We love our kids, but sometimes those little angels can be a menace to your home’s plumbing. Always keep in mind that, in general, this is not done with malicious intent but out of curiosity about how things work. Children experience the world in a very different way, and part of that tends to be through trial-and-error activities. Luckily, there are some easy ways to avoid your little critters from getting their hands and toys in places where they do not belong. Rest assured that if and when they do manage to sneak past the security measures you put in place, we at Loyalty Plumbing (located right here in Houston) will be around to handle any repairs you may need.
Since children have a fondness for getting into things, we will be talking about how to keep them out of those things…and what to do when they eventually do get in there. Let’s dive in!
To try and stop child-related plumbing emergencies before they happen, try to childproof those areas that they are most likely to try and explore.
• Teach them as early as possible how to use kitchen and bathroom plumbing appliances, and what sort of things not to do around them. Even with this action plan in place, you will still want to keep an eye on them when those drains are in use.
• Utilize drain covers and plugs when possible. Kids have a tendency to enjoy putting random objects in drains to see where they go and if they come back. They also have a bad habit of forgetting that they did this, so hours later you or them will discover the drain is clogged. Using drain covers or plugs to block as much space as possible from those shenanigans would be a smart level of prevention.
• Now for the big tool: childproof locks. On areas like the toilets, installing a childproof lock can be the best move to protect your plumbing. You can also install locks on bathroom doors and cabinets to limit small human access to drains and plumbing.
If your child has breached the defenses and sent some helpless toys or other unknown objects into the great watery beyond, fret not. We have tips on how to handle these situations, too. Here they are, ranked in order of what you should try from first to last.
• Start with the handy dandy plunger. It’s the go-to tool for a reason. If the clog is on the smaller side and not too far down, then a simple plunger will be able to handle the job.
• Check the trap. If the plunger couldn’t handle the clog, see if your drain has a trap and give that a clean to see if that does the trick. Make sure to have a bucket to catch any drippage from the trap as you pull it out to clean.
• Use a drain snake. Working past the trap, place one end of the drain snake down into the drain and gently twist to catch and dislodge the clog. Then you’ll gently pull it back to remove the clog.
• Tougher materials may be necessary if the clog still hasn’t budged. You can buy a chemical drain cleaner from the store and give that a try. Be sure to find one that is suited for your clog type, drain type, etc. Make sure your little one isn’t around for this part of the process, as you are using chemicals, and follow all safety guidelines.
• STILL clogged? Now is the time to call a professional in to finish the fight. A plumber will be able to really get in there and find the source of the problem. A stuffed animal? An army of Lego people? A roll’s worth of toilet paper? They will get to the bottom of the mystery and resolve the issue.
While you can’t stop your child from exploring their world, you can make it safer for them and for your plumbing. We hope these tips will help you in your continuous journey that is the caretaking of little humans.
For life’s little emergencies here in Houston, Loyalty Plumbing will always be here to look after your home’s plumbing needs.