20 January 2011

Just when I thought it was safe...

to go to the bathroom...

If you've been around Taking It On for awhile then you are familiar with my nemesis... the Low-flow Toilet.  We rent or we'd change those suckers out in a heartbeat.

There are three toilets in this house.  They all clog at least once a day.  Two of them super suck and one is The Good Toilet... where we go if we can make it when real business is at hand.  Know what I mean?  Not only do they all require multiple flushes per "go" and at least one sound daily plunging, but two of them were also constantly very slightly running due to bad seals in the tank.  One of these perpetually running commodes is The Good Toilet.  

We had the property manager's o-so-handyman come take a look at this issue.  This guy is the face of not-the-sharpest-tool-in-the-shed.  

His name is Brruuuuce.

And he is the farthest thing from a Great White you could imagine... 
he actually reminds me a lot of a Sea Monkey.

So Brruuuuce comes to fix the toilets... not the flush-power part but the running part.  He replaces the flaps inside the tanks.  But he puts in a faulty flap on The Good Toilet... thereby rendering it no longer The Good Toilet.  The faulty flap now gets stuck every. single. time. you flush. Everytime.  It never doesn't get stuck.  So not only are you needing to flush at every stage of evacuation, but at every flush you need to remove the top of the tank and fish around to make the flap cover the seal.  Nice.  

Well, I fear I am losing the Toilet War.  The Good Toilet upped the ante today in the War of the Flush...

After my invigorating and cleansing ;-) run today (woo hoo... I got to go running in the day!)  I ran upstairs to  the commode-formerly-known-as-The-Good-Toilet (and you know why).  I did my "post-op", "prelim" flush and carefully poised myself as I removed the tank lid to fix that flap.  I completed my mission, flushed and left.

I was puttering around on the computer when the smoke detector went off.  I am generally not surprised by the smoke detector going off... given my track record in the kitchen you would understand this.  My husband hollered out... "BABE....?"  as if it were again one of my culinary mishaps.  I ran downstairs, bewildered as to what I had left on.  Was I really losing it that badly that I couldn't even remember if/what/when I had been cooking?

I got to the bottom of the stairs and was greeted by not only a blaring smoke detector, but an indoor shower!  Water was pouring out of the smoke detector!  Isn't that weird?

I shouted out an expletive (the "s" word... and not 'stupid' or 'shut up') and ran to the kitchen just to make sure we weren't dealing with two issues... we weren't (so at least I wasn't losing my mind).  And then ran back upstairs to grab a towel to wipe up the water pouring out all over the hall floor whereupon I saw the totally flooded bathroom!

The flap had gotten stuck AND my final flush had proved to be a latent clogger.  *expletive*  And that perpetually running water was just flowing over the edge of the toilet bowl.  FLOWING.  A quick flip of the flap put a stop to that, and 14 beach towels were enough to sop up the water which, miraculously, didn't get any of the carpeting wet upstairs or down.  Three big plastic buckets caught most of the water that was pouring not only through the smoke detector but also through a recessed lighting fixture next to it as well as a weird little pinhole in the garage.  No real damage.  Whew.  But what an ordeal.  These toilets totally have it in for me.  I think they are part of a Stephen King novel.

So the story gets better...

Remember I've used ALL the towels cleaning up this toilet fiasco.

At one o'clock in the morning (of course) my 5-year old comes into my room... "mommy... I just threw up in my bed..."  So I go in to clean it up and clean him up and assess what more is needed.  I send him into the bathroom to wash his hands and take off his shirt and direct him to puke in the toilet, should he have the urge again.  He goes into the bathroom and vomits all over the floor, the vanity, the step stool, the door...  We have no junky towels to clean this up!  They are all in the wash and soaking wet!  So I start mopping up chunks with the "good" towels (which are actually pretty ancient and frayed anyway).  My husband comes in and takes over the cleaning of the inanimate objects while I tend to Q-man.

I am getting him situated in a clean bed with a giant bowl beside it when Baby X starts moaning.  I go in.  She joins in the fun.  Poor girl.  Thankfully we had braided her hair before she went to bed!

By two o'clock, all is quiet ... except Big G who is yelling at us to keep it down because he is trying to sleep.  Then all is quiet for real.

Today I am doing lots of laundry and changing videos and buckets for sick kids.

And wishing I had a portapotty in my backyard.

Indoor plumbing is overrated.


  1. Oh goodness! What a day! This sounds CRAZY! Definitely a story to go down in the family history book. :) I thought my day was crazy yesterday with just my stove fire from me leaving the stove on with the plastic spoon on the pan left to melt all over and start on fire. My head hurt so bad from breathing in melted plastic smoke. Had every window and door in the house open. ugggh! At least the water from your toilet was clean eh? that would have been really shitty if it wasn't.

  2. Yeah! So thankful for the fact it was the follow up flush that was the prob! I do stovetop fires more often than I should share. Glad all turned out okay :)

  3. I swear to god this is all bad omens for me....I keep reading all these nightmare posts about bathrooms, and we are just about to remodel ours. Makes me scared!

    I think you should have called your landlord at 2am, just to give him an update on the situation!

    Hope tomorrow is better!!!

  4. I've thought about indoor plumbing before. I've compared it to on-demand electricity, ready to use hot water, waste water/sewage systems, and my opinion is I wouldn't mind being rid of everything BUT indoor plumbing. But that's just me :)

  5. lol... my landlord lives in Hong Kong! Hence, Brrruuuuce. Remodeling is no big deal (snicker, snicker). My husband is a contractor... just relax and go with it and remember it will all be over ... one day! ;-)

  6. That's near enough to make you want to call the landlords "handyman" at 2 am and have him go find the OLD parts, since they at least worked for part of the job.

  7. ou should never have goen ou of bed, girlfriend!! our da has o be HE WORS da ever!!! Worse han a Naional Lampoon's movie :) Is i wrong o sa I LOVED reading ever word??? HEHE!

  8. Oh my gosh-I am so sorry! And even more sorry that I chuckled through this whole thing! :) Aren't you glad you are documenting all this so that you can look back and laugh at it too?
    I hope your day tomorrow is much less crappy than today! :P

  9. Well, that HAS to be the low point, right? :)

  10. OH MY GOD! HORRIBLE! What a catastrophe- you are some kind of superhero. I'm totally freaked out just READING about this.
    You are a GOOD MOM.
    Good luck with the Code V. I don't enjoy vom AT ALL. So my heart goes out to you and I wish you the best of luck.

  11. I am glad everything is okay now, but that is a pretty funny story.

  12. I'm sorry to say that your troubles may have just begun. We just finished dealing with the stomach flu, and they ALL got it. When my first got sick (picked it up at school for sure, there has been lots of kids absent as of late), I told everybody that they should be washing their hands often. OK they said. And they all got it, except me (I've been obsessively washing MY hands throughout). It's probably too late for you guys, so brace yourself for more. I'm so sorry about your bad day yesterday, but even more sorry about your bad days today, and tomorrow, and the next... I just hope you stay healthy and sane. Somebody has to mop up all the vomit, right?

  13. Oof what a pain! I'm a new follower from the weekend hop! Can't wait to read your updates!

    Mrs. H

  14. Holy crap. I am exhausted just reading this. Hope things improve exponentially for you!

  15. Blog hopping today and am your newest follower. I hope that 1 of my blogs interests you too.



  16. Oh you poor thing.......yikes!
    I'm following from the blog hop.
    I'd love a follow back at www.mikaspantry.blogspot.com

  17. Wo and to think I thought we had toilet problems!! Hope they can be fixed!!Following you from the Saturday talk new follower ~Shari



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