Toilet flushing 201

I’ve recently been told that I should hold the lever down longer when I flush the toilet. I like to think I am open to learning new things, but I have to say, this has shaken me. After all, I’ve been flushing toilets for many years, and I thought my technique was perfectly fine. Apparently not.

Toilet handle

Hold down for at least a second or two

I’m a little confused. I mean, I get that the toilet flushing system is mechanical, and it could be that holding the lever down longer affects the operation, but still, I’ve seen the inner workings and I could swear that the flappy cover/gasket thingy (I’m pretty sure that’s the correct technical term.) is lifted up by the action of the lever, and then it takes its time naturally on the way back down.

But it occurs to me that maybe it’s not a mechanical thing at all. Maybe holding the lever down longer is a way of communicating with the toilet, as if to say, “I’m serious here. This isn’t a joke. It’s important that you really flush the contents of the bowl.”

It seems odd that I’d have to emphasize that, though. I mean, if the toilet is aware of how long I do (or do not) hold down the lever, wouldn’t it also be aware of what’s in its bowl? It almost seems like it would flush itself. Has it no sense of decency? No sense of smell?

I don’t know. I guess it could be that those times in my life when I’ve flushed and had the water in the bowl keep rising up instead of swirling down was because of my flawed flushing technique. Maybe the toilet didn’t fully understand my intention.

I think I’m starting to understand why people at crosswalks hit the button several times and really smack it good. I thought it was impatience, but now I see that they’re letting the “Walk” light system know that it isn’t a false alarm. “I’m not messin’ with you. I really want to cross this intersection. Can you help me out?”

Still, I like to think I have a better relationship with my toilet than that. Shouldn’t it (he? she?) just *know* me well enough by now? Maybe I just need to have a little chat next time I’m in there. I’ll say, “When I flush, I mean it, even if I only hold the lever for a short time. It doesn’t mean I don’t, you know, respect you or anything.”

I guess communication is important, even in the bathroom.


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