Thursday, March 4, 2010

Better to call a plumber

I wish we would learn to just call a plumber.  Instead, Honey and I spent 3 hours tonight taking apart the toilet to find the Mardi Gras necklace medallion that was causing the clog (and multiple daily bathroom floods).  Some days I just look at these messes and say "Is this really my life?!"  This 3 inch clover shaped medallion* was a real pain in the neck (and back and knees...).   The problem is that Honey and I had been able to deduce that something must be stuck only in the toilet since we were not having trouble with the drains in the tub or sink.  I knew how to change the toilet wax ring, so I thought it would be pretty simple, no need to call a plumber.  That would be silly!  All we had to do was  turn over the toilet and find the clog.  How hard could that be?
Here's my time estimate: Turn off water to tank and unhook the water hose (2 minutes), drain the water (1 minute), unbolt the toilet and turn over (5 minutes), scrape the old wax ring off** (5 minutes), remove the object (30 seconds-NOT!), clean up before reinstalling toilet (5 minutes) and reinstall the toilet (2 minutes).  My estimate was spot on for everything except finding and removing the clog, so it took us 20 minutes to do everything but find the medallion.  That's 2.5 hours to get the medallion out!!!  We did not know ahead of time what we were looking for, but the toilet drain line is not that long, how hard will it be to find the toy?  Answer: VERY HARD!  Not to mention that it was hard to reach or pull out.

I wonder why I don't learn from my mistakes and just call my very nice plumber first.

*  The medallion clover shape lent it to be very capable of rotating and causing a clog, but also spin open so the toilet would drain.  Annoying, annoying, annoying!
** It is always easier to pay $5.00 and replace the wax ring for the toilet than to find a leak from the seal 2 days later., and have to remove the toilet again.

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