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Falling off a Kohler High Rise Toilet

Updated on October 28, 2015
Pcunix profile image

I was born in 1948 and spent most of my career as a self employed computer trouble shooter for Unix systems.

I know I am not the only person to have fallen off a toilet. I'm sure uncountable people have done so while drunk. I'm sure others have had this misfortune while ill and, because certain bodily functions can lower your blood pressure, I'm sure a few have fainted and fallen. This is not necessarily an amusing story to tell your friends: people have died falling off toilets.

I'm not entirely sure why I fell. I may have just fallen asleep. I wasn't drunk, I wasn't sick, but I had stumbled to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I have had other fainting episodes, but never while sitting down. Maybe it was a case of dropping blood pressure, but whatever the cause, I tumbled off and smashed my head quite solidly. I also bruised my shoulder. All in all, quite unpleasant and not anything I want to repeat.

I thought about that when my wife mentioned replacing our toilet with a high rise model.

Not quite that high
Not quite that high

Let us digress for a moment. When we moved into our new home in this over 55 community, we were a bit surprised to find that the toilets were not high rise models. You would think that would be automatic in a senior living community, but it was not. That didn't bother us very much; we are strong and healthy and had no problems with low toilets.

We did have problems with flushing. The toilet would clog up frequently with very little provocation. That we did find annoying.

I need to digress again. Yes, I know this will take me even farther away from whatever it was I intended to say, but I will get back to it. The flushing difficulties reminded me that I should tell you of an easy way to deal with that if you are getting nowhere with a plunger and don't want to call a plumber: hot, soapy water will often release a clog very quickly.

You don't want boiling water unless you pour it in very slowly and carefully - you could crack the porcelain. Hot tap water is hot enough. For soap, I use dishwasher detergent. This works, though sometimes it takes two or three tries. That's a lot cheaper than a plumber!

So, we had reason enough to replace our toilets and it certainly seemed that high rise made sense. We may not need it now, but we will eventually.

However, these things are pricey, running at least twice the cost of "normal" toilets. We had two to replace, so of course we did the guest bathroom first. It's one thing for us to deal with a clog; we certainly didn't want a guest to be embarrassed by that.

We looked around and picked out a Kohler. Yes, we looked at Toto, no, we did not look at incinerating or composting toilets! We didn't consider dual flush toilets either. We picked the Kohler because our plumber said he could get that easily and give us a good price.

Yes, we hired a plumber to install it.

Laugh away

The home handymen are chuckling. I agree: replacing a toilet should not be beyond the skill set of an ordinary homeowner. I have even done it myself in the past, but I decided against it this time. Go ahead, poke fun, but it's not always all that easy to replace a toilet.

I opted to avoid installation trouble and the additional problem of disposing of the current toilet. The plumber came and was in and out very quickly, carrying our old toilet and a check.

Anyway, the new toilet flushed well. Our guests would never risk embarrassment and the weaker among them would have less effort getting down and up. We were several hundred dollars poorer, but happier.

One down, one to go

Time had passed, the unpleasantness of writing that check had been forgotten, and now we are back where my wife had suggested that we complete our project by replacing the other toilet.

This was a scant six months after I had fallen from our low toilet and I still had strong memories of that. How much more would I have hurt myself had I tumbled from a high rise model? I hesitated, but I knew she was right, so we called the plumber and asked for a duplication of our previous transaction.

I hear you laughing again. Laugh away, cocky home fix up person: this time, the plumber ran into an issue that was serious enough to require an assistant and the complete shutting off of water to the house, followed by some real plumbing work. Had I tackled this myself, it would have been quite the boondoggle. So there!

Anyway, we now have two high rise, good flushing toilets. Our retirement funds have been raided, and if I ever fall again it will hurt more, but we think we did the right thing. No more clogging, and if we live long enough, we may come to appreciate the higher seating.

They do sometimes refer to this as a throne, right? It should be high. Should the monarch (that would be me) fall again, well, long live the King!


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  • profile image

    Baileybear 7 years ago

    gosh, I didn't know people died falling OFF toilets - I know that many people die in the toilet room (not sure if died while still ON the toilet!). Many die there because feel like going to be sick when about to die - chap from a former workplace was found by a cleaner dead on the floor of toilet room. I met someone whose mother died in an airport toilet. The most famous toilet death would have to be Elvis.

    I've had a few unsteady moments with surfing toilet seats

  • Pcunix profile image

    Tony Lawrence 7 years ago from SE MA

    Yes, I have read that is a common place to die. I want to die out walking. I want to crumple to the sidewalk in fresh air and ruin someone else's day :)

  • ChrisLincoln profile image

    ChrisLincoln 7 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California

    Funny, but...

    In a previous life as a policeman in England, I came across many older folk who died while on the toilet. Especially out-houses in winter. Falling off is the least of your worries. Those things are dangerous.

  • Pcunix profile image

    Tony Lawrence 7 years ago from SE MA

    Yes, I can laugh about it now, but it is surprising how much damage a short fall like that can cause.

  • snakebaby profile image

    Sabrina Yuquan Chen (陈玉泉) 7 years ago from Boston, MA, USA

    luckily it never happened to me, though I'm old, guess not old enough of an "old ginger" (a chinese phrase), or never got drunk enough, haha. Funny hub, enjoyed!