Thursday, 3 November 2011

I don't think so

Ok I need a magnum to get me through this one . . .
I did mention briefly in a previous post that my blocked toilet was an ongoing saga. I thought for one blessed moment that the end was in sight today. How to cut a three year story short? Yes, three years!
Three years ago the Council removed my beautiful old toilet with the high cistern, pull chain and my £20 ceramic pull handle. They replaced it with a useless modern version which has a neat little (non) flush button.

Not once during ten years did the old style toilet block. Never. Within two days of the new version I had worked out that the hole where the shit is supposed to disappear was just not big enough. Simple. Square pegs and round holes etc. The "Gap" is almost letterbox shaped, whereas the old one was round, the right shape to take something cylindrical. ie. a shit.  Many letters of complaint and visits from the council followed. Visits to check the outlet, the drainage pipe, the sewer, the cistern, in fact anything but the "Gap". They said it was standard. They would not listen. I spent the next three years with a stick in a bucket of bleach installed  next to the toilet to break up anything that wouldn't fit through the Gap. That was most things. Occasionally the whole thing would totally block and fill to the rim with filthy brown water and other things. I allowed the council man to unblock this once. Never again. They use a mop as a plunger and plunge away until something gives. I appreciate this has to be vigorous but by the time he had unblocked it the filthy brown water and other bits were splashed everywhere. They "don't do cleaning".  Any subsequent blockages I dealt with myself by copying him with a mop I'd bought for this purpose. I managed to do this without splattering the mess everywhere. Sometimes this would work almost instantly other times I would be there plunging and sweating for over an hour. Occasionally when this failed I'd have to empty the contents of the pan into a bucket, carry it down to the garden, remove the manhole cover from the sewer access and chuck it all down the sewer. Yes I know I have a very long tether but I was nearing the end of it.

This sewer trip business had happened at least four times in the last week and I decided enough was enough. I e-mailed  the Council to say "Please sort it out or I will call in the environmental health. For the last week my daughter, my 12 yr old son and I have been using a child's potty in the kitchen and my other son is slowly filling the pan up as he refuses to use the potty (rightly so). This is medieval and quite frankly a health hazard."

Yes this is cutting it short . . . Yesterday some fool came and emptied the toilet, discovered it wouldn't flush, blamed me for occasionally using wipes, investigated and found the whole soil stack (that is the large "pipe" from the toilet on the outside of the house right down to the sewer) to be blocked. O that's the problem he says. No. That is not the problem. The problem is the Gap!! that is just a"side effect".  Yes of course it needs sorting but it will not solve the problem. Well lets just wait and see me duck shall we, says he . . . The drainage man came today to blast it all with power hoses, rods and the like. Lovely. I said thank you but that will not change a thing. Luckily he was still sat outside when Stropster went for a much needed shit. Guess what? It wouldn't go through the Gap!  O surprise surprise. I ran out to the van, opened his door and tried to drag him upstairs to witness it. Come and see I insisted . . .  No I believe you . . . you believe me? Could I have that in writing please? No I'll do better than that. He phoned the Council while I was there and said its the toilet. It's wrong. The Gap is not sufficient. We need to change it !!!!! Hallelujah!! Yeahey!! Thank You. It was almost a Dr. Chawala moment in that I could've hugged him. But I dint because he was quite messy by now. Ok he says someone will be here soon to measure up for a new one. I went upstairs and broke up that  last (?) shit with my faithful stick so happily. So satisfied that at last I had been proved right after 3 years. It was the Gap . . .

One hour later big boss man arrives . . . Head of department. Brilliant. Yes come on up. Have a look. Help yourself. I almost offered him a cup of tea but I didn't . . . Come on man just fill out an order for a new "old" toilet and lets get it done with. No. He lifts the lid of the cistern, looks at the water level, shakes his head and says . . . That's where the problem is! ! . . . . You fucking Whaaaat?  (I thought) because I am unbelievably tolerant ;-) You're water level is too low! No. No. And thrice No. I said. You are mistaken. He looked at me like I might be insane. I might. He asks for two sheets of newspaper to demonstrate his discovery to this "silly woman who has no idea what she is talking about after 3 years of poking shit down the effing toilet". The first sheet he flushes with the cistern half full,  it didn't go down (Yes I see where this is going Mister) The second with the cistern full, it went. Yes. Very good. Excellent. But guess what? . . . We don't shit sheets of newspaper. It doesn't matter how much water is in the damn cistern. The G.A.P. is Too small. I am almost in tears by now. I am looking at my stick and wanting to thrash him with it. Ok he says well lets see how it goes shall we?   I had a Dr's appointment to get to. I'd had more than enough for two days, not counting the three years. So I said ok off you go and I will e-mail you as soon as one of us has a shit. Byeeee. (see you tomorrow).

