually a fairly straightforward solution. The most common type of flush apparatus inside of a lever flush cistern is called a syphon. Inside of this syphon is usually a central “plunger” which has a transparent plastic gasket at the bottom of it, this is referred to as the diaphragm washer. The most common shape of this washer is an oblong shape, however there are many different toilet cisterns and syphons that use round, square, “D” shaped and many other different shapes of washer. The shape of the washer can typically be determined by the shape of the housing at the base of the syphon which will be the same shape as the diaphragm washer.

It is this diaphragm washer that is usually the cause of problems when flushing the toilet. Over time the diaphragm washer starts to develop small tears in it’s surface, as the toilet continues to be flushed these small tears then turn into large holes in the diaphragm washer, causing the syphon to not draw up a sufficient amount of water from the cistern, resulting in a weak flush and sometimes a completely absent flush if the diaphragm washer is very damaged. Replacement diaphragm washers are usually available to be purchased separately, however in some cases there’s a deeper problem with the syphon or a replacement diaphragm washer cannot be sourced. In such a case a replacement syphon may be required.

The diaphragm washer is usually an easy part to replace, but sometimes it can be a bit more difficult. There are usually few different types of syphon a one part toilet syphon or a two or three part toilet syphon. Replacing a diaphragm washer on a one part toilet syphon can be a bit more difficult than on the other two types. This is because with a one part syphon you’ll more than likely have to physically remove the cistern from the toilet pan, which also involves isolating the water supply to your cistern. With a two or three part syphon, the part which houses the diaphragm washer can be removed from the central “stem” of the syphon, allowing you with much greater ease to replace the washer without removing the cistern.

The other type of lever flush apparatus commonly found in toilet cisterns is the lever flush flapper valve, it is extremely unlikely to experience problems with these valves as they are effectively a plug and chain mounted on a hinge at the bottom of the cistern with a rubber seal around it and an overflow tube, the only problem that usually occurs with these valves is the valve not sealing itself properly after the toilet has flushed. This would not cause a problem when flushing the toilet however, but rather water would continue trickling into the pan once the toilet has flushed – check out our advice regarding this problem by clicking here.

There are many different types of syphon from a number of different manufacturers and it can be difficult to identify which part you need for which syphon. For more advice and to check out the extensive range of bathroom, plumbing and heating consumables that we stock, visit out shop today at 314-320 Smithdown Road.

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Bathroom FAQ: Square vs. Round?

Here’s a question we’re asked quite often by our customers: Should I purchase square bathroom equipment or round bathroom equipment?

There’s no easy answer here, after all it’s ultimately your decision and what works best for you. There aren’t a great deal of pros and cons between the two styles, and the differences fluctuate depending on which range(s) you’re looking at. From a style perspective, square bathroom equipment, whether they be taps, basins, toilets, baths, wastes, shower systems and anything else made for the bathroom are becoming more and more popular these days (2015). Round sanitaryware and taps can often be viewed as not necessarily an outdated style, but as a default “playing it safe” style, but again this depends on the range in question. For example the Roca Laura sanitaryware has a round “arc” like shape but due to the fact that the styling isn’t overly modern or overly traditional, it may not date as quickly as some of the ultra-modern designs of today. But of course that’s not to say that a round style can’t be sleek and modern, look at the Villeroy & Boch Subway 2.0 for example.

Equally, there’s no telling how long certain design trends will last. For all we know square bathroom equipment could be here to stay for a very long time. From a practicality standpoint, generally neither styles differ. In some cases, some prefer to purchase rounder equipment over square for small spaces such as cloakrooms where there may be a higher chance of hitting into a basin for example. In such a case, as an example a round wall hung basin may be a better choice than a square cloakroom vanity unit which may have potentially sharper edges.

For more information and to check out the products we have to offer, pop into our showroom today at 314-320 Smithdown Road.

 

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Plumbing FAQ: Water continuously trickling into my toilet pan?

One of the questions we’re often asked by our customers at our plumbing and heating counter is why water is continuously trickling into their toilet pan and how this problem can be fixed.

This is usually one of two problems:

A: The flush valve base sealing washer needs to be replaced.

