Flush It!

I’ve thought long and hard on what to call today’s blog post.  So hard, I’ve practically run out of energy for the today’s story content.

The first working title was “Kalling Kohler.”

When Towns Had ToiletsThen I toyed with “When Towns Had Toilets,” “Plumbing Problems,” or “Yes, I Know my Toilet is Running.”

Where to begin?

I have a small half bathroom next to my bedroom closet.  Really, it’s more of a “powder closet” within the bedroom versus a stand-alone utility half-bath.  And as we age, who wants to make a long trek to the porcelain in the middle of the night?  When I moved in, I was happy with the arrangement.

Then one morning while rushing around, I felt water on my foot.  Thinking it was from the sink, I didn’t pay much attention and cleaned it up.  On cleaning day, I got down on my hands and knees to scrub the floor and what did I see?  A puddle next to the toilet.

I called Handy and he came over, inspected things and tightened a few things.  I asked him to go downstairs to make sure the leaking hadn’t gone through the floor.  He assured me everything was fine.

A few months later, the troubles and the leaking began again.

I didn’t know Handy that well and so I thought “maybe he’s more of a bricks and mortar guy, not specializing in toilets.”  So I called my parents’ plumber, a lovely gentleman we’ll call Steve.  Steve stopped by and inspected things and tightened a few things.  He went down in the basement and inspected the pipes.  He assured me everything was fine.

Do I need to tell you what happened next?  You got it.  The leaking started again.  Handy and I began the dance of the toilet; I’d tell him about it, he’d inspect it and say he couldn’t find anything, I’d sleep soundly for a few weeks, and then it would happen again.  It was like there was a demon in my toilet.  I spent a lot of time worrying and wondering about the leak.  Was it rotting my floor?  Would my bedroom collapse into the basement during the night, dragged down by the porcelain?

I don’t know for sure, but Handy may have thought I was imagining things.  To him, the leak could have been a byproduct of fatigue and an overactive imagination.  So for the last few weeks, every time I’d flush the toilet, I’d kneel down by the apparatus with my phone camera set to record any geyser-like activities.

Then one day, while talking to Jaxon about his new house, he nonchalantly said, “well, the first thing I’ve got to do is get a plumber in there to replace the toilets.”  I asked him what was wrong with the toilets in his new house.  He said “oh, nothing, I just always replace the toilets when I buy a new place.”

After much discussion about the phantoms in my toilet, Handy and I agreed it was time to take a trip to the big box hardware store.  I picked out a simple and elegant Kohler Cimarron comfort height toilet with “innovative AquaPiston technology, a patented flush engine that delivers a fast, powerful, and virtually plug-free flush.”

Has this story gone on long enough?  No, it gets better.

The Cimarron was installed yesterday and Handy came up to my office with a troubled look on his face.  The brand new bowl, with its patented flush engine, was making a slow, hissing sound from its tank.  It was leaking past the seal, or some such thing, and according to Handy, it was “pissing over the top of the fill valve.”

I went into “consumer advocate” mode and called Kohler, Wisconsin to lodge a complaint.  A perfectly lovely woman asked if we had flushed out the toilet fill valve and directed us to a video on the Kohler website.  We watched the video and Handy flushed out the toilet fill valve.

The hissing and pissing continued.

I called Kohler again.  They offered a two thousand mile solution–a bag of parts mailed to us.

I knew this wasn’t going to work out well and I politely declined the offer; I advised the perfectly lovely woman I would be returning the toilet to the big box hardware store and purchasing an American Standard toilet.

Today, the Kohler is back at the big box store, the new American Standard is in the powder closet and the demon toilet is out on the street; some scrapper or industrious house flipper might want it.  If no one picks it up by Saturday morning, it’s going to the dump.

One of my neighbors called yesterday afternoon, concerned.

“Julie, do you know there is a toilet on your lawn?”

Good grief, I’m tired of toilets and talking about them.  Next week, let’s talk about something silly and superfluous, like casseroles, shall we?

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