If you return from a trip to find your drain pipes frozen up, minus 30 degree temperatures and not a plumber in sight, you can either stress and fret and put on your full winter gear and headlamps and crawl under the house or you can set up a honey bucket with a porcelain seat and put off the problem for a day or two.
We did the latter.
We didn’t do the latter right away. We tried to thaw the pipes and we stayed up later than we should have, but after almost 24 hours of no sleep and 17 of those hours actively traveling with toddlers, we went to Plan B – set up the honey bucket with the porcelain seat and went to bed.
What exactly is a honey bucket and what is the importance of a porcelain seat?
A honey bucket is 5 gallon chamber pot. It’s a five gallon bucket lined with a plastic bag and covered with a plastic toilet seat. Seats are sold at hardware stores that fit right onto the plastic buckets (a snug fit is nice for keeping the plastic bag in place). However, the plastic seats that I’ve owned when I lived in a place where running water was a true privilege were quite unpleasant. They have a tendency to want to close and so when you sit on the seat, the lid presses against your back. Ick. Even if one has cleaned the lid, it is still an ick sensation.
We live in the big city right now (3,000 people) and running water is the norm so we normally wouldn’t have any extra toilet seats lying around, but we do!!! And it’s not one of those cheap plastic deals – it’s the real shebang – a cream colored porcelain seat with a nice hearty solidness and weight to it.
I broke three bones in my leg a couple years ago when I was pretty fairly pregnant. Going down the stairs multiple times in the middle of the night to the bathroom was a definite inconvenience before I broke those bones, and quickly became a downright miserable event once I did. My husband set up a honey bucket upstairs for me for the middle of the night calling. He covered it with a shiny new cream colored porcelain seat.
A porcelain toilet seat makes everything seem a bit better. It makes you forget that you are sitting on a bucket or that your leg is broken or that the pipes aren’t draining. It makes everything FEEL a-okay.
And now with our pipes adamantly refusing to drain and our heads tired from traveling all those hours with two kiddos who really did quite well, we can put our plumbing problems on hold for a couple days because we have a honey bucket with a porcelain seat.