24-Hour Service Line
The Phantom Flusher Cases
Sometimes a case turns out to have some comic relief. This was true on two call-outs that still have the ATS technicians chuckling heartily. They call them the "Phantom Flusher" cases.
First of the two arose during a leak survey for a municipality. One of the leaks located by ATS was on the residential service line leading to a residence that had burned down two years earlier. It was determined that the service had never been turned off. In looking for a way to get into the burned-out basement area, the ATS technicians started down the basement steps. As they descended, they began hearing a peculiar noise every few seconds.
Suddenly the source of the noise and problem was exposed in the rays of a flashlight. There was a toilet located in the basement. The leak in the service line would fill the basement with water until the water level reached the toilet, when it would cascade over the top of the bowl, causing it to flush. Then the process would start all over again. - And this had been going on for two years since the house burned. At 10,080 gallons of leaking water per day, this translated into 3,679,200 gallons per year.
(Incidentally, wouldn't you say this was a tribute to the mechanical reliability and efficiency of the toilet?)
Second of the Phantom Flusher Cases involved a parochial school which discovered it was having quite a leak problem, since there was considerable water flow even when the the school was empty.
Before attempting to locate any leak, the ATS crew first went around the school to make a preliminary search for the problem. It didn't take long. In one of the boy's lavatories they found six of the urinals continually flushing and re-flushing . . . a slight turn of a screw and replacement of a small gasket on each urinal was all that was needed. A survey of the other boy's rooms in the school turned up more of the same problem.
The school was closed that day, it was a Holy Day (which was the reason
the water flow became apparent) and the principal had already announced
that the school would be closed the next day pending location of the leak
and it's repair. When the ATS crew explained the cause of the water loss,
she grinned and said, I won't tell anybody about this if you don't.
(So don't ask us to reveal the name of the school!)
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