Monday 16 September 2013

Two Weeks, Two Toilets

     I've always found it interesting how those tasks you hate to do the most, always end up giving you problem after problem, thus prolonging your misery.  One of the tasks I hate to deal with is plumbing.  I shouldn't  have been surprised then at all the agony I have had to go through when we had to replace our toilet.
     These days when you get a new toilet, you have to chose between all the new fangled low water models.  Because our toilet faces the arc of the opening door of the shower stall, we are limited by the length of how far the toilet sticks out from the wall.  We found one that would fit and whose design we liked, and so we bought it and I installed it.
     I was very impressed with the strength of the flushing action, and was very happy with our purchase until we discovered that it periodically ran while filling the tank.  It wouldn't turn the water off, unless we opened the lid and manually touched the sliding capsule that was refusing to slide.  Not only did it sometimes not turn off, every once in a while, the tank would quietly and mysteriously drain, and surprise you when you went to flush and no water came out.  
     I optimistically hoped that the toilet would do an immaculate correction, but it didn't happen, and I got tired of standing by the toilet, after flushing in the middle of the night, waiting to make sure the water would turn off when the tank was full.  I finally admitted to myself that our new toilet wasn't going to change behavior, so I disassembled it and we made a special trip 135 miles up to Prince George, returned it to the store and exchanged it for a new one.
     I wasn't sure if I wanted the same model, "The Wellington", since the first one caused us trouble, but, in the end, since we liked the size, and look of it, we relented and got the same model--and after all what were the chances of having trouble a second time.
     Well, I found out the chances were really good.  We got the new one home and I installed it and it worked perfectly for the remainder of that day.  It worked perfectly the first part of the next day too, until Joan said, "It's working good!"
     The first time we required a bit of "heavy lifting" from it, if faltered, and it never recovered.  The mighty rush of water no longer happened; the water just sort of filled the bowl then slowly drained.  I began to wonder if maybe the toilet wasn't fully aligned with the drain pipe on the floor, maybe that had caused a clog-up there.
     The only way to tell was to pull the toilet up again.  When I got that task completed, I discovered that there was no problem there.  The problem seemed to be in the toilet itself, somewhere in the drain line beneath the toilet bowl.
       I was not in a good mood.  It was all so frustrating.  Over the next week I continued to flush in hopes that it would clear itself, but it never did.  We spent that week using our outhouse, whose technology has never failed us.  
     The trouble with our first Kohler was in the tank, while the second one seemed to have problems below the bowl, despite the "no clog" feature spouted on the box.  Yesterday I pulled the toilet out and this morning on my way to catch my flight to Indiana, I returned it to the store, the second returned toilet in two weeks.  
    I am almost afraid to buy another toilet, but I guess I will have to, but I guarantee you that it will be another brand.

1 comment:

  1. That reminds me of a new toilet I installed that developed a slow leak around the base of the toilet. I figured it wasn't seated properly on the wax gasket, so I removed the toilet and reinstalled it with a special thick gasket. It still leaked. I removed the toilet and reinstalled it with a special fitting that is made for toilets that are too high to sit properly on the drain flange. It still leaked. I called a plumber and he said he wouldn't work on a toilet where the flange was not above the level of the finish flooring. So I removed the toilet, cut open the subfloor and repositioned the flange, reinstalled the finish flooring around the toilet, and put the toilet back in place. It still leaked. Then online I saw a recommendation to use a piece of toilet paper to search for the location of a leak in a toilet. It turned out that the water was coming through a flaw in the ceramic body of the toilet, in back where it wasn't normally visible. By now it was over a year from the purchase so no more warranty. But the new toilet I had to buy didn't leak. Yet.