Saturday, 25 July 2015

Toilet Costs

My toilet doesn't like to flush; it's a slow flusher. It wasn't always this way. When we put the toilet in, during the renovations a year and a half ago, it flushed just fine. Then something happened, I don't know what, and now it is what I would call "persnickety". Sometimes it will flush. Sometimes it flushes slowly. Sometimes you need to flush it two or three times to get it to clear. Sometimes it will not flush at all.

I called a plumber last Christmas during a particularly bad phase. The fellow came and ran a toilet auger through the toilet. It did nothing but cost me $280. The fellow, whom I refuse to refer to as a plumber, said he could lift the toilet and inspect the drain at a cost of $500. He also said for another $200 he could replace the toilet, which might be the best idea. Unfortunately he didn't have the right kind of toilet with him. After consideration, I thought better of the whole thing, deciding to try again with a proper drain snake.

Getting a plumber in Calgary is almost impossible these days. Even with the oil downturn almost every one of them is busy on new house construction or major home renovation. The cost of a plumber is out of this world, with estimates nearing $1,000 to lift the toilet, inspect the drain, and clean out whatever might be in there. I simply cannot afford that kind of money for something which is merely problematic.

One of my friends has offered to bring over a plumbing snake. We will see what we can do with that. If I cannot get it fixed that way, I face the unenviable choice of calling in a plumber for an outrageous sum of money, or simply putting up with a slow flush, using the plunger periodically to encourage the process.

The really frustrating part about all of this is that, once upon a time, I could have done all of this myself. I know how to use a toilet auger and plumber's snake. In fact I used to own these tools. My ex-wife got them when she kept the house and contents. I am not sure what she did with them, nor does it matter. What matters is that I can no longer do this, use these tools, solve this problem. I could once, but no more. It's another cost of ALS.

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