While it is not uncommon for plumbing problems to develop over time, they can be delayed and minimized with home plumbing fixtures are used correctly. Train children how to properly use the water services at home to avoid common plumbing issues and having to call a plumber for assistance.

1. Toilets.

Children should be taught from a young age not to flush objects down the toilet. While it might be fun to watch a rubber duck swirling around the toilet bowl, it won’t be fun cleaning up the overflow later or unclogging the toilet pipes to free the duck that got stuck. Kids should also learn not to keep flushing the toilet repeatedly after use for the fun of it, as this will wear out the toilet guts more quickly, requiring repair or replacement.

2. Sinks and tubs.

All children should be monitored when using the bathroom sink for washing up or brushing teeth, or taking a bath in the tub. Kids often love water so much that they fill the sink and tub to the brim, if possible, and then giggle to watch it overflow. Parental supervision and instruction will help kids to understand that a little bit of water is all that is needed for daily hygiene functions, and that using excess is not only wasteful but may be harmful when overflows flood the floor and trickle to lower levels of the home. You may find the information and resources available at Drain Rescue to be very useful.

3. Drains.

Most kids have no reason to play near a floor drain in the basement, shower, or laundry room. But sometimes when they are left unsupervised, they may be tempted to stick small objects in the holes of the drain. Adolescents who comb wet hair after a shower might inadvertently or deliberately pull loose hair from a comb or brush and rinse it down the drain. Kids should learn that nothing except water should be washing into the drain.

4. Appliances.

Dishwashers with fancy knobs are magnets for preschool kids, who love turning the dial and hearing the gears grind as the water spurts on and off inside the unit. However, too much grinding can wear out the gears or cause them to get stuck occasionally, backing up the water flow in the dishwasher and leading to a flooded kitchen floor. Similarly, when kids are old enough to use the washing machine, they should be instructed on how to load clothing inside the tub to avoid overcrowding or an unbalanced load, which may cause water backup or overflow issues.

A few simple instructions at the right age will teach children to either avoid or correctly use these water-based appliances and fixtures around the home.