Putting Ads' Promises to the Test

VIDEO: Putting Products to the Test

The television commericial begins with a man ogling the hot female plumber who has come to install his neighbor's toilet, and in the hopes of getting to meet her, the man tries to clog his own toilet, flushing everything from scented candles, to washcloths, to potted plants.

All of them flush without a problem, which is good news for the toilet and good news for the man's wife, who shows up at the end of the latest ad from Kohler toilets. This commercial claims that Kohler's new model of toilets are practically uncloggable. So of course, I had to put this to the test.

VIDEO: Putting Products to the Test

In order to test this safely, Kohler had to install a "closed-circuit" toilet in my bathroom, which is just a toilet that sits on top of a box, with the plumbing going into a removable tray instead of going directly into the city sewer line. Kohler insists that non-human waste should not be flushed down any toilet, as it can damage your home's plumbing system and can pollute your city's wastewater system.

So with that out of the way, the first thing up, scented candles. I dropped about half a dozen small scented candles into the bowl and was ready to start the flushing. To get the most out of each flush, the people from Kohler suggest you do a "1-Mississippi flush," holding down the flush lever for one second. It was only a test toilet, right? So what's the worst that could happen?

And in a second, all of the candles were gone. That totally worked. OK, so what next? Golf balls? Sure, why not?

For those in the know, the best way to get eight golf balls into a toilet bowl is to use a sand wedge, not a five-iron. After chipping in the last golf ball, it was time to see if these would forever remain a part of the water trap from my impromptu bathroom golf course.

I gave it a flush. And let's just say that I'll have to pick up a new box of balls from the clubhouse on my way out, because I'm not getting these ones back anytime soon.

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Candles? Check. Golf balls? Check. Washcloth? Check. A dozen travel sized shampoo bottles? Check. I was beginning to wonder if there was anything the toilet wouldn't flush.

In the commercial, the man tries to flush down his wife's bra and panties, so I had to step up to the plate. And that's where we ran into our first problem.

All jokes about size aside, the problem seemed to be not so much the flushing power, but the awkward shape of the objects. They got caught in the back part of the pipe. The toilet met its first match.

OK, so no flushing underwear down the toilet. Somehow I don't think this will interrupt my daily routine.

On to the last object, the potted plant. Now, my 12-inch tomato plant was a bit bigger than the plant they used in the commercial, but I say if we're going to go out, go out big.

Unfortunately, the Kohler toilet didn't seem to agree. The plant got sucked part way down before everything came to a screeching halt. Visions of Scotty from "Star Trek" screaming, "The engines, they cannot take it!" danced around my head as the toilet began to burp back up discolored, dirty plant water.

So the toilet met its final match, but again, as often as I see myself trying to flush an entire plant down a toilet, I think I'll be able to live with everything else it can do.

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