Parents have the most important job in the world; to turn their children into adults that can contribute in a positive way to society. While it may seem like a small item to teach children how to take turns, what it means to share, why they should apologize after doing someone wrong or how to look out for other and stay safe these are lessons that will carry with them into adulthood that they can pass on to their own children someday. The same goes for good practices around the home with regards to plumbing.
One of the most important things you can teach your children about is conservation. You don’t have to have them out collecting rainwater or trying to make clothes out of hemp to do this, although there’s nothing wrong with either of those activities, the lessons you can teach are much simpler. One of the most important activities they can do is to turn off the faucet. Teach them to not just turn the faucet off when they are done with an activity, but while performing it. When brushing teach, when washing hands, before a shower and even while washing food, when the faucet isn’t needed it should be turned off and then back on when it is needed again.
The turning off of the faucet will save nearly eight gallons of water a day and over 200 gallons a month if this becomes a habit for your family. This means you step in the shower and turn it on instead of having the shower running while undressing and you turn the faucet off while you brush your teeth or wash your hands to help conserve water.
Another lesson that children need to learn and can learn at earlier ages is what they should and should not put down a drain. We’ve all heard horror stories of kids around toilets and losing their favorite toy, but as kids get older they need to know what items they can put in the toilet (which really should only be toilet paper), and why some items such as paper towels, hair, gum or other items can be harmful to the flow of the toilet drain. This can help save your toilet from unwanted wear and clogging and also teach your children about pluming needs.
Another drain that sometimes will confuse even adults is the one attached to the kitchen sink that has a disposal on it. Too often children think of the disposal as this monster with massive teeth that can eat anything and sometimes they try to make that happen. You need to teach them that only some food items are allowed in the disposal and certainly never an item that isn’t a food item at all. This also applies to grease being put down the drain, which they should learn never to put into the plumbing because it can cause clogs farther down the wastewater line and cause you to have to call a plumber for service.
Where things are stored around plumbing items is another topic of discussion for you and your children. If your home has the water heater in a closet space you should teach them to never store toys or combustible items in this closet. This space should be reserved for the water heater, especially one that operates on gas as these water heaters use a flame to heat the water for your home. This closet can become a fire hazard for the home if items that are combustible are stored in this closet.
Beyond plumbing safety and conservation, as your children get older you should teach them how to clean out a drain trap and how to shut off the water in case of a leak or ruptured faucet. Lots of water can be wasted and your home damaged if your children are the ones that use the faucet when it cracks and breaks which can spew water all over your kitchen or bathroom. Introducing your children to the inner workings of your home will amaze them and give them lessons they can pass on later in their lives as well as ensure they know what to do when your home faucet runs out of control.
Finally, one of the most important lessons you can teach your children is how to use a toilet plunger. At some point in their lives the toilet will overflow and they won’t be able to stop it. You certainly don’t want their waste all over your house or the water that can cause damage. Teach them to watch and make sure the toilet water goes down when they flush and what to do when the water doesn’t so they can help you keep the pluming safe and operational.
By teaching your children some of these basic items you are letting them be responsible for their own plumbing knowledge and making them more comfortable around the items in your home, especially that monster under the sink that seems to growl and chew everything up.