Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Generation Low Flow Toilets- Bad!

I have three (yes, 3) toilets.  Do I need three?  I do not; although sometimes... it's darn handy.  Two down and one up.  I live in a rented condo so I have a landlord- let's refer to him as Mr. Big Wig (as opposed to "Big Wig" who is my son), not to be confused with the local rag which is "The Whig." 
The bad thing is- the title did give you a hint, right- they are ALL first generation low flow toilets.  You can pretty much bet with confidence that any toilet in the U.S. was installed in the late 80's and early 90's.  Our family business installed plenty of these babies because there really was no choice no matter who  the manufacturer was (yeah, yeah, I know- revenge is sweet).  Mass. in 1989 required it, and it was federally mandated in 1992.  Manufacturers saw the future and in effect mandated them even earlier.  ("Hey, you want a working toilet that's not low flow- I can get you one- from Canada."  Seriously). 
They used basically the same design but decreased the tank size.  Following my flow here (apology given)- gaze upon the pic of "the evil one."  Low to the ground with a very large shallow bowl.  Now since a toilet is gravity feed, the theory was that it would still flush.  Yes, it does, but... evidently some physical property was ignored because much of the time they just partially flushed.  A second flush might do it or... you pretty much know the rest of the story, right?  Overflow.  &!!!%%  MESS!!
So that's what I'm stuck with.  Three of them. 
When the inevitable happened (frequently) I did my usual tricks- wait, wait, wait.  Flush.  Wait, wait, wait.  Flush.  Dump pitch after pitcher of water in the bowl in order to assist gravity.  Wait, wait, wait.  Dump more water.  Etc., etc.. etc....  And, yes, I do have a designated pitcher just for this task.
Sometimes I'm lucky and you quickly hear the loud gulp - GONE!  But no.  All day.   All night.  Pitcher after pitcher after...
Then tragedy- yep- Overflow ( I got carried away & thought I'd fixed it)!  I won't got into detail here- suffice it to say: Thank you, Lestoil for my VERY clean bathroom floor.
Finally- plunger.  Really disgusting (it's the splashback).  But little by little- almost gone- flush- YAHOO!  Now more cleaning after after just done it two days ago- grr!  I Love toilet cleaning.  Heck, I just love cleaning generally.  Please.  I do know people who like to do this- unfortunately no close friends or I'd invite them over- frequently.   "No, I don't mind at all.  BE MY GUEST!"  Although I do like doing laundry.  Dirty in, clean out.  It's really quite miraculous, don't you think?  Push buttons, insert liquids- magic happens almost every time. 

This, then, is a cautionary tale.  Avoid these toilets!  Replace them (new ones do NOT have this problem).

I include for your enjoyment & mine- what should be properly done with these evil ones:

Just a thought, mind you... with a disclaimer of course (I am being seriously facetious here- blowing up a toilet would likely result in your being charged with a federal "hate" crime- toiletwise or in violation of homeland security).  But it is fun to think about it and I did suggest it to my landlord.
Now it's off to fix my seriously nasty bi-fold door.  It's a close toilet relative.  It hides my laundry machine and is treating it quite cruelly.  Likely jealous because- it works!  At least... today.
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