I have discovered that the hotel room toilet is blocked, but too late. What should I do?

  • Ok, I have used the toilet after holding myself for too long because of a long haul flight and I am not comfortable using the airplane's lavatory. The problem is, after releasing all the damn load, I have discovered that the bloody toilet is blocked, flushing makes things float! The hotel is a 5 stars hotel.

    What to do now? I know I can call the house keeping/reception and let them handle this sh1# (literally), but I find this so humiliating to me and to whomever unlucky person who is assigned to handle this. Any advice?

    Incidentally, how do we not have a [tag:toilets] tag yet?

    From a rational point of view, it is far more unsanitary to touch an elevator button or door handle than to use a toilet anywhere, aircraft or otherwise. If you think your 5-star hotel is somehow magically cleaner than the rest of the world, check out this: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/germiest-hot-spots-hotels-tv-remote-light-switch-study-finds-1C6434843

    @JoelFan I never said I do not like to use the airplane's lavatory because of bacteria or so, it is just small and not comfortable. That's the issue.

    I find it amusing that you find it more comfortable to tell the whole internet about it, than to tell the people whose job it is to take care of it. ;)

    @ChristofferHammarström I am glad that you are amused!

    Phone the front desk, tell them that your toilet is not working. Then go out somewhere. Eat in the restaurant, sit in the bar, go for a walk. Come back and it will be fixed.

    I don't think we seriously need the `toilet-usage` tag. Of course it won't cover the non-usage toilet curiosity questions we also have (mostly Japan-oriented). Neither of which really matter anyway. I thought `hygiene` was spot-on.

    This is not a question about using a toilet, this is a question about what to do after using a toilet. Tag misnomers suck.

    @hippietrail it isn't also about hygiene..

    Don't be ashamed to call the front desk. Feel free to leave the room for a while after you call so you don't have to face the maintenance guy when he comes in. Hotel maintenance staff face clogged toilets all the time and after a few hundred clogged toilets, it's no big deal. They'll be glad that you clogged it "naturally" rather than because you were trying to flush unflushable materials that they have to pull out of the toilet and dispose of.

    Pooing and weeing are always about hygeiene. It's a super polite way to cover such things. Somebody (not me) I think came up with it as a safe tag to cover the squat toilet question knowing that it would also be useful for more situations.

    Scoop, throw it in a bin, and don't use that toilet again. Easy solution, y'all are thinking too hard about it!

    Depending on where the blockage is and your level of embarrassment about asking for help vs grossout from doing it yourself you might be able to manually clear the blockage.

  • hippietrail

    hippietrail Correct answer

    8 years ago

    If the flush mechanism doesn't work

    1. Flush manually:

      In fact in many developing countries or even elsewhere such as out in the bush you can find modern toilets without running water.

      All you need to do is find a large container, fill at as full as you can manage, and pour it into the bowl. The faster you poor and from the greater height the better. But start slow and low because if you are too aggressive you can cause icky splashing.

    2. The mechanism is often easy to fix:

      Take the lid off the cistern. Be careful if it's ceramic it will be heavy. You can break it or your toe if you drop it.

      There is usually a string, wire, or chain connecting some kind of lever, float, and rubber seal. Often this gets caught on something causing the plug not to reach the seal or not to close it fully.

      Sometimes the string, wire, or chain has come loose from one end and can be reattached without any special tools.

      Sometimes it can help to bend the arm the float is attached to for fine adjustments if the plug almost reaches the seal but not quite.

    If the bowl is blocked

    1. See if there is a plunger near the toilet or in a cupboard. If your 5-star hotel has a kitchenette and there's a plunger there but not in the toilet, then maybe throw it away after cleaning up, or at least leave it in the toilet room.

    2. If there is no plunger to be found then the "manual flush" method above may be stronger than the built-in flush if you can drop in a lot of water at once from a great enough height without making a mess. This is much safer in "low water" toilets than with the "high water" toilets typically found in North America.

    3. Let it soak and come back from time to time when the water level has gone down and flush again. Again be careful with "high water" toilets as in North America - they are notorious for overflowing in such conditions. If you are a man, aim your stream at the obstacle each time you go. This will break it up. These techniques are hampered if you used too much toilet paper.

    4. If you are in a country where you don't know the language, get online and look up the local words for "hardware store" and "plunger". In my experience the latter can be quite tricky. I was in this situation once in Berlin, found at least half a dozen words for "plunger", most of which must've been regional words only known to people in other parts of the German-speaking world! I also couldn't find a hardware store and couldn't find a plunger in a discount store. (Lidl style or 1-euro-shop style)

    5. DO NOT USE DRANO!! Caustic pipe un-blocking products are not intended for use with toilets. They can melt the wax used to seal the ceramic toilet to the pipes. You can create a far worse situation this way. (Non-caustic products should be fine though.)

    If all else fails

    1. You can use this situation to work on your problems of finding natural bodily functions embarrassing. Go tell somebody working at the hotel. If it's a 5-star hotel they specialize in being discreet about far far worse things their guests might do.

    2. If you cannot bring yourself to overcome this personality defect then you can leave an apology note somewhere the housekeepers will find it before finding the surprise you left them. You can even include a tip.

    3. The housekeepers have definitely dealt with this situation and much worse before. If you just leave it they are pretty used to that.

    I guess it is more of blocked.

    Then you need to reword your question. I have come up against both situations many times. Jammed flush is much easier, unless there is a plunger. To keep both answers relevant you can reword in such a way as to not specify any theory as to why the poo won't go away, or to cover both situations.

    you da man, you have a solution for every possible problem re toilets :p

    "I'd need some help disposing of a dead hooker, and also the toilet is clogged."

    *"DO NOT USE DRANO!! This can dissolve the cement used to fix the ceramic toilet to the tiled floor!"* - Toilets are usually screwed, not cemented. What you probably heard was that Drano can get hot enough to melt the wax sealing the toilet to the pipes. You pretty much shouldn't ever use Drano for anything, regardless. **Drain-o** *(different from **Drano**)* works well though, it's basically just soap and baking soda.

    You could be right. It's a vague memory from searching the Internet to solve a blocked loo problem in Berlin maybe four years ago.

    In re: the hotel staff has seen *much* worse, believe me. Put it this way - at least you used the toilet for your bodily functions, and not a closet or a mini-bar fridge.

    @IconDaemon I had never even considered that someone would use the fridge for that. There needs to be some law that states "if it can be pooped in, someone will poop in it".

    @Polynomial: There is a law that covers it from the staff's point of view: Murphy's Law (-;

    @hippietrail: The plunger is one of the rare things in Germany which has not a standardized name :). If anyone here needs a plunger in Germany, here is a list of names to be tried until the blank look disappears: "Saugglocke","Gummisauger","Sauger","Stopfer","Gummistopfer","Pömpel", "Pumpfix", "Stopfstecken", "Klostampfer", "Fluppi", "Gummistumpen", "Planscher", "Bömbl", "Saug-Hektor", "Steß".

    Wax? really? I thought they always used silicone. Drano is made from lye, and silicone can tolerate that (as well as sulphuric acid, another common drain-cleaning chemical that might be effective in this case.)

    I think it's safest to assume when in a strange place with somebody else's plumbing that you shouldn't assume which sealant is used in case something goes wrong. I might look for a reference. Drano themselves use a gentle wording: http://www.drano.com/clog-talk/drano-and-toilets

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM