Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Toilet Tuesday!

I was in Lowe's a week or so ago and, while waiting (and waiting and waiting) for help in the plumbing section, I saw something that totally blew me away, toiletwise.

At first I was no more bowled (Ha!) over than you. White toilet, so what? The claim below, "Unmatched clog resistance," just tells you it's as bad as all our modern low-flow toilets. But then I saw this!

"Engineered to prevent clogs; flushes a bucket of golf balls in a single flush."

How did I miss this in the newspapers? 

We have a clutch of toilets and I wouldn't bet on any of them flushing one golf ball. 

I checked American Standard's Web site and sure enough, they stand by this outrageous claim

Removes 2.2 lbs of waste in a single flush (1,000g MaP score - the highest rated flush performance possible!)
Flushes a bucket of golf balls in a single flush.

I could hardly have been more gobsmacked if they said, "Flushes a five-pound watermelon in a single flush." Well, I suppose I would really have wanted to see that to believe it.

But about this golf ball business. Since my trip to the hardware store I've been thinking about it, and I have some questions:

1) How slowly do they pour in the golf balls? Yes, I question whether the primary toilet here at Baldpate Manor could flush a single golf ball, but let's assume that it is possible. Well, if I flushed one a day, eventually I could flush an enormous number of golf balls. Ah, but they're onto me; the claim is that they can flush a bucket "in a single flush." Unless the thing is designed to flush over the course of twenty to thirty minutes -- which would likely violate the federal government's 1.6-gallon maximum flush capacity -- their claim grows more not less impressive.

2) How big is the bucket? This is a real bone of contention, because "a bucket" means different things on different golf courses, or even on the same if your course's driving range sells different size buckets. Putting the question "how many golf balls in a bucket?" on Google gets you a number of varying answers from golfers, and a few from science and math teachers who want to give students a formula to calculate a population of spheres from available volume. It seems that while the so-called federal government can force us to use the same toilet capacity, it's all just Wild West out there for driving range bucket capacity. I would like to think American Standard would not fiddle with us by using a rocks-glass size bucket that holds two golf balls; certainly their illustration makes it seem that we're dealing with at least a bucket of 30.

3) Would anyone actually put this to the test? I wouldn't. Not in my house. Even if my new supercrapper could handle a bucket of 300 balls, I would just expect them to get stuck in the plumbing, clogging the sewer outlet or something. No Liquid-Plumr or Drano is going to dissolve a bunch of golf balls. People with septic tanks would probably be even less inclined to try this at home. I think American Standard is expecting that we will take them at their word, and I think I'd have to.

4) Might this start a plumbing themed war over sporting equipment? Will Kohler respond with a toilet that they claim could flush billiard balls? Will Ove counter by flushing fully inflated regulation NBA basketballs? This could get ugly. And awesome.

All that said, I can almost guarantee my next toilet is going to be the Champion 4. I've dealt with plungers too often over the years in our home, and I'm not going to sit for it any longer. The only way I'll not get the Champion 4 is if the company releases a new toilet that can flush the entire 2,631-piece "Identity and Landscape" set of Lego bricks in one fell swoosh. Now that would be awesome.

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