As we journey through the second week of Covid-19 quarantine here in Kansas City, I’m sure that you’ve now seen the grocery stores with aisles of empty shelves that used to be home to toilet paper, paper towels and so on. Toilet paper might arguably be the toughest thing to find right now! In the midst of this worldwide pandemic and increased sales of toilet paper, you might wonder if this is doing any damage to residential toilets and plumbing systems. The short answer to this question is YES!
Here at Stine-Nichols Plumbing, we have continued our operations, as plumbers were deemed “essential” in the quarantine restrictions. In addition to our normal procedures, our team has implemented added safety measures to ensure the health of our customers, employees and vendors. We hope that everyone here in Kansas City and across the globe is staying safe during this pandemic!
In this week’s blog post, we’re going to walk you through how plumbing relates to this quarantine. With everyone spending increased time at home, here’s a few things that you might want to avoid, as well as some projects to keep you occupied!
Watch What You Flush!
We’ve discussed it here on the blog before, but it can’t be understated how important it is know what can and can’t be flushed down the toilet. Hopefully, you’re still stocked up on toilet paper! Nonetheless, your toilet and the system it’s connected to is only designed to handle two things: human waste and toilet paper. More often than not, the main reason a toilet clogs up is when something outside of these is flushed down it.
What about biodegradable baby wipes? This is a question we actually hear quite frequently, because some baby wipes are advertised as being “biodegradable.” Unfortunately, that’s not always the case and as a result, you end up with a clogged toilet. A couple of other common ones that tend to cause clogs are paper towels and Kleenex. While many would assume paper towels would be okay since they seemingly absorb spills, the truth is they tend to clump up and cause blockages.
In the end, we don’t have an answer as to why toilet paper has established itself as the product that people are hoarding during this pandemic! However, one thing we can confidently tell you is that you should only flush toilet paper and human waste. Abide by this rule and you’ll avoid one of the most common residential plumbing failures.
Plan New Renovation/Home Improvement Projects
Even if you’re able to work from home during the weekday, chances are you still have quite a bit of free time with the quarantine restrictions in the evenings and weekends. Why not utilize this as an opportunity to either do some DIY projects or start planning out some renovation jobs? When it comes to residential plumbing projects, you’re looking at either:
1. Necessity – This covers the bulk of plumbing projects. A drain is clogged, water heater stops working, a collapsed sewer line and so on! There’s no way around these types of situations. When they occur, your only answer is to hire a local plumber to prevent it from escalating into a major headache! It’s as simple as that!
2. Sprucing Things Up – The second half of the plumbing world are more so “happy” sales, as they’d refer to it in the marketing world! These are projects that could be started for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re looking to upgrade and modernize your fixtures? Believe us, just changing out faucets, sinks or toilets can make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of a room! Just look at the shower transformation below! Another reason why you might look to spruce things up with plumbing upgrades could be if your home is about to hit the market. Yes, it’ll require an up-front investment, but at the same time, it’s going to make your kitchen or bathroom look 10-times better!
While you’re quarantined inside, use this as a time to look around the house and make a list of any renovations you would like to get started! You don’t necessarily need to hire a plumber right that instant, but why not get some quotes and figure out which project makes the most sense to get started with.
Oftentimes, it’s nearly impossible to predict when a plumbing emergency will occur. One minute everything seems to be working perfectly fine and the next you have water spraying everywhere from a cracked pipe! Not the most enjoyable of times for homeowners! As plumbers in the Kansas City area, we understand there isn’t a lot of time to waste in these situations! Especially during a worldwide pandemic! Our best advice in these types of situations is to get a plumber on the phone right away. We’ll be able to assess the severity based on the phone call conversation and then act accordingly!
Hiring Service Providers in a Social Distancing Environment
With the concept of “social distancing,” it’s increasingly important to avoid large gatherings and do our best to prevent spreading the virus. When it comes to hiring service providers, plumbers included, we encourage all individuals to be a little more cautious than normal. As discussed in the introduction, our team at Stine-Nichols is exhibiting extra safety measures during this time. We’re doing everything possible to ensure the safety of each and every customer, employee and vendor we interact with. As a homeowner, it’s important to act with this same level of caution and notify any service providers of potential symptoms. This is important to ensure the safety of all parties involved.
In the end, it really is important for everyone to conduct their own due diligence during this time. No matter what industry you’re dealing with, make sure to ask them questions about the technician that will actually be coming to your house to perform the work. This will not only keep you and your family healthy, but also provide some peace of mind during this tough time!
Your Kansas City Plumbing Experts
We hope this blog provided some knowledge on everything plumbing-related when it comes to living in quarantine! Just remember that your toilet can’t handle everything! We hope you still have a nice stockpile of toilet paper, but in either case, trying to flush paper towels or Kleenex could likely leave you with a clogged toilet! At the same time, make sure to exercise caution at this time and possibly utilize the added free time as a brainstorming session for potentially doing some remodeling!
Our team at Stine-Nichols is honored to have had the opportunity to work with thousands of fellow Kansas City homeowners over the years! Whether it be a one-hour residential service call or an extensive design-build project, we take pride in being a full-service plumbing contractor. Our process has always been focused on providing a stress-free experience for our customers with affordable repairs and knowledgeable advice. To get started, either fill out the form HERE or give us a call at 816-348-3481. After that, our operations manager, Jim, will be in touch to provide a bid over the phone or set up a in-person consultation to discuss your project.