Monday, March 27, 2006

Potty Talk

I’ve just spent several hours researching toilets and have discovered that the American Standard toilet we have—the toilet that cost us $1,000+ in bathroom remodeling costs last year and the toilet that is now leaking again is, basically, the Ford Pinto of toilets. The crappiest of all crappers. I found this out through Internet research, which took me to the incredibly informative and fascinating Terry Love’s Consumer Toilet Reports. Terry loves to talk toilets, and he encourages others to tell their tales of woe on his forums. The American Standard incurred the most wrath. One reader named Donna even composed a little hate poem to her American Standard. I hope it’s OK to reproduce it here:

Yea! & Verily, it does not cloggy
But all the rest is at best doggy
Handle squeaks, no bushing on shaft
Red Seal leaks, too fragile for draft
Bead Chain breaks, just low cost junk
Waiting for rest of plastic parts to fail
Bring on the Class Action or
Better Business Refund

I love the phrase “at best doggy.” I’d agree with that. Why we didn’t have the toilet replaced last year , I cannot explain. I guess I was in a state of advanced sticker shock over the cost of replacing the floor and didn’t want to add to that the cost of a new toilet. I blogged about it, so judge for yourself if I was non compos mentis.

The good news, at least I hope, is that this time the toilet is not leaking under the flooring. I have Sharon to thank for clueing me in on this. She was kind enough to send me an e-mail after I ranted about the toilet (among other things) a couple of weeks ago, and suggest that it was probably just the wax ring seal leaking. I think she’s right. I don’t see any evidence that the subflooring is warping (as it did last time). It’s still going to cost a couple of hundred bucks to have a plumber replace the toilet, though. Ouch.

Plus, how much I wonder will we end up spending on the new toilet? Tomorrow I have an appointment at a “toilet showroom.” Yes, there is such a thing as a toilet showroom—I envision it being filled with acres upon acres of gleaming porcelain and plan to take my camera. (Is that too bizarre?) And, yes, evidently it’s a good idea to have an appointment. "The toilets will see you, now, Rozanne."

During last year’s rant, Kai Jones left a comment recommending a Toto toilet and I squirreled that recommendation away for future reference. Then, the topic of toilets just happened to come up over the dinner table a few nights ago, when some friends mentioned that they are remodeling their bathroom. They've done their toilet research, and they’re going Toto, too. Reading all the toilet reviews on the Web (what a way to pass the time), it seems that just about every other brand on the market has a host of nasty habits (I'll spare you), but people rave about Toto in rather specific and lively detail (again, I'll spare you). So tomorrow I will be looking for a Toto. The link, by the way, provides no useful information about Toto toilets, but you do get to hear a few bars of soothing mock classical music and gaze at a nearly nude mermaid (presumably one comes with every toilet), so for those reasons, I'm providing the link.

Anyway at the showroom, I will be looking for either a Toto Dalton or a Toto Drake. There’s a Toto Carlyle, too, but that’s a bit more toilet than we need, I think. Weird that the toilets seem to be named after famous Englishmen, isn’t it? Why should that be? Were John Dalton, Sir Francis Drake, and Thomas Carlyle famous for spending hours of their lives perched on the throne?


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