This Space for Rent

New toilet day

Great A, little a, this is new toilet day!

All of the faucets in our house are equipped with flow reducers that bring them down to a couple of gallons a minute. Our shower has a low-flow head that’s rated for 1.(something) gpm. We have a fancy modern euro-dishwasher than uses /maybe/ 16 gallons a load, and a not quite so fancy but still pretty frugal clotheswasher that uses ~20 gallons/load. And on a typical week we process ~200 gallons of water through these devices.

And then we have our toilet. Vintage 1909, 10+ gallons per flush, and an antiquated enough drain system so that if everyone poops it often takes 3 flushes to get the filth out of sight out of mind. 400 gallons a week, maybe, if we’re being earthy crunchy and only flush after someone poops.

We’ve been talking about replacing that horrid thing for about a decade now, but have never gotten around to calling a contractor and getting it put in, and suffering with watching our water bills (including the sewage fees for the sewer it turns out we’re not connected to; Portland’s water bureau is, as is traditional with crown monopolies, /very very/ good about billing people but not quite so good about actually knowing, or caring, if their bills are accurate) go steadily up as inflation (and, to be honest, unfunded government mandates, but I find it /really/ hard to object to having to split the storm sewers from the sanitary sewers, given that the Willamette River – formerly sanitary sewer #1 – is less than a mile from our house) keeps slowly ticking over. But, anyway, we’re no longer living on a computer programmer’s salary (which was nice, but my tolerance for the computer industry had reached the point where I had to either quit or find a nice bridge to throw myself from) it means we don’t have the money to hire someone to install a toilet anymore, so I needed to do it myself. And after a round of 100-year storms last week, our sewer aggressively backed up, I snapped and bought one through the hellish mills at Amazon, and the UPS truck showed up this afternoon with a couple of huge and heavy boxes containing 1.28gpf’s worth of shiny white ceramic (with trace amounts of metal and plastic.)

Sadly, the wax ring we also ordered did not show up today, otherwise I’d already be elbow deep in filth trying to extract the old toilet and putting this one in its place. But soon; it shouldn’t be more than about half an hour if I don’t have to redo the plumbing to account for the increased depth of this toilet.