My New W/C Arrived Today.

…And I paid money to have it installed, as well as to have my old one taken away. The new one is a “Ravenna 3″.

The man who installed it was a younger plumber, who struck me as being quite competent overall. But there was one aspect of his job, which did disappoint me.

The Ravenna 3 has parts inside that are mainly made out of plastic, so that they won’t oxidize over time. But like most toilets, there is a tensile component which hooks into an arm, which is rotated when the flush lever is depressed, and this tensile component lifts the flapper quickly, to start the flow of water. With the Ravenna 3, the Engineers decided to use a metal chain as this tensile component after all.

When I flushed my new toilet for the first few times, the flow did not continue until the job was done, instead ending as soon as I stopped depressing the lever.

I thought to myself that it would be unlikely, that this would be a design failure. And so I looked inside, and found out, that the chain was hooked to the arm in such a way, that there was too much free play, too much length of chain between the arm and the flapper. Therefore, the user needed to depress the lever on the outside too far, before depressing it further would start to lift the flapper. And as a consequence, the flapper would also not get lifted high enough, in order to stay ‘up’, after the user released the lever.

I was able to adjust the mechanism myself, by unhooking the clasp at the end of this chain, and then re-attaching it to the chain at a shorter distance down, before hooking the clasp back onto the hole in the plastic arm. Ideally, there should only be almost no loose distance in the chain, when the flapper is fully down, and when the external lever is fully up.

Doing this adjustment resolved the issue 100%. But the really weird question in all this is, ‘I just paid to have this installed. Why should I need to adjust it?’

And I think I know the answer to this question. The younger plumber was very efficient and skilled in installing the toilet, but also must have had a mind-set common to the computerized era. ‘I followed all the steps to install this correctly. If it still doesn’t work, it must be a design failure.’ (He never actually said this; I’m just speculating at what he might have been thinking to himself.) But it wasn’t a design failure.

I’ve heard other reports, about how younger Technicians etc., will understand how to operate machinery in principle, but will not fuss as much as the older generation did, to adjust it, or ‘to play with it until it works’. And yet there still do exist mechanical systems, which need to be fine-tuned in some way.

Also, the chain of the Ravenna 3’s internal mechanism has two segments of polymer sleeve over it, which are apparently meant to prevent it from getting tangled with the flapper too easily, which older designs did. And if, people are going to be adjusting the length at which this chain is clasped, I’d recommend turning the water supply off temporarily, just so that we don’t get very cold fingers from the constantly-running water…