An easy fix in the Old Post Office

 Against all odds, I actually had a straightforward household maintenance job on the Old Post Office building!  

Our garden tap had started to drip excessively. It was an old style brass tap, and I correctly guessed it was made from Imperial size components rather than metric. I assumed it would be a 1/2 inch flat rubber washer, so I took a walk down to Tomes. Unusually they were out of stock, so I had to go further to Tool Station down in Goods Yard Road. To be safe I purchased a set of different sizes of tap washers. After pre-checking the spanners sizes I found a 13/16ths inch spanner was ideal. A trip down into our cellar to turn off the water at the mains and back to the job. It was all over and done within less than 10 minutes and no unwelcome gushes of water.  So now I've plenty of spare washers and a properly working cold tap in the garden. It turned out that my original guess of 1/2 inch flat washer had been correct.

Changing the garden tap washer in the Old Post Office Belper

The original tap washer made from black rubber had perished and split. The cost of the replacement tap washer? About 20p. That's an awful lot cheaper than the ceramic cartridge washers you get in modern taps.

I've learned to never assume that repairs on this place will be simple and straightforward. Built in 1806 it has had many different owners, plumbers, electricians, plasterers, builders involved in its history. It's rebuild price for insurance purposes is about three times the current property market price.


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