Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What the Heck is a Toilet Phone?

I have had a couple of people ask me over the years what I mean by a "toilet phone". This is basically a kitchen sink sprayer that is hooked up to the water supply line of the toilet. The name comes from a friend of mine from Spain who says they are quite common there and even have a name. He also told me that his boys thought it was "indispensable for protecting your position" (I'll leave that to your imagination). I will tell you that it is indispensable for cloth diapering. If you have no interest on cloth diapers, toilet phones, and home repair projects, you might as well stop reading now.

I was all ready to send these notes to Penelope (who has two in cloth diapers!) when I realized that It would be easier on both of us if I just posted this. My apologies for taking so long to get this done. I will begin with the disclaimer that I am no plumber, and there is likely a better way to do this, but this worked for me. I have had at least one friend try this and it did not work.

I got all the parts I needed at Lowe's Home Improvement. Basically, I grabbed a kitchen sink sprayer and fit parts together until it worked. First up is a simple T connector. This goes in-line with the current water supply connection to your toilet (shown below). Also, in the picture, you can see a white tube coming off the left. This is a 12" piece of pipe that is sold to use for a Freezer water supply -- but it fits here too. If you have the grey tubing like I do, you will have to cut it off to make it shorter so it fits in the T. This is the point of no return. If you cut this piece too short, you will have to replace it before the toilet will flush (Don't say I didn't warn you).

Next up is the really complicated part (if there is a complicated part here). The freezer supply line has to connect to the kitchen sprayer (in Grey below). There are actually two pieces here, but it looks like one. The first piece is a "size converter" (note the use of technical terms). It fits onto the kitchen sprayer line and converts the screw to a smaller size so it fits into the "male-to-male" connector. The male-to-male connector is then screwed into the freezer supply line.

That's it! The white you can see on the brass fittings is simple plumbers (Teflon) tape. Put this on all the joints.

Good Luck, and I hope it works for you. We have been using ours with only minor leaks for about 9 years now. Like I said, the one other person I tried to tell how to do this had everything go well until he pulled the trigger and the water came flooding out of the brass fittings. If you have trouble following what I did, get the T connector, and the kitchen sprayer, then find the expert in the plumbing section at Lowe's and say "I need this to fit into this" and hold up your parts. They are usually pretty helpful about that.

I would also love to hear your comments. If there is any interest, I will beef this up a bit and add some details.

NOTE FROM SUSAN: This is very handy for filling the dog's water bowl that sits next to the potty! She loves her fresh water!


Jenica said...

How have I used cloth diapers for 10 years and never heard of a toilet phone before?!? Thank you for enlightening me :-)

abbyjess said...

Oh, how I want one of these... I just have to convince him to try again. Or maybe Linus (and his stinky pants) will have to convince him to try again.

Heidi W said...

This is interesting!!!!