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Got Kids? Here’s How to Avoid Plumbing Emergencies!


If your home has children in it, you know better than anyone the sort of catastrophes they’re able to create. Whether it’s broken toys, injuries, or a virus that comes home from preschool and cascades through the whole family, kids bring a great deal of chaos to a home. And they can wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing as well.

There are two ways to approach plumbing disaster preparation. First, take steps to minimize the risk that your kids will cause a plumbing emergency. Second, have a plan for what to do if an emergency does happen.

Minimizing the Risk of a Plumbing Emergency

With plumbing, as with so many aspects of parenting, being prepared can be the difference between a calm, safe household and a panicky disaster. First, keep in mind that most plumbing emergencies are just a final straw breaking the camel’s back. Gradual buildup is the real problem, and preventing that will prevent major clogs.

In the kitchen, teach your children to wipe their plates with a paper towel before putting them in the sink. This will prevent crumbs and chunks of food from entering your plumbing. It will also prevent the dreaded FOG—fats, oils, and grease—from coating the inside of your pipes. That might be liquid now, but as it cools, it will solidify like a stick of butter and block your sink drain.

In the bathroom, use mesh drain covers in the sink and shower. These will catch a lot of hair and need to be cleaned frequently. They’ll also catch some of the soap scum that can build up and narrow your drain pipes, as well as any excess food that ends up in the sink during messy toothbrushing. 

Finally, if you have very young children, you already know they are basically experimental physicists with unquenchable curiosity. They have to try everything, and to test their results, they have to try it repeatedly. They will almost definitely flush something down the toilet that they shouldn’t! Childproof toilet latches are a great option and could save your rubber ducks—and your plumbing—from a tragic fate.

Knowing How to Handle a Plumbing Emergency

The worst thing you can do when toilet water is gushing across your floor is to panic. Having a plan will help you keep your head on straight and tackle the problem quickly and effectively. First, know where your shut-off valves are. Each fixture should have its own, which will only shut off the water to that particular section of your plumbing. This can be used for sudden overflows or leaks.

Your whole-house shut-off valve is another good thing to be aware of. If you have a leak that you can’t stop with the shut-off valve of a specific fixture, you can shut off all the water where it enters your home. This will be low down, on the wall facing the street if you have municipal water, or the wall closest to your well.

Make sure you have some basic tools on hand. A large toilet plunger, a small sink plunger, a plastic drain snake, and a hand-cranked drain auger could help you solve your problem yourself. But if you can’t, you should also have contact information at the ready for a 24-hour plumber in Ashburn, VA, and don’t hesitate to use it.

AllTech Services, Inc. is your trusted resource for all your plumbing concerns. Contact us today!

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