Your Kids Could Be the Cause of Your Plumbing Backups

When your kids are young, usually around potty training age, they may become fascinated with the toilet—especially the flush. It’s amazing how that water swirls and takes away anything in the bowl. And sometimes they will want to see other things go down the drain as well.

Plumbers have reported finding small toys, diapers, glasses, washcloths, spoons and other utensils stuck in the drains beneath toilets that the owners find out about only after they call about a clog. Most often, these are clogs that can’t be solved with a plunger since once the items are trapped, toilet paper will cling to them and cause even worse problems.

Some moms have discovered items such as jewelry, figurines, stuffed animals and game pieces in the toilet that apparently were too big to go down (or luckily just didn’t get flushed). Other issues families report are from children pouring products down the drain either in the toilet, sometimes the sink or even the tub. Bottles of shampoo or bubble bath are common. But so is cat litter, perfume and food items.

The best way to keep kids from using these fascinating water sources as disposals is to put a child-protective knob on the bathroom door and keep the door shut. This keeps them out until you can go in with them and supervise. It can also be a good idea to install a toilet lock to prevent children from lifting the toilet seat without help. It may also be a good idea to install some drain covers or hair catchers in the bathtub just in case.

Even though it’s usually toddlers who cause these issues, some of the worst backups occur when kids do finally learn to go to the potty, but they can’t seem to get a grasp on how much toilet paper is enough. Sometimes youngsters (and even a few parents) also think that baby wipes are OK to flush, too. Never flush wipes—even the so-called flushable ones are difficult to get through pipes and break down very slowly. Make sure to show your children the proper amount of toilet paper to use when they need it. This will also help prevent toilet overflows and calls to the plumber. But if your kids do decide to see if their favorite superhero can swim as well as he flies, Dauenhauer Plumbing is just a phone call away.