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other recent LOUNGE articles:
o Home Alone
Office Space: Color Shemes
o Open House: Sydney Sanctuary
o Burn Baby Burn
Green Scene: Indoor Herb Gardening
Album-cover CD Box
A Room of My Own
Fight the Chaos
Gallery-style Picture Hanging Tracks
o After School
Sew What?
o Curtain Time
Lazy Decorator's Bag of Tricks
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copyright ©1999-2002

plumb trouble how I battled a cranky toilet 
by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 1

I finish the dreaded chore with a final flush of the toilet. Iíve just watched the blue swirl of the disinfectant disappear down the drain, when I hear a funny glug glug sound emerge from the depths of the toilet bowl. The water slowly rises up in little burps, fat bubbles of air hiccuping forth in a manner thatís making me more than a little nervous. The toilet sounds like it has indigestion.

I flush again.

This time, the water slowly fills the bowl like normal, the hiccups having disappeared. Iím just about to let out my sigh of relief when I notice that the water levelís slowly creeping its way upwards, and upwards, and upwards, and Ė damn it, isnít it getting awfully close to the rim of the bowl?!? The waterís just crept over the edge when I grab the plunger, mutter a few expletives, then immediately and frantically attempt to clear the toilet of whatever clog is causing my bathroom fixture to ooze (fortunately clean) water all over my bathroom floor.

Itís unclear whether the plunging has worked, or whether Iíve merely succeeded in sloshing the water out of the toilet bowl and onto my floor, but whatever the case may be, the water level seems to be sinking down slowly. This, I think, seems like a good thing Ö until I happen to glance over in my tub and see that its drain is now exuding a murky, sludgy liquid.

Now like I said, Iím no stranger to plumbing problems, and this here exact problem, minus the initial burping, has, unfortunately, happened to me before. In this very same bathroom of mine, in fact. The last time this happened, the plumber told us it was a problem in the houseís main drain line going out to the sewer, and that since our old house lacked the now-standard external main drain cleanouts that would make it easy for him to rectify the problem, heíd recommend installing some. All at the bargain price of $1200 -- the idea being that should the main drain back up again, it would then be relatively cheap to get a plumber to simply open up the cleanouts and snake it clean.

But itís my rotten luck that todayís a holiday, and Iím dead certain that any plumber I can actually find to drag himself away from his fourth of July festivities is no doubt going to make me pay dearly for the bad timing. So instead, I try to tackle the problem myself.

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