Saturday, November 26th, 2016

Plumbing + Holiday Parties…Look Out, She’s Gonna Blow!

I learned last week that it’s our turn to host Thanksgiving for the in-laws, all 35-50 of them. My first vision: that scene in The Shawshank Redemption when Andy busts open the sewer pipe and sewage explodes into his face. When the family arrives, it’s hard to tell what might get flushed down the toilet. Some years, it’s worse than others.

Kids + Vintage Plumbing +Toilet Paper = Bad News 
In our first review of our pre-party plumbing situation, we noted two issues – our main floor toilet has a wimpy flush, with water rising, rising, rising, then leaving s-l-o-w-l-y, ending with the dreaded gurgle as the last of the water goes down the hole. The flushing experience is followed by an audible sigh of relief as an overflow crisis is narrowly averted.

With a house full of Other People’s Little Kids this holiday season, we knew it was time to address our situation.

Here’s the 411. Our DIY repair approach:
· Flush again to clear out the TP floaters.
· Flush again, just to be sure.
· When safe, use the plunger to attack the invisible ‘soft clog’.
· Flush again. Maybe one more after that.
· Leave the area and don’t tell anyone there’s an issue
· Repeat for 2-3 months until the rest of the family starts to notice and someone (anyone) finally speaks up.

Upon plunging/flushing the toilet about 1800 times (what’s the definition of crazy??), we noticed another symptom: The toilet handle was popping up prematurely in the refill cycle. When tested (by holding the handle down until the bowl refilled completely), we gave our toilet further thought. The tank mechanism is about 10-15 years old and showing signs of wear. The fix: a trip to the hardware store for a replacement kit. Problem solved.

Toilet Wear & Tear
In busy homes, toilets take a lot of abuse. At about the same time as our main floor toilet started acting up, our upstairs toilet handle (plastic) cracked. It didn’t break apart, it just cracked and remained functional. The family didn’t really care (even cracked, it remained a 1-flush toilet, so we loved it even more). It looked bad for company, though. The fix: Another trip to the hardware store for a replacement part.

Best Party Planning Skill – Household Plumbing Awareness
In advance of holiday celebrations, take a quick look at your facilities and make sure they are up to snuff. Trust us – nothing ruins a party faster than a toilet clog and sewage backing up through the basement drain. Make repairs before your friends and family arrive and keep your social standing in good order.

Water You Waiting For? At Allied Reddi-Rooter, we’re on hand 24/7 to resolve your bathroom plumbing issues, planned or in an emergency. Give Ray a call today for a free quote. 513-396-5300.