If you have a push button operated valve installed (in some cases a lever flush valve that isn’t in the style of a traditional lever flush syphon) you’ll likely have a small rubber washer at the bottom of the valve which is attached to a cental “plunger” which lifts when the toilet is flushed and subsequently closes to stop more water from entering the pan and to allow the toilet cistern to refill.

This problem can usually be solved by replacing the base seal, this ensures that you should not experience any problems in the near future, it may also be a good idea to purchase a couple of these so that you have a spare washer on hand whenever you may need it. Sometimes the washer is in a reasonable condition but limescale has built up on the surface of the washer resulting in an uneven surface. This can then cause the washer to not sit flush against the surface of the flush valve’s “cradle” at the bottom of the cistern. This can often be solved by giving the base sealing washer a rinse in warm water, a mildy abrasive sponge may also help in removing the particularly stubborn areas of limescale, however it is advised not to be too rough with the washer, as splits in the rubber may occur.

Unfortunately some flush valves do not have user-serviceable base sealing washers or the washers are not made available separately from the manufacturer. In such a case, the flush valve itself would need to be replaced. This is usually as simple as twisting out the old valve from the “cradle” at the bottom of the cistern, disconnecting the button (or lever in some cases) and simply inserting the new valve into the cistern and re-attaching the button to it.

B: There may be a fault with the inlet valve / inlet valve diaphragm washer.

If your inlet valve (the assembly usually to the left or right of the flush valve in the center of your cistern) is constantly filling the cistern, water will overflow either down an overflow tube (wouldn’t trickle into the toilet pan) or down into what is known as an internal overflow which is commonly found in the center of the flush valve and will then trickle down continuously into the pan.

In some cases your inlet valve may have developed a fault, in such a case the inlet valve may need to be replaced. Often, a small rubber washer inside of the inlet valve called an inlet diaphragm washer may need to be replaced, these are usually available separately. You can easily find out if it’s your inlet valve by lifting up the float on the side of the valve. If the valve continues to run when the float is fully lifted up, the inlet valve has developed a fault or it’s inlet diaphragm washer may need to be replaced.

We provide the parts mentioned above for some of the most common brands including Derwent Macdee, Thomas Dudley, Fluidmaster, Torbeck, Armitage Shanks, Ideal Standard, Geberit, Grohe, Roca, Impulse, Siamp, Wirquin and many more. Pop into our shop today at 314-320 Smithdown Road.

Can’t identify which part you need? Take a few pictures or bring the part into to our shop where our experienced staff are here to help.

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Add a Finishing Touch With Bathroom Accessories

Bathroom accessories are a great way to add a finishing touch to your bathroom. Accessories can add an element of style whilst adding to the practicality of your bathroom.

In our showroom, we work with several bathroom accessory manufacturers including Inda, HiB, Roper Rhodes, Phoenix and more, to bring you great accessories such as robe hooks available in single, double and triple, soap dishes, tumblers and holders available in both single and double, liquid soap dispensers, towel arms, rails and rings also available in both single or double, spare toilet roll holders and toilet roll holders with and without covers and available recessed, surface mounted and freestanding, toilet brushes and toilet brush holders, glass shelves, soap and sponge baskets and shelves, mirrors, grab bars including grab bars that double up as towel rails, soap holders, stools, shower seats, hairdryers, retractable clothes lines, corner foot rests, paper towel dispensers, door stoppers, and many more.

Many of these accessories are wall mounted to save on floor space and can be installed with both standard wall screws or adhesive specially formulated and provided by the manufacturer for easy installation. Some of these accessories can also be combined too, such as a freestanding toilet roll holder combined with a toilet brush and holder which can save on valuable space and save on drilling additional holes in tiles or grout.

Many of these accessories are also available in both chrome and gold finishes to complement any existing bathroom fixtures and fittings. Bathroom mirrors can also be a great way to create the illusion of more space and can add useful functions such as sockets for electric shavers, lighting, radios, and a bluetooth speaker for your smartphone or any other bluetooth enabled device.

To check out the bathroom accessories we have on display along with all of the other great products we have to offer, and any for any additional information, feel free to pop into our showroom today at 314-320 Smithdown Road.

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