The terribleness of low-flow terlets

To paraphrase a tweet by somebody at Slate. I would not know. The Blue and Only Toilet is not a low-flow terlet, thank you very much. It is an *old* toilet and when we moved into the Landfill back in the Jurassic Age, it trickled. You know how some toilets run? (Jiggle the handle!) Well, this toilet didn’t run. It trickled. All the time. I would wake up in the middle of the night to feed my baby and my hyper-sensitive ears would hear the trickling. I could also tell when the heat was coming on before it came on because I could hear the gas thingy squeaking in the basement but that’d be a whole ‘nother story.

Anyway, by the time we bought the Landfill, I knew how to fix a running toilet and an overflowing toilet and how to baby a slow toilet with fingers crossed that we wouldn’t need to call Dr. Nassoiy. I did not attain this knowledge until well into my adult years. As a young adult I was *terrified* of the idea of toilets overflowing. When I was a child back in the Jurassic Age, my otherwise totally competent parents would *panic* if the crappy old white toilet on Superior Street overflowed (which was not often). It was not until I had been hanging around with the GG for a while that I learned enough about toilets that I wasn’t afraid of them overflowing.

I learned just about everything I know about toilets at the *old* Houghton Lake Group Home. That would be the toilet in the photoooo. For one thing, when we still had that loverly old cabin, we could heat the place in the winter but we had to shut down the water for the duration. We could use the toilet because we could pump water from the well in the yard and throw buckets into it to flush it. Secondly, if you didn’t FORGET TO JIGGLE THE HANDLE, the toilet would often run. And it would usually run after I used it at that batscope hour of the morning. I would flush it and head back upstairs and the toilet would run and Grampa Garth would hear it running and have to get up to jiggle the handle. Garth 1, KW 0.

In a way, I miss those days. In another way, I appreciate the beautiful place that the GG and his sibs have built in its place.

Fast forward to maybe a dozen years ago… I was up at the Moomincabin and the grandparents were bumbling around getting ready for bed and I used the Moomincabin bathroom. I flushed the toilet and everything was all right. No sooner did I get upstairs when there was a minor panic. Apparently the next person who flushed the toilet encountered a near overflow. I went downstairs again and vigorously plunged the dern thing and was met with a barrage of questions about who might be putting “contraband” into the toilet. Nobody, Moom, at least not knowingly. We have a lot of people here using the toilet and stuff happens.

The Blue and Only Toilet has not trickled in many years. It took a while for me to get it to not trickle. The GG does not quiiiiite have the same uber-sensitive level of hearing that I do and I think he was thinking something like, “WTF is she talking about?” Eventually, he got it and fixed it and I have been using it ever since then, occasionally jiggling the handle or vigorously plunging it.

6 Responses to “The terribleness of low-flow terlets”

  1. jay Says:

    There are really good new toilets that use only a little water, and flush well.
    Beware, there are some cheap ones that do not work well.

    OK – off with my work hat.
    I took every opportunity with mis-behaving toilets to teach the kids how to deal with them.
    I hope some of it took.

    And just ask them about condensation. (Which has nothing to do with toilets.)

  2. Margaret Says:

    Hate the low flow–we must have the BAD kind. Still they don’t generally plug, we have plungers in every bathroom and my husband is good with toilets. Still…bah.

  3. Pooh Says:

    One of the local microbreweries has dual flow flushing mechanisms. You push it up or down depending on whether it’s #1 or #2. The flush handle is green to let you know (plus the signs, explaining it.) This place also has the Dyson hand dryer where you move your hands up and down in a very fast flow of air. We were there with some friends for a beer and food, multi-course meal. After the third course or so, one of our friends went to the loo. Apparently this was the first time he’d run into one of these hand dryers, and he came back quite tickled. (The three beers didn’t hurt either, I’m sure.)

  4. kayak woman Says:

    We aren’t actually looking to replace the Blue and Only Toilet right now. I was just aimlessly blathering away. I did figger it would get the attention of the toilet brigade. I have read about those dual flow toilets and they are intriguing.

  5. Pooh Says:

    Jay, when I re-read your comment this morning, my sleep fogged brain saw it as “with misbehaving KIDS as an opportunity to teach the TOILET how to deal with them!” Puts a whole new spin on “toilet training”, doesn’t it?

  6. jane Says:

    I am reminded of mid-January at the Squatters Paradise with a ‘slow’ toilet. and two competent women looking at it, and plunging, and looking, and plunging. luckily no one was there to take a picture.