child flushing a toilet

What Your Kids Need to Know About Your Home’s Plumbing

It's relatively common for parents to experience a plumbing mishap with their little ones. After all, your home's plumbing fixtures can be fascinating for a small child, and even older kids can make the mistake of putting the wrong thing down the drain.

That's why we've put together this list of tips that can help you teach your kids about your home's plumbing!

1. Hot and Cold Water

It's easy to take your knowledge of your sink, shower, and tub faucets for granted. However, a small child is not likely to recognize that the faucet's hot water can pose a serious scalding hazard. Warn your little ones against the danger of tampering with the hot water faucet to reduce their risk of getting burned when bathing or washing their hands. You can further protect your family by lowering your water heater's thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends to prevent tap water scalds.

2. What Should and Should NOT Go In the Toilet

One important lesson should be that the toilet is not a “toy” at all, despite how the name may sound. Children have no concept of what your home’s plumbing system is like, and to them, the toilet can be a fascinating portal where they can make a variety of objects “magically” disappear. They don’t know that they can “break” toilets or that whatever they flush has to go through narrow pipes before leaving your home.

The only things that should ever be flushed are your natural bodily functions and toilet paper. All other items, including flushable wipes, should be tossed in the trash can.

3. If The Toilet Gets Clogged, Don’t Flush Again

Sometimes, older low-flow toilets can get clogged with too much toilet paper. While you may not have one of these in your home, your child might visit a home where this is an issue. Make sure they know that if they clog up the toilet, they should not try to flush the toilet again because this can cause the toilet bowl to overflow. Even though it may feel embarrassing, it’s much better for them to let an adult know so that the toilet can be unclogged.

Once your kids are old enough, make sure they know how to use a plunger--an essential life skill that everyone needs to learn eventually. Check out this quick video if you need to brush up your plunging technique before teaching your kids.

4. Garbage Disposal Use and Safety

Before enlisting your kids to help with the dishes, it’s vital to teach them some “Garbage Disposal 101.” The most crucial lesson involves safety. Make sure your kids know to never reach into the garbage disposal and that they know to never turn on the unit unless they get the “all clear” from whoever is at the sink. Garbage disposals contain high-powered, metal impellers that grind up food remnants, and they can cause serious injury to a hand.

It’s also important to teach your kids about what should and shouldn’t go down the garbage disposal. Despite what its name implies, this piece of machinery isn’t for whatever garbage you have in the kitchen. It’s only for tiny, soft food scraps. To prevent jams and clogs, you should never “feed” your garbage disposal any of the following:

  • Fibrous, stringy veggies

  • Potatoes and other starchy veggies

  • Coffee grounds

  • Hard items like seeds, pits, and bones

  • Expandable items like noodles and rice

  • Eggshells

  • Grease, fat, and oil

Each child learns and progresses differently, so try to use your best judgment when it comes to introducing these plumbing lessons as your kids grow. Once they reach pre-teen and teen years, you can start to teach them more mature lessons about things like your utility bills and handling plumbing repairs. After all, someday, they’ll need to tackle these things on their own, and they’ll be glad that someone prepared them!

Let our family take care of your family! At The Rooter Works Plumbing and Drains, we’re proud to be a trusted plumbing company here in Columbus. Call us for same-day service: (614) 412-3324.