Kids are curious creatures. The simplest of activities like throwing a rock or filling a bucket with sand is a natural part of their play and necessary for their growth and development.

They love to explore and create experiments, test boundaries and push all the buttons, eager to see what happens next.

So it’s vitally important we teach our kids about plumbing. There are buttons and pipes and grates and spouts around the home (and even in the extended community like parks) that need to be used with care. Your child may be curious to play with these or use them as part of their play. But it often ends in disaster resulting in an unexpected call out to a plumber, which wasn’t part of the family’s budget for the week.

Here are some things kids need to know about plumbing to prevent an unexpected call out. Most plumbing issues caused by kids can be preventable. These tips as are also important in keeping your child safe.

Teach kids about grates and open pipes outside

The external area around your home will have storm water grates, rain water tanks, downpipes, hose taps and overflow relief gullies.

Down pipes and rainwater tanks are not playground equipment to be climbed on. Any weight on downpipes can disconnect them from gutters.

Grated drains outside like storm water pits or over flow relief gullies (ORG) should not have their grates removed and filled with rocks or garden debris.

Overflow relief gullies are a sewer trap which ensures any blockages on the main sewer line, don’t back up into your house. It’s important these stay clear so they can do as their name suggests, overflow. Any blockages in an ORG, can cause a backup of waste water to the fixtures in your home, like the sink and basins.

Salmon Plumbing has tools to retrieve rocks or foreign matter thrown down the ORG. Sometimes, the rocks can flush down the line requiring high-pressure drain cleaning equipment to blast the blockage away. Teach kids not to lift grates and throw anything down an open pipe. It will cause a blockage and you will need to call a plumber to remove it.

In the local community, there are often creeks or waterways with open storm water pipes.  It’s important to teach kids not to swim or wade in these waters – especially in summer during heavy rainfall. Water can travel fast down these pipes, sucking any solid matter or objects with it. Teach kids to keep away from flooded drains at all times to prevent a fatal accident.

Teach kids what should and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet

Only the three P’s should be flushed down the toilet. Poo, pee and toilet paper. No toys, no wipes, no playdough, kinetic sand or slime. And only a few pieces of toilet paper at a time – not the whole roll!

Sometimes the toilet can be seen as an automatic rubbish bin, flushing away whatever you don’t want. But our sewer system network is not designed for these items. Any plastics or broken toys should be recycled, donated or put in the bin, not flushed down the toilet.

Teach kids to turn the tap off after every use

Overflowing taps can happen. Even adults can be notorious for multitasking and forgetting to turn a tap off, resulting in an unexpected flood. Teach kids to focus on the job at hand and turn the tap off after use. This can ensure no drips, which can be a drain on your water bill.

Tap spouts aren’t monkey bars

A tap spout is not a monkey bar. It’s self-explanatory, but anything that juts out from the wall can often be viewed as something to climb on or swing from to a child.

Keep fingers away from a draining bath

It’s not common, but it does happen when little fingers get caught down the bath drain. To prevent kids getting their fingers stuck, take them out of the bath BEFORE you pull the plug. Also, place little kids away from the plug end of the bath, to prevent the plug being pulled during wash time.

We love kids, and they truly make the world a better place, but their curiosity can cause unexpected plumbing problems.

If your child has been a bit over-eager with the plumbing in your home, and you need some items retrieved or fixed, give Salmon Plumbing a call.