Toilet Tragedies and Other Holiday Fun

January 9, 2013

plumbing

I had always relegated it to urban legend, those tales of Christmas-Day plumbing emergencies… but to my shock and surprise, those things REALLY do happen. And who else would it happen to but ME!!!

We were getting ready for bed late one night when my son ran breathlessly into the room. “The toilet is not flushing and there is water squirting all over the floor.”

{insert screaming, crying emoticon here}

We are a family of six people and our old house has two toilets. The one downstairs doesn’t work so well so the one upstairs is the mainstay. This toilet was installed way back in 1962, however, so you can imagine the amount of water it ate with every flush. And worse, the drains are so poor here that we would have to hold the flushing handle down until all the water was sucked down the bowl. I estimate that the sucker wasted 10 to 15 gallons of water with every flush. Yes, our water bill is atrocious. So I couldn’t say I was sad to see the old porcelain hag go. But at 11:30 at night on a holiday weekend?!?!?! Noooooooo!

Providentially, I had an extra toilet on hand. It was actually a miracle. In late October, Delta Faucet asked me if I wanted to try out their latest toilet, with SmartFit™ and WaterSense® technology! Sure, I said, imagining that I had months to install it….. my my my, such are the plans of mice and men…

We trudged upstairs to check out the damage. I knew the old toilet leaked a bit — the floor is spongy and it squeaks. After a quick caucus, we figured the wax seal beneath the toilet was shot, and since we have to remove the old thing, why not install the new Delta toilet now? The box said it had an EZ Out™ Toilet Removal Kit, so maybe something will actually be easy for us this time?

We rolled up our sleeves and set to work. The hardest part was removing the old toilet. Those screws were welded on by time and eternal moisture problems. Good riddance.

toilet1

The EZ Out™ Toilet Removal Kit is really neat! It has a stiff block that is actually a compressed sponge. You plunk it into the old toilet bowl to remove all traces of water. The kit also has gloves (YAY for that!) a plastic scraper the remove the old wax ring, and a plastic bag to throw the wax ring away. My son actually got excited (it was his first toilet project) and wanted to scrape the wax ring himself. Son, BE MY GUEST!

toilet2

Yeah, he looks tired. It was only 2 in the morning… :|

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We unboxed the new Delta toilet and I got my first look at it. Delta had sent me their luxurious Corrente series toilet and it’s beautiful! It’s narrow, so it fits better in the small space. It’s also elongated and taller than average!!! I can’t tell you how important this is. I sometimes get a stiff back in the mornings, and it’s not fun to have to .. well, you know. Those low-to-the-ground toilets are fine for 6-year olds but let’s face it we haven’t had a 6-year old here in a decade. Time for the toilet to grow up.

toilet4

Yes, the cat made sure we were doing everything just right. She often joins in on our projects, which is OK except when she gets too close to the wet paint or, in this case, the silicone adhesive… *sigh*

toilet5

The tank is so tiny! It has a special contraption inside — this must be the WaterSense feature. It only uses 1.28 gallons per flush! And the flush is very powerful, so no flushing twice. It works perfectly even with our sluggish plumbing system.

toilet6

Here Livvy is supervising the toilet seat installation. Delta even provides that in the package!

toilet7

Taaaadaaaa!

toilet8

Now if I can only convince the cat to use the thing…

So Delta saved my skin that night. It was a true miracle that we had the toilet on hand, truly. I love Delta products. I think they are built to last. I have lived in a lot of old homes, and I’ve only ever seen Delta products stand the test of time. We are still using the old Delta faucets here, installed by the previous owners in the late 1960s. They faucets never leak and are still working perfectly. That’s proof of some good manufacturing there.

Here’s the poop on the new toilet we installed. It flushes without any problems and we love it!

  • RSL (Rigid Supply Line) model is available for use where required by State or Local Plumbing Codes.
  • Maximum flush power while saving you money, Delta 1.28gpf WaterSense labeled toilets are virtually clog-free.
  • Features the exclusive SmartFit™ tank-to-bowl connection and SmartFit™ supply line, reducing potential leak points, over-tightening of the fasteners and cracking the toilet.
  • Delta toilet kit includes the tank, bowl, toilet seat, mounting hardware, SmartFit™ supply line, wax ring and SmartFit™ Multi-Tool. No additional tools required.

Oh, and we did find out the reason for the old toilet failure — when we lifted up the old toilet, the drain was filled with a wad of those “flushable” wipes. It was my wonderful job of running a plumber’s snake down the pipe to loosen everything down there. Yeah. Don’t you believe it when those wipes manufacturers say their products are flushable — they are not!

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3 Responses to “Toilet Tragedies and Other Holiday Fun”

  1. Sparkle Says:

    Admit it – the job would have taken twice the time without Livvy’s help! My human says that with six people in your family, you are going to be THRILLED when you see your first water bill that includes the new toilet.

  2. Rena Says:

    Its like that here too, things seem to happen on a holiday or on a Sunday!!

    So glad that everything worked out for you guys…it was a blessing in disguise. I just hope Ken didn’t have to work the next day, well that day since it was 2am!

    We need a new toilet for both upstairs and downstairs, the upstairs one leaks so we turned the water off and we don’t use it anymore. Hopefully soon we can get some money saved up to replace the downstairs one first then the upstairs next.

    I have been so tired this week, right after Faith’s mom picks her up, I have to go down for a nap…that is 2 naps a day! One nap in the morning and one in the evening. I can barely keep my eyes open for some reason. Hope it goes away soon because I have to get to my to do list!

    Have a great rest of the week!

  3. Lin Says:

    I love how you just happened to have a new toilet hanging around!