Thursday, 28 February 2013

Unbunging the toilet...

This has to be one of the worst jobs to tackle yourself but if you want to save money, it has to be done. Yep folks, the smelly question of a blocked sewage pipe!

We had noticed the toilet water was taking an age to go down and today, it wouldn't empty at all. Good job we noticed otherwise the next flush would have seen the toilet contents all over the floor and probably out into the rest of our house. Heaven forbid.

Anyway, B. who we go walking with, lent us her brand new rods, and off we went. After getting changed into gardening clothes, the drain cover needed to be located under the gravel. We had a rough idea where it was and after removing a small lavender plant from above it, it was exposed.
Lifting up the rather heavy lid we could see nothing untoward in the drain. There are 3 that feed into it, one from our kitchen sink (the other side of the house and under the floor!), the bathroom sink and the toilet. Having un-bunged the kitchen pipe 25 years ago, when DB was away and I had to do it all by myself, this pipe was easy to identify.
The bath sink was also easy to identify after putting some water down the plug hole (saved us having to get our hands in the full toilet – see, quick thinking wins the day). Now we knew what pipe to tackle and it took about 20 minutes to clear. I'll spare you the gory picture, it smelt as bad as it looked.
Needless to say, lots of stuff came down consisting mainly of baby nappy liners. I had been using one of these each time I cleaned the toilet and without thinking flushed it down. A few weeks ago, I stopped doing so but obviously by then, they had got stuck. We had remembered to use a catcher to get things out, otherwise they may have gone down the main sewage pipe which leads onto the street and got stuck there. That would have cost a fortune to get sorted out.

Many buckets of washing soda crystals flushed out the whole system (we took this opportunity to clear all 3 pipes) and everywhere was once again, draining, flushing and smelling sweet and clean. We have bought B. some potted hyacinths as a thank you.

After cleaning everything we had touched and used to do the job with, we got stripped and everything went into the washing machine. It has now finished and they will hang on the line to get a good dry.


  1. Eeek! That sounds like a mucky (and potentially very expensive!) job :( Good job you were able to sort it out yourselves though, very resourceful.

    I answered your question about fleece nappy liners on my blog, but in case you haven't seen it, yes they can be reused and no they don't need hemming as fleece doesn't fray :) I just chuck them in with the nappy wash and (tmi) the poop just rolls off the liners into the loo! :)

  2. Yuck, what a horrible job. I'm ashamed to admit that I believe in equal rights until it comes to jobs like that, so I really do admire you for getting stuck in (so to speak!) x

    1. Well DB used the rods this time, I helped clean them afterwards and slush the water down everywhere.

  3. Definitely a horrible job! Tony had to unblock our drains a few years back and I had to admit I had been flushing down some of the highly absorbent kitchen roll! Never again I learned my lesson.


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