It's common for kids to cause a clogged drain or two while they're growing up — they're beginning to explore the world around them, and don't yet know what can be safely flushed down the drains in your home without causing clogs. In order to keep the water in your home's plumbing flowing smoothly, it's a good idea to teach your kids about how to avoid clogged drains. Here's what to tell your kids to help them understand what's safe for drains and what is not.
The Toilet Is Only for Toilet Paper
Despite all the new toys and modern electronic gadgets of the modern world that kids can use to keep themselves entertained, kids seem to have retained their fascination with the household toilet. It's common for toddlers to attempt to flush whatever they can find down the toilet. Toys can get swept up into the toilet trap, completely clogging the toilet. When you potty train your child, you need to tell him or her which items are acceptable to flush down the toilet. Waste and toilet paper are the only things that should be flushed down it.
If your toilet does become clogged, whether it's by a toy or another household object, it's best to call a plumber. If you attempt to remove the object yourself using a drain auger, you can accidentally force the item out of the toilet trap and further into the toilet's drain. At that point, the toilet usually needs to be completely removed from the floor in order to unclog it. A plumber can easily remove obstructions from the toilet trap without making the problem worse.
Hair Always Goes in the Trash
Cutting your kids' hair is a great way to save money, but it definitely needs to go in the trash can. After the haircut, give your child a quick towel dry in order to pick up as much loose hair as you can. Hair is a menace to drains, since it tends to become trapped in the grease that accumulates on the side of your pipes. Flushing hair down the drain on a regular basis will quickly create nasty clogs, so do your best to keep hair out of your drains.
Keep Uneaten Food out of the Sink
When your kids are old enough to reach the sink, you need to teach them what's unsafe to flush down its drain. Plates should be scraped into the garbage before being placed in the sink in order to avoid food clogging the pipes. Grease should never be flushed down the drain of your sink, and this includes beverages that contain a lot of fat such as a milkshake. When you avoid flushing food and grease down the drain of your sink, you'll experience less clogs.
If you have a garbage disposal, make sure you teach your kids that only adults should run it. Your kids should never stick their hands into the garbage disposal in order to remove something that has fallen in such as a fork or spoon. Instead, they should ask an adult for help.
Taking the time to teach your kids about what can be flushed down the drain and what cannot will help ensure that your drains flow freely. If you do experience a clog (especially if it's caused by household objects that were flushed down the toilet), call a plumber to have your drain unclogged and cleaned. In some cases, attempting to unclog a drain on your own with a drain auger or by using caustic chemicals can damage your pipes or make the problem worse. By calling a plumber, such as from Complete Plumbing, to handle the situation, you'll fix your drain without damaging your plumbing.