Saturday, May 18, 2013

Toilet Whisperer

Sassafras House is more than 80 years old.  I've lived here for eight years and over that time I've come to recognize the sounds of impending plumbing troubles.  As a consequence of some of those troubles, there is new plumbing in some parts of the house.  Both toilets are relatively new, but even so, toilets around here get clogged with what I would characterize as an alarming frequency.  It's not every month or anything like that, but it's often enough that I always know where the toilet plunger is located.

Earlier this week, the downstairs toilet made some noises that caused me anxiety.  I couldn't identity a specific problem, it was just that the sound of the water flushing wasn't quite right.  So I was on alert.

Yesterday morning, the alert rang loud and clear when I tried to flush the toilet.  Instead of the sound of water swishing away, the toilet made an unpleasant gurgle.  I got the water shut off just as the toilet filled to the brim.  A clog.  And if there is anything better than a clogged toilet, it's a clogged toilet at 6:20 in the morning.  I followed my plumber's advice from previous clogs and headed to the basement for a listen to the soil pipe.  I could hear just a bit of water trickling downward; enough to conclude that the clog was close at hand.  I headed back upstairs with my plunger and some towels in hand.

Less than five minutes later, the clog was cleared and we were back in business.  I was reminded yet again to honor my instincts and watch that toilet like a hawk when it's making the wrong sounds, lest I find myself with a toilet crisis flowing onto the floor.  Internet, I've become a toilet whisperer.

1 comment:

Wilfred Andrews said...

Yes, vigilance is definitely the answer when it comes to toilets and old houses. More than once I've had to get up in the middle of the night when my wife or one of the children has been and there has been a worrying noise. I love the term 'toilet whisperer' - I think I've learned to be one too.