Saturday, March 24

the tale of the clogged toilet

Our downstairs toilet hasn't been working right for about a month. (This is the only toilet on the main level of the house so you can imagine how annoyed I've been.) The toilet would flush but sometimes the water would go down really slowly while other times it would go down at a normal rate, but always after it had flushed the toilet paper would float back up.

Of course we tried plunging, which didn't seem to do much, but finally one day I realized that there was probably a toy stuck in the toilet that we couldn't see, most likely put there by the smallest child. Jeremy tried putting his hand down there but it was too big so he couldn't tell. Naturally, we turned to our older two and said, "Who's willing to stick their hand in the toilet for us?" Surprisingly, neither of them volunteered. We tried and tried, but neither of them would budge. Then I remembered that Tyler was saving up his money for something and he was shy $2 of his goal, so I said, "Tyler, if you stick your hand down that toilet I'll give you $2." He thought about that and worked it out in his mind and whimpered a bit about it but finally got the courage up to stick his hand in the toilet.

And was there a toy in there?


I was beginning to think that I would be out the cost of a plumber AND the $2 we paid Tyler to put his hand in the toilet. Jeremy tried a snake, more plunging, and anything else he could think of.

Then today, Saturday, Jeremy's day to get things done, I came downstairs to find him working on the toilet. After a little research and a few other failed attempts, he tore the whole toilet apart in attempt to fix it. A bit later he called me, "Lisa, come see this." When I enter the bathroom Jeremy hands me a flashlight and motions towards the base of the toilet, which is now laying upside down on the bathroom floor. I peeked through the S-curve and there, lodged in the toilet is a Lightning McQueen pencil. A full size pencil too, not some sharpened down stub.

So we called in Ryan and said, "Ryan, did you put this pencil down in the toilet?"
He looked at it with recognition in his eyes and said, "yeah".

So we said again, "You put this pencil in here?"
This time he was smart enough to shake his head in denial, but no one believes him.

I'm not sure how a straight pencil managed to go down a curved pipe, but it explains why the toilet paper was always floating back up when the water would go down. So if you ever have a similar toilet situation and a small child in your home, check for a pencil first.


Mother said...

Yea Jeremy (clapping)!
Brave Tyler (clapping!
Ryan--don't let them blame everything on you just because you are the littlest. And tell mommy at least it wasn't humus!

Jessica M said...

Hilarious. Ah, family life.

Shauna said...

Wow, that's pretty darn fantastic! I love that your bribed Tyler to stick his hand down that toilet, hahaha. Thanks for a good laugh :)

Darryl Iorio said...

Ahh. These are the times when you can both frown and smile. :) Your kid is too cute! However, there are also other alternatives of going through your clogged toilet. Baking soda and vinegar is also a good solution. First, pour one box of a baking soda, and then, slowly pour the vinegar in the bowl. Wait for approximately 8 hours, and see if the clog had already cleared on its own. If there is still blockage, try plunging again, and repeat the process.

Darryl Iorio

Katherine lacano said...

This is so funny! Tyler is so cute! Good thing this plumbing issue has been solved. I will definitely share this easy fix a clogged toilet tip. ^__^

Evon Brow said...

Dealing with a clogged toilet may be tough, but it really has to be done. It's nice that you had your kid involved in the process. Too cute. Thanks for the share.

Athens Plumbing

Lovella Cushman said...

Clogged toilets are common tales in households that have toddlers and kids running amok. Can’t blame them for being kids, right? The best thing you can do is keep in touch with a trusted plumber, in case your kid decides to flush a toy down the toilet. I hope that’s no longer the case now. Have a good day!

Lovella Cushman @ Perfection Plumbing