October 7, 2009

How to Clear a Blocked Toilet

Now that I'm a homeowner, when something goes wrong in my house, I've got a rather scary decision to make. Call a professional, or become a professional. Due to my unflinching cheapness, I went ahead and bought the book published by Black&Decker, "Complete Home Repair." The empowerment began immediately.

So when my two year old flushed both a aluminum Capri Sun pouch and a large building block down her toilet, I took a deep breath and prepared for my curtain call. After consulting with my father over the phone who assured me he'd fixed clogged toilets millions of times, I plunged in.

Step one: Plunge in. Plunger had no effect.

Step two: Purchase a drum auger (snake) for $28 to try and weasel the blockage out. I got a few small pieces of the Capri Sun bag, but no sign of the wooden block.

Step three: Call my dad again and get itemized instructions on lifting off and replacing the toilet.

Step four: Remove toilet, clear blockage in no time and call father in victory. Bask in father's assurances that I am indeed, Wonderwoman. Hang up.

Step 5: Turn on the water supply to perform a test flush. Notice leak coming from a small crack I've accidentally made in water supply line behind toilet. Decide not to call Dad for further guidance since he's just finished telling me how great I am and I don't want to burst his bubble.

Step 6: Accidentally destroy old water supply line and valve while trying to remove it and go to hardware store for a $12 water supply value and line replacement.

Step 7: Install new supply line and valve. Turn on water supply and spot two minor leaks. Readjust the nuts to tighten the seal.

Step 8: Turn nuts the wrong way, have valve burst off. Have face placed strategically in front of water pipe so the blast of water pushes your contacts behind your eyeballs and then run soaking wet though the house, blinded, screaming, "TURN OFF THE WATER!" to a husband who I'm praying can hear me.

Step 9: Turn off water, utilize 15 towels to soak up the flood. Have husband use mystical Man Muscles" to screw nuts on tight enough.

Step 10: Try not to notice as I slog through the bathroom that my book, "Complete Home Repair" that I kept by my side through the entire operation has now become a waterlogged mess and will need replacement for an additional $25.


Total cost: $65. But hey, my Dad is proud of me - at least until he reads this post. No professional plumber can ever take that away from me.

12 comments:

chattypatra said...

Hahahahahaha! This story has made my day. Sorry you had such a hard time. That said, I truly admire your gumption, since I would have called a plumber. Congratulations! :)

Jillybean said...

I'm impressed. $65.00 isn't bad.
I can say that because I know exactly how much it costs to have a plumber do what you did.
Only times it by two, because our "flusher" managed to clog both of our toilets at the same time.

You know the pump lid from the liquid soap bottles? The plumber pulled three of those out of one toilet.
From the other, he recovered two toothbrushes a comb and a pencil.

Colleen said...

Ha ha! You are awesome. And now you're an expert at the procedure, so you'll save tons of money in the long term.

Annie said...

Go Sarah! I can't wait for the next home repair >;-)

Maren Hansen said...

Ditto on Jillybean's assessment... $65 is pretty good. And you forgot one line: Feeling good about doing it "yourself"? Priceless...

Bethany said...

too funny. You are clearly a very advanced hausfrau. I am still at the "Honey? That is broken." phase. I don't think it's going to last much longer...he is getting less and less responsive...

Anonymous said...

you forgotten to mention your husband gallantly, and with concious disregard for his own safety, sticking his thumb into the hole that was spouting water to stop the leak while you turned the water off. i think we all know who the real hero is.

Melinda said...

You make pooey toilet problems sound like the party of the year. Why am I feeling left out? It was a pooey toilet problem....

Michemily said...

:)

Clyde said...

Oh my, I'm not surprised at all by your handy-ness. It was a good task to start your home improvements (or perphas your repairs.) My favorite step is # 8... it's soo you - funny!

PS I'm VERY happy that you're back to the blogging world - even better to find a few post from you already! You were very much miss around here.

WELCOME BACK!

Lisa said...

I'm SO GLAD you're blogging again! Can I call you next time I have a clogged toilet (since we are equally unflinchingly cheap and will become professionals ourselves - when we finally become homeowners, that is)? I think you need to plan a trip back to Hollywood, anyway.

Mandy said...

Love, love, love it! Thank you so much for a laugh for today.

By the way, my husband went through a lot more than that to fix our last toilet problem. It still isn't quite right, but it flushes and doesn't leak anymore. (To give you some idea of the extent of the damage, I'm starting to think he won't replace the ceiling tiles in the bathroom below it until we go to sell our house.)