Toiletgeddon 2012, or I Got My Parents a New Bathroom for Christmas. (The exploding toilet saga.)

So here we are. It is December 5 and I finally have a story for you. I’ve already told it partly on twitter, but feel that it should be EXPLAINED. Here it is, as I wrote it, commentary added as needed.


3:28pm: Twitter I just got attacked by a TOILET.
3:40pm: Seriously, there is an INCH of water on the floor. I had to grab the rug and RUN.
3:42pm: And THEN I had to barricade the door with towels to save the hall carpet and THEN I had to run for rubber boots and wade back in.
3:42pm: Because SOMEONE had to shut off the water.
3:42pm: I deserve a metal. Seriously.

And here is where we take our first commentary break. Seriously, after I flushed it, the toilet started filling (it’s old, so this wasn’t entirely surprising) and then… then it DIDN’T STOP. It just kept on going. Water pouring out onto the floor, racing toward the door. I really did RUN. And then I called my dad who reminded me how to turn off the water, which in my panic I, of course, had forgotten. Sigh. Back to the action.

3:48pm: And NOW, Twitter, it’s leaking through the downstairs ceiling. AWESOME.

Notice the six minute gap? Yeah, I’d collapsed (feeling relieved) on the couch in the upstairs den to wait for my dad to arrive with cleaning supplies. I realized I was thirsty and went downstairs… Only to find the water POURING out of a spot in the ceiling AND out of the (purchased just three months ago) overhead light fixture. Do you get this? OUT OF THE LIGHT. It was dripping off of the five globes of that light like a weird sprinkler. I grabbed my mom’s plastic containers (sitting on the counter to dry… sorry about that, mom) and shoved them under the drips. The light, however, was DIRECTLY over the antique kitchen table… Luckily (if you can call it that) there was a tray on the table that caught and collected most of the water. The tray didn’t make it, but the table seems to be okay, after being sterilized. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here is the dripping:


So my dad got home and we unearthed the wet vac and (equipped with gloves and rubber boots) cleaned the bathroom. He even bleached it. And then my mom got home. The cleanish bathroom:


By then the ceiling (which, if you haven’t figured it out, is in the kitchen breakfast nook) was leaking in NEW places. See?


She called her homeowner’s insurance… And they arrived about, oh, an hour later. That’s when I learned what MITIGATION means.

7:29pm: Update on the TOILET SITUATION: the emergency plumbers are here. I am hiding in my room with the cats. #notkidding
7:30pm: Also I ate Chinese food (which is my go-to comfort food) and have a glass of wine in my immediate future.
7:31pm: The good news is we get a new bathroom AND a new ceiling downstairs. The weird news is they’re starting tonight.
7:53pm: There is a THING happening downstairs called MITIGATION. I think that’s an improvement, but I can’t be certain.
7:54pm: In other news, my cats still think I’m awesome, which is always comforting.

No joke, people came and started tearing out the bathroom floor, and part of the hall carpet which I hadn’t entirely saved. I saved MOST of it, though, which is apparently quite an accomplishment. Here is the halfway torn up bathroom floor:


They used a sterilizer on everything, including the table and the floors. And then they put a big fan in there to start drying it before the deconstruction crew arrived in the morning. I thought this made an annoying sound. I was wrong.

11:11pm: This is the THING that is cleaning the air after the TOILET ESCAPADES tonight.



9:38am: Well, Twitter, this morning the GUTTING OF THE BATHROOM commences.
9:39am: Things will be REMOVED. And the little space I had claimed as my writing room is now full of ALL OF THE THINGS.
9:41am: Oh. OH. And we might have to go out the front door, down the porch, and back in through the garage to get to the refrigerator.
9:44am: Sounds like the next week will be an ADVENTURE.

So the people came and started ripping out everything and we learned that the whole thing has to be redone (except, apparently, the tub) and so the bathroom is getting remodeled.

11:43am: Merry Christmas, mom. I got you a new bathroom and kitchen. Hope you like it!
11:45am: Twitter! Look at what’s happening to the CEILING.


11:53am: NOW look at the ceiling!


See how there’s only an eight minute gap there? They took that ceiling down so fast, I almost missed the whole thing. And then it looked like this…


This is the wide shot. You can see falling insulation in the back.


The deconstruction crew left not only another of those noisy fan things, they left a giant HEATER that, when you’re downstairs, makes the house sound like you’re standing on a RUNWAY surrounded by PLANES. See?



2:26pm: I have just had a shower for the first time in over 48 hours. #toiletgeddon2012


So that’s what happened. We’re still waiting on everything to dry before they start rebuilding it, and so everything is very VERY displaced, but at least the kitchen and bathroom get some TLC. And while the ceiling and bathroom were getting torn apart, I finally managed to get our Christmas tree decorated. Silver linings.


And now you know about Toiletgeddon 2012. You’re welcome.

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