 . . . At the Dr's. (not Chawala he wasn't in today) Chest almost clear. Good. No need for further anti-biotics or steroids, just rest. Rest. O yes Dr whilst we are on the subject of steroids, could they have made me seriously manic? Yes. Ok. No-one warned me but I'll let it pass because I'm good at that. Could they have made a third of my hair fall out? No. Absolutely not. In fact quite the opposite, sometimes they are used to promote hair growth (chin whiskers she meant). O that's strange because I lost roughly a third of my hair last week. No, she says, then she had a little think, could it be stress? Stress? . . . Stress?  . . .  No I don't think so :-)


  1. Nothing worse than a bad toilet. And a lot of the cheap new low volume toilets are really bad for not taking shit down then backing up. I'm sure your council didn't put the money out for a good one. So what's supposed to save water wastes even more. I feel for you and hope they fix it. Suggest that, for the money they are wasting sending folks out to look at the damn thing, they could just buy a decent toilet to replace it.

  2. Those stupid modern toilets suck! We had a wonderful old toilet at my parents, just like the old one you described. It NEVER made a problem, not once did it clog while i was growing up. When i was 15 or so, they installed modern ones in the whole building. The problems that followed weren't nearly as bad as yours, but it would get clogged up often enough. Though, they were easy to clear up at least.

    In my current apartment, there is also a modern one, which is even worse. It blocks up a lot. It even clogs up after liquids. Then i fills up completely. It is seeping away slowly though and i wait until it's almost at normal level. Then i use that stick with the suction cup (i don't know what it's called in english) and get it cleared up after some work (and a lot of gagging).

    But your toilet is the worst i've ever heard. OMG. I really hope you get an old one again, or one that works.

    Who the fuck designed those new models anyway? Are they stupid?!

    Also typical. Just as Jeannie said, they always rather send 1000 guys to repair something that is completely broken anyway, instead of buying something new.

  3. UGH! Earlier this year, boyfriend somehow broke old toilet from falling on it or something, it was laying sideways on the ground! So the landlord installed a "new" toilet. We have had countless problems with it. it seems that the hole is the right shape, but definitely a smaller size. it also has MUCH less water in the bowl. We have had countless problems and plug-ups. If eye was constipated like eye'm supposedly supposed to be, and he never started going through withdrawal sometimes from taking too much of his meds then running out early, and then eye too somehow kept it going ALL of the time, it wouldn't be a problem. But it is... MAYBE it was own fault one time for using things other than toilet paper when we ran out of it (eye believe this was the case on our first plug) but ever since then, it's just the toilet. The landlord says sorry, there's nothing he can do, that's the way they're made now - "democrat toilets" he calls them. UIGH and there is nothing worse than getting up in the middle of the night to urinate in an almost-full toilet of brown water with floaty bits, throwing the toilet paper in the trash, taking a dump in a bucket with 2 plastic bags inside. It just feels so NASTY! Hope they fix yours soon.

  4. Seems this is a widespread problem then. The "fool" who came the other day to empty took great joy in saying to me "Do you know who wanted these new toilets? do yer? eh? Eh? shall I tell yer? shall I? you women thats who. you're the ones who wanted a neat liitle flush button, pan and cistern blah blah blah . . ."
    Yes I'm sure they/we did. I'm also sure they could design a new streamline, neat version without compromising on efficiency. There are good new toilets. He was as good as trying to blame me for the useless heap of shite. Like you say imagine the cost of all these people coming out to work on it. Foolish folk. O well enough toilet talk. Thanks for all your comments and sympathy :-)

  5. I don't know what to say,except maybe that i am now grateful for my loo...It works.Its a bit wobbly,and the wooden seat has a crack that nips your thighs sometimes,but it works.Now watch it breakdown. sods law...Love and lots of sympathy xxxxxx hope they finally come thru for you.