Avoiding Plumbing Penalties During the Super Bowl

Child flushes toilet-4fdaf12e
Child flushes toy down the toilet
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The teams are set, the commercials are cued up, The Weeknd is ready to rock the halftime show, and you and your family are ready to watch the big game. Stories about the “halftime flush” overwhelming city pipes are just a myth, but the extra strain on a home’s plumbing system can lead to a super disaster.

That’s why Valley based Forrest Anderson Plumbing and AC wants to help homeowners prepare for plumbing emergencies in the kitchen and the bathroom that may occur during this year’s Super Bowl. Here are simple tips to help families avoid clogs, overflows and mishaps:

In the Kitchen

  • Keep drains running by limiting what goes down the garbage disposal. Never put chicken bones or skin in the disposal because it can damage the blades. Eggshells and coffee grounds can also cause problems, as well as softer foods like pasta, potato skins and rice which clog pipes.
  • Veggie platters are a healthy snack, but fibrous foods like celery can get stuck in the disposal and cause a serious backup. Run the water before dumping scraps and let it run a minute afterwards to flush out smaller pieces.
  • Fried foods are popular but avoid dumping cooking oil and grease down the drain because it can solidify and clog pipes. It’s also a good idea to wipe off greasy cookware and plates with a paper towel before putting them in the dishwasher.

In the Bathroom

  • Before the game starts, locate the water shut-off valve under the toilet tank in case of an emergency and test it out so you don’t have to miss any action in an emergency.
  • Flushable wipes can clog pipes and should only go into a wastebasket. Talk to your family about how to properly dispose of wipes, even if the label says they are flushable. High quality toilet paper is also preferred by plumbers because it dissolves easily and is less likely to clog pipes than coarse paper.
  • Put a garbage can in the bathroom and encourage family members to use it instead of flushing items like food, hygiene products and trash that can lead to an overflow. 

Between the action on the field and the entertaining commercials, parents may lose sight of their little ones. If a curious toddler wanders into the bathroom and tries to flush a toy, parents may need to unclog the toilet. Before panicking, try using a “water closet auger” or a “snake” that has a steel cable inside a tube, a crank handle, and an open head to “hook” the toy and pull it out.

The experts at Forrest Anderson recommend emptying as much water out of the bowl beforehand and use old rags to absorb it all. Crank the handle until there is resistance and keep pressure on the crank while pulling the cable up with the toy attached. Test the toilet by flushing a few times to make sure the pipe is clear. That’s it – no more tears! If that doesn’t work, be sure to call in an expert. For more great tips on avoiding costly fumbles, visit the Forrest Anderson website at http://forrestanderson.net/.

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