Ladies and gents (you’ll see what I did there) we’re about to talk about on of the most important decisions you can make in your house – time to talk toilets.
Since my partner and I moved into an already existing home, various plumbing decisions were already made for us. But had it come down to asking, what toilet are we supposed to get? – I know my answer would have been the shrugging emoji because I simply DO NOT KNOW. And I hope I’m not completely alone in this situation.
But since I’m two degrees of separation from a plumber on this Island, I reached out to Brad Pickering of Pickering Heating and Plumbing to help.
Pickering opened his own plumbing business several months back. He got into the industry because he always wanted to be a plumber.
“I got a job with a local plumber in Kensington, P.E.I. and worked with the company for six years and went for my blocks over the course of four years and then got my red seal. The thing I like the most about the industry is fixing peoples’ problems. It is quite rewarding. There is always something different to do every day. You get to talk to and meet a lot of different people.”
Getting right down to business:
Q: What are some of the things people don’t know about picking out a toilet? Is there a right way to pick one?
A: “Some people may not know that there is a standard height of 14 to 15 inches. Also comfort height of about 16 to 17 high.”
Well right off the bat, Pickering has let me in on a secret and to be honest, comfort was not on my mind ...
Q: Then when it comes to spaces, there are a number of things to consider.
A: “There is a round front, which is good for smaller spaces (bowl height and bowl space) and elongated bowl provides more sitting room and increased comfort. Other than the mechanisms and the height and bowl types, there is the design and shape of the toilet. There is a two-piece tank and bowl that are separate, which is the most common type which tends to be more affordable. There is also a one-piece toilet tank and bowl that are fused together and this one has a more modern, sleek look.”
Q: What are the things people need to know when picking a toilet? What are the things they should consider?
A: “You need to know your rough [measurements] in distance when picking a toilet. Measuring from the wall to the center bolts of the base of the toilet.”
(Homebodies, I mean it when I say I did not think or know about any of these things.)
“But they all have the same principle in how they flush; it is mainly just personal preference to which style toilet people like.”
Q: Does bigger price tag mean better toilet? (to me one of the most important questions)
A: “The cheaper toilets may not have the quality in the parts over the toilet that costs a little more. Whereas unique features may cost you later. Some flushing mechanisms may be harder to find if you need parts, rather than your standard toilet.”
Q: What are say, five things you tell people if they call you up and ask- ‘What do you recommend for us to do- we’re in need of a new toilet?’
A: “Most times when people call and say they are wanting a new toilet replaced they either go and get the new toilet themselves or I would go and get the toilet and put it in. Some people like to pick out their own stuff and others would rather myself just go and get one and put it in. There usually isn’t much of a discussion.”
Q: Any advice you’d give to people- on how they know if they need a new toilet, simple things that might be causing noises or leaks but can be fixed without total replacement?
A: “If the mechanisms are working properly and it isn’t flushing like it should, there could be build up on the inside. Majority of the issues with the toilet can be fixed, for example the fill valve, tank to bowl kit (if two-piece), flapper valve, toilet handle/chain.”
Who else feels like they’ve learned some things today? Yes? Good, then my job is done.