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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Practical Household Tips:3/4 a roll of Toilet paper in a Toilet Bowl

Ok, let's just say you are cleaning up the dishes after breakfast and the following HYPOTHETICAL situation happens:  You are informed by your wife who is getting ready to run errands that your 2 year old has put ALMOST an entire roll of super absorbent Toilet Paper in the toilet bowl and to complicate matters their is an important PILE of work on top of the Toilet Paper.   Your mission, and you have to accept it, is to unclog the toilet with what you have in the house.

First thing that I should point out is that I know the relative capacities of the tank on your toilet to the capacity of the toilet bowl itself.  This isn't very hard to figure out, put the plunger in the bottom of your toilet right now, before it gets clogged.  Ok, so you have your plunger in the bottom of your properly functioning toilet blocking the drain.  Flush your toilet and see how high the water goes up before it stops filling the bowl.  If it should happen to get within about 1/2 inch of the top, break the seal on the plunger and let the water drain.  You should find out that if your toilet has that normal amount of water in it you should be able to flush without overflow.

Ok, now that you have seen and hopefully calculated the "extra" volume space in your toilet you should know about how much leeway you have in toilet flushing when it is clogged.  The biggest thing to remember is that toilet paper disintegrates well when it gets wet.  If you don't know how this works simply take a cup and put a wad of toilet paper in it and then fill it about 2/3rds full with water and poke it with a fork right away, notice the toilet paper is pretty much a solid mass at this point.  Wait about five minutes, add water to return the water level back to about 2/3rds full.  The mass of toilet tissue should be softer each time you repeat this process.  If you start this about the time that you become aware of the problem in the toilet bowl and you keep adding water to both as needed then you should be able to determine when the toilet paper has broken down enough to basically fall apart under agitation.

Now that you know the toilet tissue is soft and disintegrating simply insert the plunger at an angle around the edges of the mass of toilet paper and articulate it like you were scrambling eggs but very slowly and gently so as to not splash and make a mess.  The best place to start is farthest from the drain towards the front of the bowl, break it up in the front working your way down and begin to flush, don't give it a full flush but a slow trickle effect to create some flow towards the drain.  Work your way to the full flush as you get most of the mass of toilet paper broken up and then say good by to the mess.   

Really, not a hard or time consuming process, just something that requires patience, planning and knowledge.


1 comment:

Naive said...

One of our family had an enlarged colon and plugged the toilet frequently. So we invested part of our 2008 Stimulus package check in remodeling the bathroom including a Toto UltraMax Toilet, ADA Height, with SoftClose seat. It looked good, wasn't loud, and flushed everything. Then my 3 year old put a roll of toilet paper in the bowl. It was about 2/3 of a roll - still on the core, of course - and then he flushed. In a normal toilet, the roll probably wouldn't have made it out of the bowl, but this toilet swallowed the challenge. At that point, my wife was in shock, but the toilet flushed the intact roll just fine. I became concerned about the downstream piping surviving such treatment. Much to my relief, the downstream piping didn't seem to choke on the roll either. What would we do without children to enliven our lives?