Toilet inspector overlooks overflow

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Dear Barry, Before we bought our house, our home inspector tested the toilets and reported that they were "functional." Unfortunately, these tests were just "water" flushes, which failed to tell the whole story. After moving in, we had immediate problems with the toilet in the master bathroom. The fixture works OK with liquids but simply does not dispose of solid waste. In fact, the first time we flushed it, the bowl overflowed you know what onto the floor. Why don't home inspectors check for this? – Byron Dear Byron, As you've just discovered, a real-life test is the only reliable method by which to verify the operational adequacy of a toilet. This, of course, poses a practical dilemma for home inspectors who may test as many as six fixtures in the course of a typical workday. Even with the inducement of a glass or two of prune juice, no inspector is likely to possess the intestinal capacity for such a demanding regimen. And those rare individuals for whom such prodigious output...