Does your little helper need some Plumbing Tips?
Like you don’t already have enough on your plate with regular school day matters, intermittent Zoom classes, and odd school activity schedules. The last thing you want to worry about, when in your virtual meeting, is your very independent little people trying to “fix” the toilet when it won’t flush, or “cleaning” the bathroom or kitchen by pushing everything into that drain. You knew they were being too quiet for too long! Incorporating teaching points from a “Bob the Builder” or “Super Mario” perspective, instead of a “Curious George” or “Looney Toones” angle might save your bathroom or kitchen from flooding. Here are a few tips to talk about with the kids regarding your home’s plumbing.
- UFO’s: Unidentifiable Flushed Objects. There are only 3 things that go down the toilet, and most kids giggle at potty humor anyway. This one is easy to teach – only (toilet) Paper, Pee and Poo! Flushable wipes are not paper, even though their very name implies you can flush them. If you do use disposable wipes, please place them in a closed lid garbage bin placed near the toilet, to make it easy for kiddos remember to throw them away, not flush them down. Toys, sunglasses, pens, chewing gum, dental floss, Q-tips, cotton balls… and so many more… do not belong down the toilet.
- Kitchen Sink Soup. Its so hard to get kids to put their dirty dishes in the sink alone – I call that a small victory in itself! But, we need to teach them how the dishes should look, before they get put in the sink. NO chicken wing bones, carrot or celery sticks, 3 bites of mac n cheese, or ½ bowl of cold ramen noodle. NO glops, chunks, ranch dressing or pizza grease. Teach them to use their napkin, fork, or paper towel to wipe plate residues into the trash bin, before putting dishes in the sink. Rinse dishes and glassware with water, and let some extra water run down the drain to help move the tiny food particles, grease droplets, and beverages down the kitchen drain. Bonus points if they load the dishwasher and wipe off the countertops!
- Hot Water Watcher. If you do not have a thermostatic faucet (where you can set the hot water temperature at a preset non-scalding temperature), or do not have your main hot water supply set at a non-scalding temperature (120 degrees Farenheit), teach your littles about the danger of hot water. Handwashing is super important, so they need to know how to get the water warm, but not too hot. Sometimes our kids like to give their action figures or cars a “bath” in the sink, so we need to really teach them the safe way to use hot water. Turn the hot side on/handle to the hot side on slowly, and allow time for it to heat up, before washing the Funko Pops.
- Lastly, DON’T HIDE A PROBLEM. Often, the fear of getting in trouble, being embarrassed or scared when the toilet starts overflowing, or ‘I can fix it! attitude’ may keep your child/ young adult from letting you know about immediate plumbing issues (overflowing toilet, sink that won’t drain, loose or stuck handle on a faucet). And its never fun to find your new set of guest towels has been used to soak up an entire bathroom of toilet water. Like many challenges our kiddos face, the reality is if they ask for help/advice when a problem first shows itself, its much easier to resolve it.
Teaching kids some basic plumbing rules, outside of an emergency plumbing situation, gives them the “toolkit” they need when there is an issue. And hey – it may inspire them to become a plumber when they grow up!
Did your little one cause a mishap and you’re not sure where to turn? JD and our team can help you resolve the issue as soon as possible.