Life’s busy enough without having to deal with blocked drains or overflowing sewage. It’s often not until we’re calling a plumber that we remember to tell our kids the very important reasons that they shouldn’t flush wipes down the toilet.
When the kids are little, we’re so focused on getting them to wee and poo on the toilet, put the seat down and wash their hands- it may not even cross your mind to teach them about some basic plumbing concepts.
If you want to avoid potential household disasters though, it’s worth spending a short amount of time to equip kids with the essential information that will keep your drains clear and your home happy.
You’ll first need to make sure that they have a basic understanding of what plumbing is. If you need some help explaining this to your kids, you might like to watch an educational plumbing video like this one with them.
Beyond that, there are a few important points worth emphasizing, which David Frith Quality Plumbing Services has helped us outline for you below.
Plumbing 101: Lessons for Little Ones
Lesson #1: Scraps and sinks don’t mix
Just getting small children to bring their plates to the kitchen seems a miraculous feat for the first few years, but by the time kids reach primary school we should encourage them to clear their own plates after every meal.
Most of us are lazy by nature and seek out the quickest way to do something, kids are no exception. And unless you’ve explained it to them, they also likely don’t realise the harm in washing food scraps down the drain.
Simply tell them that food scraps won’t dissolve in the water and can block up the pipes that need to move our water through to the treatment plant. Then encourage them to scrape their scraps into the bin rather than washing them down the sink.
Let them know that this is especially important for oily dishes as the fat can harden when it cools causing both pipe blockages and super gross fatbergs.
If this advice has come too late and there’s a boot lodged in your pipes, we suggest you call a local plumber like David Frith Quality Plumbing Services.
Lesson #2: The toilet is not a bin
Young kids just seem to love sticking stuff in the toilet. Sometimes these items are logical enough, like a tissue they’ve just wiped their nose with, and other times these items include shoes, textas and half-eaten apples.
We teach our kids that everybody poos, but not always where it goes. Unless you explain that the toilet bowl is not a magic act, little kids may not be aware that what goes in, must come out.
You should be very clear with them (sticking up a poster, if necessary) about what can and can’t be flushed down the toilet.
The ‘can’ list is pretty short: poo, wee, water and toilet paper.
The ‘can’t list’ is actually even shorter: everything else.
You may need to emphasise though that some of the items that seem designed for flushing are actually also cloggy culprits- namely tissues, nappies, paper towels, sanitary products and wipes (even those marketed as flushable).
Make sure they know that hair must be thrown in the bin as it quickly clumps and causes blockages that can ruin your entire drainage system.
Lesson #3: Do your dishwashing due diligence
A clogged dishwasher filter can cause your dishwasher to begin to leak.
While you might just be stoked that your kids are putting their own dishes in the dishwasher, if they’re not clearing their plates properly first, you may well wind up with a very full filter and ultimately a watery mess on the floor every time you use your dishwasher.
Explain to them that they need to do at least one of two things (and this will depend on their age).
- Clear their crockery of scraps before it goes into the dishwasher (into the bin, not sink- as mentioned previously).
- Clean/empty the filter prior to running the dishwasher.
If your dishwasher is leaking and you’ve already tried clearing out the filter, the problem may be more serious and you may need to call a local plumber.
Lesson #4: Be water-wise
In Australia, we take for granted that we can just turn on a tap and have clean, fresh drinkable water at our disposal.
Kids need to be taught to turn off taps, properly. When brushing their teeth and after washing their hands or showering, it’s important that kids are shown how to fully turn off the taps.
You should highlight that we don’t have an infinite supply of water, that we actually never know if one day we’ll run out and that water is a precious resource that not only costs us money, but is vitally important in keeping us and our earth healthy.
Kids can also sometimes find it funny to play with taps, turning them on and off roughly. If this is happening in your home you should simply let them know that taps are not toys and are made up of fragile parts that can be easily broken. Remind them that we should treat taps (like all things we own!) with care.
Too little, too late?
If you’ve landed on this page because your darling daughter has been flushing tampons every hour or your sweet son has jumped on the dishwasher door then maybe we can’t help you, but David Frith Quality Plumbing Services can.
David Frith Quality Plumbing Services (DFQPS) are located in Kirrawee and have been operating in the Sutherland Shire since 1994.
The twice-nominated Sutherland Shire Business Awards nominee provides expert advice, outstanding service & exceptional value for money.
From their “track my arrival” texts to the boot covers their tradesmen wear to protect client homes, they’ve got every detail covered (including a COVID-19 Safety Plan.)
DFQPS provide upfront fixed transparent pricing and you can pay by credit card so you’ll never be caught out.
If you’ve just moved into a new home or aren’t sure of the state of the plumbing in your house, you may be interested in having them complete a “home health check”, where they will perform an inspection and provide a report on your taps, toilets, hot water system and more.
We can’t guarantee that explaining the harm of such plumbing mishaps will stop your toddler from sticking a nappy in the toilet or shoving their soggy vegetables in the sinkhole, but David Frith Quality Plumbing Services can provide solutions that can help you with whatever plumbing problems crop up in your home. Whether you need emergency plumbing repairs, a plumber to assist with your home renovation, or any service in between, contact David Frith Quality Plumbing Services.