The Curious Case of the Crumbling Commode: A Cruddy Conundrum

Okay, so we’re currently living in a rental until we can figure out where we want to go for our permanent home.  I’ve mentioned in the past that our rental is in really poor condition.  Damaged light switches, lights that flicker on several moments later than they should, toilets that take forever to fill up, which I recently learned is a result of hard water clogging them up.  Well, the toilets have proven to be the biggest cause of our woes, with the downstairs one being the worst.  And last week, boy, did it outdo itself this time.

We typically avoid using this toilet because it has always functioned so poorly.  You have to hold the handle down for a while to get it to flush, and even then, it seems very reluctant to do its job.  There has also always been an…unpleasant smell within the toilet’s vicinity that remains unexplained to this day.  It is actually located in a small room underneath the stairs, and halfway down the steps is when you’ll always be hit with a very unwanted odor.

So last Saturday, Mother Duck is upstairs taking care of the kitty litter boxes.  And I hear water trickling.  I think to myself…it’s not like Mother Duck to leave the water running before she even needs it.  I get that you should wash your hands after scooping the litter, but you certainly don’t do this during the process.  I head towards the stairs and realize that the water is closer than I think.

I peer into the bathroom, and water appears to be flowing from the little flexible pipe connecting to the toilet down near the floor.  At my discovery, Mother Duck rushes downstairs to try and figure out how to turn the water off.  As she does that, my eyes glide upwards to find the true source of the water flow.  The toilet tank has a huge crack splitting it from top to bottom, right through the handle.  And no one had even used the blasted thing in who knows how long!

So once the water is turned off, we open the tank and start scooping water out as fast as we can.  I use a small plastic container, while Mother Duck has grabbed the first thing that came to mind, her brand new gingerbread man coffee mug that she got for Christmas, already stocked with coffee creamer in preparation for a hot beverage once her litter scooping was complete.  As we frantically scoop water into the sink, a stream of water is slowly working its way out of the room and down the hallway towards the many stacks of boxes containing our many possessions.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take us long to empty the tank, filled with dirty and rusty water, and then Mother Duck gets to work wiping up the encroaching tide with towels.  It doesn’t reach our boxes and is quelled inches before claiming our shoes.  The plastic container and coffee mug are the only casualties and are thrown away.

So despite being a rather upsetting ordeal, no harm was done, though we are, frankly, quite shaken.  Imagine if this had happened when we weren’t home!  We’re actually not sure if this hasn’t happened before, as the master bedroom smelled musty when we first moved in, and the closet right next to the toilet has a floor that seems to sag a bit more than it should.  Was there past water damage we were not told about?

So as I type this post, we’ve both been really nervous about this rental, which continues to have problem after problem.  We have lived in a dozen places over the years, spanning houses, townhouses, apartments, new and old, and never before have we lived in a place so poorly cared for.  This is already our third appointment, and there are plenty of issues we aren’t even asking to have fixed or have fixed ourselves.  On a more hopeful note, we might have finally settled on a town we want to move to, so it’s only a matter of finding the right house.  Because honestly, I think I’ve had enough of standing barefoot in toilet water, thank you very much.

Edit: Now another toilet tank is starting to crack in the exact same spot.  We’re going to preemptively turn the water off and drain it before it floods the upstairs.  Our plumber is currently working to replace the downstairs toilet, but we now need to set up an entirely new appointment because the plumber doesn’t yet have permission to replace the other cracked toilet.  Yikes, we’ve never had such an awful rental before!

Another Edit: 2/3 toilets have now been replaced, though we’re keeping a weary eye on the final original toilet in case it would like to engage in some shenanigans, as well.  Though this house is in abysmal condition, I’m glad that the landlord has been obliging about getting things fixed.

10 thoughts on “The Curious Case of the Crumbling Commode: A Cruddy Conundrum

  1. So sorry to hear of your messy plight! We once lived in a terribly-kept rental house, and during our time there, several times sewer water backed up into every drain in the house – from the washer to the bathtub to every sink. It was a nightmare! The landlord was patient about it every time, and he always sent folks to “fix” things, but really, the house needed a plumbing overhaul (and so much more).

    But I can only imagine how tough it must be when one’s toilets go out of commission! Hope you find that forever-home soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, renting can be a nightmare when the place isn’t maintained well. Last time we rented many years ago, the air conditioner died in the middle of summer. It got up to 100 degrees in the house. It took several days before anyone came out to fix it.

      I remember when I was very little, we lived in a house with awful plumbing issues. I was probably 7 or so at the time, and I can still remember the terrible smell coming from the kitchen sink when the drains backed up. That’s why we’re being very picky about finding a house that’s been maintained well. It’s never fun when one’s own house can’t be trusted!

      Thanks, we’re hoping it’s only a matter of time before we find the right house now. We’re getting so close….

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, me too. We’re still looking at homes and hoping the right one opens up soon. In the meantime, I’m grateful the landlord has been good about getting things fixed. But I’m quite paranoid now and keep being worried about what might break next. The plumbers were quite baffled about our broken toilets. They weren’t sure what happened.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’re trying to find a house ourselves. I’m so tired of renting, especially since it’s a one bed one bath apartment. Well, it’s not so much the renting as I just hate the lack of space. Getting a house this year would be amazing. I’m glad your landlord is at least good about fixing things up

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hopefully by the end of 2020, we’ll both have a home! I so look forward to unpacking and having a place I know will be permanent. I have a lot of cool stuff I’d love to display.

        I think one of the worst things about living in a small place is having to share one bathroom. One of our biggest priorities for our permanent home is at least two bathrooms! We saw one house that seemed nice, but it only had one bathroom, so we decided to pass on that one.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m the same way. I can tolerate lots of things, crazy wallpaper, orange carpet, but I must have at least two bathrooms. Also, I found a house that had a basement with a dirt floor, which I didn’t like. Basements are spooky enough, but dirt basements are the creepiest!

        Liked by 1 person

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