Sunday, April 24, 2011

The minor flood

I was reading in my library when I heard grandson call out, come in the bathroom.  It is his week to clean the bathroom and he was working through his list (shower, toilet, trash, mirror, counter and sink, floor).  I figured it was one of his endless requests for me to come and check one item on the list.  I didn't respond right away then his voice sounded a little worried as he called for me to come.   

As I was walking down the hall he spotted me and said it's overflowing.  The water was flowing over the rim of the toilet and was starting to flow into the hall.  Army daughter came running when she heard him say it was overflowing.  She and I had two completely different first reactions.  Hers was to run to the end of the hall and get towels.  Mine was to walk into the bathroom and turn off the water valve on the wall behind the toilet.  I took the towels from her and used them to stop the flow out of the bathroom.  She went to get more towels.  I stopped her and said it's good for the moment.  She could even go back to the game the kids and grandkids were playing.  I went out to the garage and got the shop vac.  I brought it in and sucked up over two gallons of water, in addition to the water that the towels soaked up. 
I did ask where the rag was that Grandson was using to clean the bathroom.  He said that nothing extra went down the toilet when he flushed it.  I used the plunger to unplug the toilet and it opened up right away and didn't pull anything up.  The plumbing has worked just fine since. 
After we had a family meeting.  What if I wasn't home?  What steps should they have taken?  I taught the grandkids how to turn the valve to shut off the water at the toilet.   I don't think they'd be able to unlatch the shopvac from the wall so I told them that using towels to clean it up was fine. 
It got me to thinking about toilets in general.  Of course we all talk about stocking up on toilet paper.  Jokes are made about the old Sears catalogues but that wouldn't work with a septic system, only an outhouse.  Do we have enough toilet parts to make repairs?  What about the wax rings?  Does everyone know how to make basic toilet repairs?  If not, at least everyone around here now knows how to stop the toilet from overflowing and running down the hall.


  1. Family cloth (basically, just using washable cloths and/or water to clean after the toilet) is an option, by the way, that you can use with a septic tank. I bet it would be even better for it. :) While it sounds gross, we've been doing it for a few months and it's not a big deal at all. So instead of stocking up tons of toilet paper, I have a large basket of cheap baby washcloths that were 4/$1.

  2. Family cloth is much better for the septic as it's one less thing that has to decompose. It's hard enough to force visiting women that they can't flush their monthly products, I think I'd have a difficult time pushing them to use the babywash cloths. When changing baby granddaughter I always do use wash cloths. Army daughter gets mad that I refuse to use wipes!