Is there anything more horrifying than watching the water rise in a toilet bowl?
An online call-to-arms has brought a group of plumbers together to share their top tips for homeowners to prevent future problems.
The tips were collated on anonymous forum Reddit after one user asked: “Plumbers of Reddit, what is one simple thing that if the general public knew, could prevent a lot of problems?”
(And also, a lot of money.)
Bin your wipes
“Flushable wipes, aren’t.”
Shut it down
“Know exactly where the main shut-off valve is for the entire house in case you develop a bad leak (or pipe rupture) and can’t find an intermediate shut-off valve to stop it.”
Don’t mix up your papers
“Toilet paper is designed to dissolve in water, paper towels are designed to absorb and hold water. Don’t flush paper towels.”
“Don’t use draino. Use a plunger or snake, but never chemicals. They poison the environment, damage your pipes and septic, run the risk of burning someone (often hours or days after being used) and rarely work anyway.”
Learn how to drain
“Periodically drain your hot water tank to remove the sludge at the bottom. Double the life of the unit, cut down the power bill. Go online and read the procedure.”
Keep kitty litter away
“Flushable cat litter? Isn’t.”
Warm it up
“Got lukewarm water in your shower? The top electric heating element is not working in your water heater. If you run out of hot water very quickly the bottom element has failed.”
Tampons go in the bin
“Not a plumber, but never EVER flush your tampons/pads down the toilet. That shit absorbs A LOT of water and expands, creating a blockage.”
A hairy situation
“Please don’t let your hair go down the drain in the shower.”
Stop the smell
“Run the water about 15 to 30 seconds after pouring anything down the drain. Dumped spoiled milk down the sink? Run the water for half a minute. There’s something called a P-trap that keeps the sewer gas from coming up. Liquids can stay there and coagulate and cause a stink, literally, as well as a clog. Run water during and after what you pour down, and you might just save a lot in a future bill.”
Feature image via Kenny (2006).