So, there I was with a clogged toilet. How could it have happened? Last year, I spent $125.00 to get the toilet working properly after a clog, so I've been especially careful. (Although my neighbor's suggestion that I stop using toilet paper was ignored for what should be obvious reasons. I only use RV toilet paper anyway) Once a month I open the valves, drain the tank, rinse it with the hose, close the valves. I still had nearly a week to go. What had gone wrong?
I deliberately chose to continue this lifestyle because I love the simplicity of it. I also chose to remain single because I am just too independent. Consequently, I have to take responsibility for anything that goes wrong as well as right.
So, I donned my rubber gloves, went outside and checked the drain pipe. Dry as a bone. I then checked the valves and discovered the problem. The valve was still open. I must have forgotten to close them last time. That meant something was clogging the toilet. Now what?
I tried the plunger (useless), bought a three foot auger,(did not reach far enough), poured RV-safe drain cleaner into the toilet, which promised to work within 24 hours. I pulled my little porta potty out from under the fifth wheel and took it inside. At my age, I didn't think I could get through the night without a toilet break.
The toilet was still clogged the next day. So much for chemical solutions. Then one of my neighbors suggested I send the augur up the drain pipe itself, rather than down the toilet. I screwed up my courage, unhooked the drain pipe and tried that, too. (He offered to do it for me, bless his heart, but as I said earlier, it's my responsibility.) Still no go, so to speak.
I then pulled my finance ledger off the shelf and tried to figure how to get another hundred and fifty out of my substitute-teacher-not-working-in-summer-budget. I managed fifty, but that was only if I used no propane, cut back on the food budget, and did not use the air conditioner, just as it was starting to warm up. There had to be another answer.
I tried the auger (snake) again, both in the toilet and the septic drain pipe. Still clogged. Then it occurred to me that if the auger was too short and unable to reach whatever was clogging the drain, I just needed something longer. I wondered if my little ten foot garden hose would work. It was probably too flexible, I thought, but before I spent more money on a bigger and better auger, I'd give it a try.
Five minutes later my toilet was unclogged! I pulled the hose out, stuffed it into a plastic garbage bag and took it outside. I cleaned the exterior of the hose with disinfectant, (white vinegar works) then attached it to another garden hose and ran water through it to clean the interior.
I rinsed out the septic tank, closed the valves, added my weekly chemicals, then double checked the valves to make sure they were closed this time and made the appropriate entry into my planner.
Fixing a clogged toilet on my own may seem a minor feat to the rest of the world. To a full time RVer practicing her usual summer austerity program, it was a major accomplishment.