A Handyman’s COVID-19 Stuggle

I want to quickly share my Corona Virus story
that goes back to 2017 …… no, no, no, …. its not one of those conspiracy theories,
saying that COVID-19 was engineered in some government lab.! This was when Cape Town had a very serious
drought and we missed Day Zero, the day when all the dams were to run dry, by a month or something! That previous year, Capetonians jointly built
a dam at their own cost! It became as common to buy a rainwater tank
than ordering pizza! Even today, I believe that it is a crime to
flush a toilet with drinkable water! Hence, our household kept up the habit of
flushing with rain water, using the "bucket system"! I have been toying with ideas how to automate
this and when South Africa's President, Cyril Ramophosa, announced full lockdown, I decided

That's it! In anticipation that the hardware stores will
be closed, the day before lockdown, I stormed our local branch, armed with an extensive list. But since my plan was not set in concrete
yet, as to be expected, I missed some items. Thanks to my fairly extensive collection of
miscellaneous junk, and some improvisation, I eventually pulled through these testing
times (pun intended) with a working proof of concept. But wait, let me first fill in some dots. The first problem to solve was how to make
a standard ball valve, work under low pressure? As it turns out, the secret is buried deep
inside its guts.

This is where you will find a hidden smiley-face emoji! Without it, it fills the casern in almost
the time we must now wash our hands … verified with a bucket-on-the-roof test-flush. Footage of the bathroom getting flooded, had
to be censored due to violence and language … but do try this at home! Next up, to find in my well stocked junkbox,
was a pump with enough head! Nothing to do with brains, but one that can
pump water up onto the roof. No surprise, it was the bigger one of these two. The next million dollar question was what
tank to use and where to put it. The attic was out since, during lockdown,
I can't even buy a drip tray, let alone a tank. After several considerations, two options
remained – the bucket-on-the-roof drum or the other half of a geyser inner, left over
from my grey-water project. The latter is better, but has an unwieldy bottom! Mmm …. reminds me of a girl I once …. nevermind! This tank would need a one night ….

automated toilet fill

…. a sturdy stand! Another scrounge around the yard, revealed
a circular cement weight from an old washing machine …. that had a drinking problem or something. All it needed to get back on its feet were
legs ….. like wooden legs! It seemed to have been on crack too …… but
nothing an improvised hoop iron clamp can't fix! Finally, what to do about a level switch,
something else one can't buy during lockdown! Again, one cannibalised from that washing
did the trick! It works just as well as the expensive model
one can buy …

and was free! It now flawlessly switches the pump on and
off for every 3 – 4 flushes of the toilet!.

As found on YouTube

Leave a Reply