Don’t Be a Party Pooper

Have you ever gone to someone’s house, and during the visit, and needed to use the bathroom? No big deal, right? Well, no big deal as long as the toilet flushes. Of course, there are those occasional times in everyone’s lifetime when the toilet doesn’t flush. Most people generally don’t pay too much attention to plumbing, and a situation like this can leave someone in panic if they don’t know what they are doing.

In most cases, the toilet is probably already nearly filled with dirty water to the rim before the victim can even comprehend what is about to happen. At this point the person more than likely frightened that the water will overflow onto the floor of their friend’s bathroom floor. This causes more panic, and less logical thinking on how to stop the problem. Not to mention, when you instantly realize that there is nothing available to clean up the mess but with whatever toilet paper is on the roll, and tissues on the counter! Now the victim starts to feel the tension of potentate embarrassment over having to confront the friend about the situation.

In times like these, the most important thing to do is not panic. You’ll want to first remove the tank lid of the toilet, and place is somewhere safe; so that no damage occurs to it. It is ceramic after all. Now look into the tank itself. You will notice three essential parts to stopping this problem. The fill valve, the tubular mechanical device, usually to the left side of the tank, is what actually controls the flow of water. From the fill valve, there is typically a small tube that runs into the top of a small cylinder that is oriented towards the center of the toilet. This is called a Douglas valve. You will notice at the bottom of the cylinder, is a large hole, that the flapper is seat into. The flapper is the rubber stopper that is hinged onto the douglas valve.

Ensure that the flapper is seated all the way down, and that there is nothing in the way of it to allow water to pass into the bowl. If the flapper is still in the open position when you inspect it, push it down so that it is in the closed position. Remember that small tube that was connected to your fill valve, that dropped into the to of the Douglas valve? Go ahead and gently, and i mean gently, pull the tube out of the Douglas valve, and direct it into the tank itself. When the water in the tank rises enough, the fill valve will close and the water will stop.

Now all you have to worry about is unstopping the the toilet drain. Make a good hard attempt to find a plunger in the bathroom, and give it a whirl. If you can’t find a plunger, you might have to get creative. Consider a toilet brush, or a wire clothes hanger to poke down the drain. It may seem a bit of a grotesque act at the moment, but I’m sure the friend will think it’s a whole lot worse. If you manage to get the stoppage to pass, give the toilet a flush and see what happens. If the water level gets too high in the bowl, push the flapper in the tank back down. If everything flushes perfectly, put the small tube back into the top of the Douglas valve, carefully place the tank lid back onto the tank. With any luck, no one even realized you’re gone, and you’ll feel a whole lot better fo dodging a close call.

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