Practical Ideas

By Val Black

Originally published in EUG #15

Some time ago I saved myself £35.00 by repairing my Aqualisa shower mixer in my bathroom.

I happened to mention it to Gus when he took over as editor of EUG and he asked me to write about it. He said that he would give me a drawing program so that I could draw a diagram on the Electron. As it hasn't come yet, I am just going to write the text and hope that anyone who is interested can understand what I did.

The mixer began to leak very badly around the area of the knob which controls the flow. This happened even when the shower was turned off. I took it apart and found that the front assembly was held in by four screws about 1 and a half inches long. Two of these screws had pieces of copper sheath on their ends which were the remains of the thread into which they should go to hold the front onto the main body of the mixer.

I telephoned Aqualisa and was told that a replacement body was needed costing, as I said, £35.00 plus VAT.

I wasn't going to pay that so I looked at the unit again and noticed that there were four screws at the back in the same place as the ones on the front. I realised that the copper sheath was put into the middle of the body to act as a mutual thread for the two screws and, by removing this copper sheath from each of the four holes, I could put one long screw into each hole so as to repair the unit.

I bought four screws M5 10cm long from a local hardware store, used one to knock the copper sheaths out of each of the four holes and reassembled the unit using the new screws. Total cost was about £1.50 and the shower now works fine.

Val Black

Thanks, Val. Sorry about Diagram. It appears in this issue.

Gus Donnachaidh

Your practical ideas section is a great idea.

With all the concern about the effect of pollutants on the environment most motorists have been switching to unleaded petrol. I drive an old car which is fine except it can not take unleaded. A few years ago I noticed that it began to overheat a lot and, several times after stopping, it would not start again. I also noticed a smell of petrol.

The garage serviced the car and could find nothing badly wrong but the problem persisted. They suggested a new cylinder head so that I could use unleaded petrol at a cost of £300.

One day while driving out in the country it stopped dead and one of those eccentric locals offered to help. He diagnosed the problem as fuel. He said that four star petrol on sale now has a much lower octain rating than four star on sale in the seveties when my car was built. This has the effect of causing my engine to run too hot, burning oil, burning out my plugs and the heat makes the petrol in the float chamber vapourise causing the smell. All very polluting.

He re-tuned the engine retarding the ignition and advised me to get a petrol flow regulator. This is like one of those gas pressure regulators but is fitted onto the petrol feed pipe between the pump and the carb'.

I got it through the post from a shop in Brighton called Formula 1. it cost about £12. Their telephone number is 01273 551379

The problem has now all but disappeared.

Jim Dicks

Thanks, Jim. I might use this on my car. I haven't had as many problems as you but I do get a lot of pinking and overheating.

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #15