A plumbing problem

We have a combination bath-shower with one tap that toggles between delivering water via the shower head or regular faucet into the bath.  The thing that toggles is stuck between the two and when the tap is turned on water spouts from the shower head and the faucet at the same time.  My mission today is to pop in to the local plumber’s shop, explain the problem in French and see if he can fix it.

I don’t even know what the toggle thing is called in English; fortunately there is a word in French for “the thingumajig” (le truc) so I am hoping that will do.  I’ve checked the gender of a few key nouns and rehearsed my spiel.  I want to get it right because according to my dictionary the word for tap in French (le robinet) also translates to the infantile term for a penis; “willy” (Brit) or “peter” (US).  I don’t want to get tangled up in delivering my spiel and somehow convey I have a problem with the willy in my bathroom.

I’ve also taken a photo of the problem tap and a video clip of its fault in action so that I can augment my explanation with pictures.


So how did it go? Great, no language debacles this time! The plumber and his office manager (perhaps Mrs Plumber) were both charming and understood the problem exactly.  Monsieur le plombier returned with me to the apartment to determine the make of the dodgy tap and promised to have it fixed this afternoon.  He has done just that.  Génial!!


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