Thursday, November 3, 2011

Today's plugged toilet was brought to you by the letter "H"

Once again I came home to a plugged toilet.  Preston is the usual culprit but he wasn't fessing up to it this time, I never did find out who did it. After fighting with the kids to get them to bed, I didn't feel like taking care of the toilet so I ended up fixing it in the morning.  In the situations where I cannot get the plugged toilet to drain with the normal tools: Toilet Plunger or a BrassCraft Homeowner Toilet Auger it's time to pull the toilet and remove the plug from the bottom.
It really isn't that hard of a job, more disgusting in thought than anything.  You only need a small wrench, a new toilet bowl wax ring (They are pretty inexpensive and a good thing to have just lying around), scraper, flashlight and I also use latex gloves, but that is my preference.
  1. Turn off the water to the toilet tank.  This is usually just a 1/4 turn shutoff valve that comes out of the wall. 

  2. Once the water is off flush the toilet to drain the water from the tank.

  3. You will need to drain the bowel of the excess water before removing the toilet and I find the best way to do this is with a common wet-dry vac. (Remember to remove the air filter first) 

  4. After the water has been drained from the tank, unscrew the water hose from the botton of the tank.

  5. Once the water is removed from the toilet, pop the two caps off of the lower bowl that are covering the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor.  You can use a flat head screwdriver or you hands. 

  6. Removes the bolts that are holding the toilet to the ground 

  7. Pick up the toilet (I try not to grab it from the tank, but from the underside of the toilet so I don't break the tank) and lay it on its side.  I like to put towels on the floor to catch any water I might have missed in the tank or bowl.

  8. Once the toilet is on its side you will be able to see the wax ring, the whole in the bottom of your toilet and the hole that leads to the sewer in the floor.  With the hole in the bottom of the toilet exposed. Look in the hole using the flashlight to see if you can see the clog.  I usually can at this point.  If you can see the clog remove it, if not use the toilet auger and push it through to the bowl. 

  9. Now that the clog has been removed, scrap off the old toilet ring from the bottom of the toilet and the drain piping on the floor. 

  10. Apply the new toilet bowl wax ring according to manufactures instructions, and then re-install the toilet in reverse order you used to take it off.

NOTE: When tightening the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor, do not over tighten the bolts so you don't break your toilet.

It is sad that this has become a pretty common procedure for me at my house.  This is a simple thing to do and can save you a lot of  money.

I have come up with a list of things my kids have plugged the toilet with over the last couple of years:
LeapFrog Word Jammer letter H: (Pictured above)
LeapFrog Word Jammer leter H
 LeapFrog Word Jammer letter U: These letters are just the right size to plug a toilet.
Large Super Ball 
A large super ball: This one plugged the toilet the best. Once it was in there nothing was going down, it was a pretty nasty one.
Buzz Light Year
Buzz Light Year: He didn't want to go quietly in the night. He was clinging onto everything he could in order to not go down the drain.
Cinderella: Disney Princess Favorite Moments Figure Doll: The poor girl didn't have a dream come true night at the bowl.
Meat Thermometer
Meat Thermometer: This was by far the worst thing you could flush down the toilet.  It collected everything that was flushed down the toilet and it was very hard to remove. I am surprised I didn't break my toilet getting this one out.


  1. Very interesting collection of items.

  2. And yet the very next day I found a 100 bobby pins in the bottom of the toilet. This time Preston cleaned them out by hand, literary. :)