A big part of raising children is teaching them how to properly use the toilet. For most parents, that is when they stop teaching their kids about anything related to plumbing.
Although parents will teach their kids how to do things like flush, how to use a toilet, how to use a sink, etc., many parents will not teach their kids more about how to properly take care of a plumbing system, how to get rid of clogs, how to prevent clogs from happening, etc. This is a problem because a lot of plumbing issues can be tied back to kids not being taught how to properly take care of a plumbing system.
In this article, we are going to explain some very basic plumbing concepts that you should explain to your kids. Not only will these concepts help keep your own plumbing system in order, but it will also be helpful knowledge for your kids to have down the line when they own their own homes.
The first lesson you should teach your kids is what exactly can and cannot be flushed down a toilet. Now, you this would be rather obvious and yet, plumbers all over the world are constantly having to deal with clogs caused by people putting things down their toilets that should not go down them.
People put everything from grease to hair down their toilets and it just causes clogs. Kids are also guilty of this. Kids have been known to accidentally flush things like toys or other things like that down the toilet, which then causes clogs in the pipes.
So, it is important that you teach kids what they are allowed to put down the toilet and what they are now allowed to put down the toilet. For those of you curious what cannot be put down a toilet, the answer is that basically anything that cannot be dissolved in water should not be flushed down the toilet paper. This is a good rule of thumb that you should always keep in mind when dealing with plumbing systems.
Teach your kids that the only thing they should ever flush down the toilet is toilet paper. But, even toilet paper can be dangerous for a plumbing system in great quantities. Toilet paper, in great quantities, stops being soluble and starts becoming absorbent. So, using too much toilet paper can result in the same sort of clogs that you would see if you flushed other things down the toilet. Tell your kids that they should only flush small amounts of toilet paper down the toilet at once. It will help save you from having to deal with disgusting clogs in the future.
For more information, see our other post on common mistakes that can damage your plumbing system.
We have written before about kitchen sinks are one of the most common areas in the house for clogs to appear. This is because so many people wash dishes off in the sink before putting them in the dishwasher (assuming they have one installed of course). Likewise, a lot of people tend to brazenly throw things down the kitchen sink that do not really belong down there (like coffee grounds).
Kids are even more guilty of this because they tend to not know better. So, when you finally start teaching your kids about how to do dishes, you should also explain how the food scraps on dishes can clog kitchen sinks. Food scraps do not dissolve in water, so they get washed down the sink and get caught in the pipes. Explain to your kids that the kitchen sink is not a substitute for the garbage can. Food scraps should always be scraped into the garbage before washing the dishes.
Teach your kids this, and you will save yourself from a lot of clogged drains down the line.
Young kids need to be taught to turn a faucet completely off before they walk away from a sink. Sure, kids generally know that if a stream of water is still running from the faucet, that it is not off. But, some kids do not understand that if water droplets are still coming from the faucet, then it is not completely off. Plenty of households lose tons of money each year because of little amounts of waste like that. So, make sure your kids know to check to make sure that the faucet is completely off when they are finished using it.
Also, while on the topic of faucets. You may want to teach your children to be careful when using a faucet. Not everyone knows this, but faucets are actually full of some rather delicate parts. These internal parts can be easily broken or damaged if the faucet is turned too roughly.
Finally, you want to teach your kids that water is valuable. Not just because it costs money, but also because it is extremely valuable for other reasons. It can be hard to grasp for young people just how valuable water is. They see that it comes out of a faucet whenever they want and thus they do not attach a proper value to it. But, as we all know, water is extremely valuable. So, sit your kids down and explain to them that water costs money and that it is not to be wasted.
Try to get across how water is necessary for the household to function. Water is necessary for cooking, drinking, showering, etc. Explain to your kids why they should not leave taps running and why they should not flush the toilet unnecessarily. If possible, try going over some easy that they can help conserve water.
These are 4 basic pieces of information about the plumbing system that every parent should teach to their kids. If you are interested in seeing a similar post for electrical systems, please see this post we did on “How To Teach Your kids To Be Safe Around Electrical Equipment.”