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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Parenting Tip

Here's a parenting tip for you.
Tell your children they are never to flush ANYTHING (other than the obvious and a small amount of toilet paper) down the toilet.

Last night Chavi decided to see what would happen if she sent a paper cup swirling down the drain. Even after snaking the toilet and cleaning the whole bathroom it seems the problem is still not quite resolved (or dissolved as the case may be.) So I was up at 5AM to give it a second try and now it looks like I'll need to call a plumber - I have a bunch of jobs for a plumber though so it will be a worthwhile call.

In her defense Chavi said "But you never told me not to flush paper cups down the toilet!"
Which is sad but true.

Parents, don't let this happen to you!

Thank you.

PS Elie, do you have the number for a decent plumber?

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At 9:57 AM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Yes, sad, but true.

Well, you'll never have this trouble if you invite The PT over. She is super careful about toilet flushing. In fact, she won't even flush the "flushable" wipees down the toilet.

She also has this thing where she waits until she sees me coming in from the garage and then races into the bathroom before I get to the door. Then as I come in I hear "I GOT TO THE BATHROOM BEFORE YOU!!!"

And everybody goes "YAAY!!"

Except me :-(

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

PT I knew you'd be the first to comment on this potty post.
Toilets should be one of your more heavily used tags in New Blogger.

How did she learn to be so careful?

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

You need to install a good power flusher. You'd be amazed how it can change your life.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

I don't know, but the other kids could learn a thing or two from her.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

What's a power flusher?
If it costs money it's probably out of the question.
This toilet has always been a bit of a weak link.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Elie said...

Oy! Been there, flushed that.

We have used Ken's Plumbing / Aaron's Sewer Service. You've probably seen their trucks around town - they're the ones with the picture of the lizard hiding down the toilet pipe!

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

I have, I'll give them a call.
I thought it was a rat hiding in the pipe.

Well hopefully there wont be an horrible surprises like that for us.

Thanks Elie!

At 12:20 PM, Blogger yingerman said...

One of my kids tried flushing a plastic cup.
Macho me deceided 'feh plumbers who needs 'em anyway' and plunged the heck outta that toilet.
Bottom line?
The whole thing had to come off cleaned and reassembled, Spousy wanted to take it outta that kid's allowance, but he didn't have anywhere near that amount!

At 1:08 PM, Blogger DTC said...

We've used Mandell Plumbers for many similar emergencies.
(one more interesting find was a washcloth.)

At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toothbrush, hairbrush, little cup from a tea set (that wedged itself into the pipe and wouldn't come out no matter what - we had to drill a hole through the cup and it is still in there,) polly pocket, Barbie shoes, roll of toilet paper still on roll, lipstick, just to name a few. My kids take great joy in playing "what can we flush next?"

At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone see the tv commercial with the harried dad and a bunch of kids with the toddler holding his watch over the toilet? then you hear a flush and a "uh oh!" coming from that little girl.

your post reminded me of that...

At 8:53 PM, Blogger Halfnutcase said...

I don't think I was ever that much of a flush happy kid, neithe was my little brother.

That said, however, I wont even share what we found one day in one of the yeshiva WC's. Let us say the child did not want it to be found, certainly not associated with him.

And thus i shall end with a quote from plucky: "rubber duckie go down the hole!" I do not want to imagine how much the plummers made off that one episode of tiny toons. Probably more than I'll ever make in a year, although I wouldn't have envied their circumstance.

And PT, isn't the PT the one who is/was terrified that the public toilets would suck her down with the water when they where flushed? (or otherwise terrified of the noise?)

At 9:15 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Our toilet is nice and quiet.

At 9:19 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Now my Mom...

She's got this toilet on the first floor that sounds like a nuclear explosion going off.

My wife and I used to sleep in the basement when we'd stay by her, and you could hear the toilet flush from down there, and then you could hear this...wave...of fluid moving though the pipes across the ceiling and out to the sewers or whereever it went. It was like a stereo effect as it went from the back to the front of the house.

What it really sounded like was a bowling alley. It would wake us up anytime someone would use the bathroom up there.

There were times when the two of us would look at each other and one of us would say "Steeeriikkke!"

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Tzipporah said...

LOL... and groan.

Do I have to wait until he's old enough to understand, or can I start telling him things like this now (at 6 months) jsut so I can later say about everything, "but I TOLD you not to..." :D

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

OK the plumber is done.
$120 to unclog the commode.
$110 to maybe, possibly, no guarantee or anything, get our baseboard heaters to stop knocking so loudly they wake me up out of a dead sleep. Oh and did I know our furnace is really old? Boy it could go anytime!

So that's $230 for you accountants out there.

Plus our toilets need new flapper kits if we want them to work properly/optimally (I was wondering why you had to hold the handle down for the entire flush to get it to work but I guess you can get used to anything...)
That will be another $160!
We'll see.

At 8:27 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

Tzipporah, I think you are on to something. Maybe I can put out a series of CDs with soothing sounds and messages of what not to do that you can play while your baby sleeps.

Don't put keeeeeys in the electric soooocket.

Someone get the Baby Einstein folks on the phone!

At 9:06 AM, Blogger DTC said...


Something doesn't sound right for that $160 quote for flapper kits. You can get them at Home Depot for $7.99 each and it's not exactly sub-orbital propulsion engineering to install them.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

DTC - theoretically you are correct.
However the problem with our toilets is that they need specific flapper kits (which need to be ordered from the manufacturer) and what they currently have are the kits from the home depot which aren't working optimally since they don't really fit.

If the plumber orders them it's $18 a piece plus their install rate of 130/hour and they estimate 45 minutes of work. So there you are!

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Ariella said...

A couple of years ago, my neighbor's son attempted to flush a yartzeit candle. She said the plumber charged her $300 to remove that particular obstruction.

But I once had a cleaning lady attempt to flush paper towels down the toilet. Of course, they are designed not to disintegrate when wet, so that was a problem. But at least it didn't cost us a plumber's service call.

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous megapixel said...

i just found your blog and am so excited!
you remind me of me!
and thats a compliment.
Hey my daughter just put a huge stack of BOUNTY napkins into the toilet, I caught her just as she was about to flush

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

another problem I find is "flushable wipes". My kids assume since they are flushable they can just keep throwing them in. Let me tell all you out there with that same impression...IT IS NOT TRUE. I still like to have them in the house so I hide them. The kids can't use them without a speacial request (my kids are still small so it's not weird)Boy did the plumber have a field day with that one.

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

Welcome to the blog megapixel!

At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought and installed a new flapper myself. I spoke to the manufacturer to find out specifically what kind I needed, called a few plumbing supply stores, got it for under $10, and installed it. I adjusted the floater on the chain so that the flapper would allow enough water to flush without my having to hold the handle.

You do indeed need to obtain the right model for the right fit. But if you are talking about only the rubber flapper that seals the opening closed, you really can do this yourself for a fraction of the quoted price.

Either way, when you are all set with flappers that fit correctly, you won't lose water (and money) through the unsealed opening.

At 12:33 AM, Blogger Sweettooth120 said...

Whatever you do, DON'T dump cat litter in the toilet. I did, and spent a holiday wknd, with my arm up a toilet trying to loosen up and remove all the swollen gunk out of the pipe. (NO Plumber around.)



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