How to Deal with Plumbing Problems in the Bathroom – Part 2

05/03/14 5:12 PM

bathroom plumbingLast month, I began talking about what you can do to take care of plumbing problems in the bathroom. This month, I’ll continue because there is a lot of information to share.

Let’s talk about what you should and shouldn’t put into a toilet.  Honestly, the answer to that is very, very simple: pee, poo, and tp.

If you don’t own a septic system, you may be tempted to let the city handle a few challenges.  It’s true that a septic system is a much smaller version of a waste treatment plant and doesn’t have nifty tools like pump grinders.  However, whether you’re on city water or your own septic system, you want to take care with what leaves your house in a pipe because it’ll be kinder on the environment and your budget (your household budget or your taxes).

If you’re wondering about cleaning or personal wipes, take out two glasses of water.  Put a (clean) wipe in one and toilet paper in the other.  Notice the way the toilet paper will break down but the wipe – not so much.  I won’t tell you not to clean yourself but realize that the personal wipe manufacturers will describe “normal” usage on the packaging and don’t expect you to put a lot of those things into the toilet.

A toilet may be able to move the wipe away from the bathroom and out to the sewer system or septic tank but, once there, these things aren’t going to break down easily.  If you own your own septic system, be prompt about septic tank cleanings and ask your service provider to report on the condition of your tank contents.  He or she may be able to tell you that you’re okay or recommend more frequent pump-outs… or tell you to stop using wipes.

If you suspect a clog in the sewer line, you may want to rent a sewer auger.  It’s not hard to use and it’ll be pretty easy to find the cleanout plug.  CAUTION: If your drainage problem is between the plug and your bathroom fixtures, you could be freeing a lot of sewage when you open that plug.  Feel free to call Classic Plumbing by Reno at 860-748-7305 if you are unsure and would like a free estimate to help you decide your next step.

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