Water problems solved, for good maybe?.
Our latest guest is a plumber! He very kindly brought me a pressure regulating valve and some copper pipe and adaptors/couplings. He even offered to actually do the work as well, but as he's really here for a holiday I didn't feel able to take him up on that. Here are the bits I needed:
Here's where they have to go:
Not being a plumber, I don't have plumbers' tools, in particular a set of Stillsons. However, I got talking to our neighbour Mr Gamal, who has the next building and a wedding shop and a household goods shop, and he used to be a hotel plumber! How handy, I thought.
Using a mixture of sign language and dodgy Arabic, I eventually managed to ask him if he would loan me some Stillsons. He would, and he would meet me here at ashara (ten o'clock) in the morning.
He arrived at about 10 25, which is OK for Egyptian time, as you know. But there were no Stillsons. Mafishe mushkellar (no problem), he just popped along the street and took a new set off the shelf of Ashraf's tool shop! He hung around to make sure that I didn't get into any bother with the waterworks, very kind.
I switched the pump off, and turned the spindle of the ball valve to the off position (the handle is long-gone, and a pair of pliers now do the job). I knew, of course, that there would be all the water from the pipe which goes right through the building and up to the fourth floor, to contend with when I loosened the connection. I wasn't expecting it to squirt out quite so devastatingly though! It was like something from a Laurel and Hardy picture! Mr Gamal had been standing in the space on the landing, and got sprayed all down his right side. He came around to the actual stairs as I got to grips with removing the pipe, with water still flowing from it.Off it came, but the water was still gushing forth from the clever new switch, I knew the ball valve on the main was switched of, so there shouldn't be any pressure there. I stuck my thumb over the outlet; there WAS still pressure there, and it forced the water past my thumb and (you guessed it) straight at poor Mr Gamal again, this time catching him right in the face and down his front. It transpired that (not having my specs on) I hadn't actually closed the ball valve completely!
Anyway, I eventually stopped the flow of water, and Mr Gamal and I got the new gear out of the Egypt Free Shops carrier bag, at which point he managed to drop the heaviest of the brass fittings on to my left middle toe! You can see the discolouration just below the nail. I'm not certain, but it could have been in retaliation for the soaking, what do you think?
After it all came apart, I tripped off to the plumbers merchant shop down the street to get the pipes cut and threaded, and to see if they had a one-way valve to put in to save all the water pouring out of the interior pipes if I had to take it to bits again at any time in the future. I was pleasantly surprised when they charged me 35le for the lot, valve included!
Gamal and I soon had it back together, with about two miles of P.T.F.E. thread tape in the joints. One of which has a slight weep on it, but Gamal (him being an ex-plumber) reckons that it will dry up within a few days. (Insh'Allah.)
Here's a shot of the finished article, the one-way valve is at the top left.