If you are a parent, you know that children seem to be fascinated with toilets. Whether it is the chance to splash in the water or the woosh when they flush, it seems like every kid tries to flush something inappropriate at least once.
Your child’s fun, however, can be disastrous to your septic system. One small accident can cause toilet blockages and expensive maintenance calls, not to mention lost keys, toys, or cell phones.
What happens to your toilet when your toddler flushes their toys?
Toilets dispose of waste and prevent gasses from back-venting into your home. They have an s-shaped structure, or trap, that separates the bowl from the drain line.
When inappropriate things such as keys, brushes, or toy cars are flushed, the force of the water can push the object into this s-curve, creating a blockage. Then, with every flush, there is a chance that waste or toilet paper or another toy is also trapped, making the blockage larger.
Occasionally a plunger will do the job of passing the debris down the sewer line, but they are often unsuccessful at bringing the item back into the bowl for retrieval. A drain snake may help, but there is the risk of lodging whatever was flushed even more firmly into the trap, worsening your problem.
The most effective way to unblock your toilet in this situation is to call a professional. They will lift the toilet from the floor and remove the blockage that way.
Six ways to prevent your toddler from playing in your toilet
Rather than risk having to call a professional to remove the dog’s bone from your toilet, it is better to prevent your child from flushing inappropriate objects in the first place. Luckily, you have several options to choose from.
1. Babyproof your door handles.
If you have kids, you’ve likely already baby-proofed your home. Doorknob covers loosely surround the doorknob, requiring dexterity and hand strength to open. They spin under little fingers, making it difficult, if not impossible, for your child to open the door.
2. Latch the bathroom door
A simple hook latch above your child’s reach can secure the door to your bathroom. These latches are easy to install and require practically no time to latch when you close the door.
3. Install a flush lock
Flush locks are installed beneath the handle on your toilet and prevent little fingers from flushing the bowl. You may still end up with toy soldiers in your toilet, but they will remain safely in the bowl rather than being flushed into the s-trap.
4. Safety lock the toilet lid
There are several styles of toilet locks that you can install to prevent your toddler from opening the toilet in the first place. You can choose between straps, latches, knobs, and prop styles, each offering an easy opening for adults while keeping youngsters out of the toilet bowl.
5. Disable the flushing mechanism
While this is a bit extreme, you can disable the flusher in your toilet tank. This will prevent anyone from flushing the toilet unless they can lift the tank lid and re-engage the flusher.
6. Turn off the water valve to your toilet
You can find the shutoff valve to your toilet connected to a pipe behind the base. The shutoff valve is a football-shaped knob that you can twist with little trouble.
Need help with your toilet?
If you have a blockage in your bathroom and need professional help to clear it, call Ace. Our dedicated team offers fast, friendly toilet unblocking service in the Tri-City area. Call us at (509) 546-0631 or make a service request through our website.