Creepy Crawling Creatures That Can Crawl Up Your Toilet!

For most of us, the thought of skittering creatures being anywhere near our bums is pure nightmare fuel. If you’ve spent time browsing the internet, chances are you’ve seen some terrifying pictures of toilets containing uncomfortably large spiders and other unwelcome hangers-on.

Plumbing

Unfortunately, it’s not all urban legends and internet memes. The following are a few examples of real pests that can actually show up in your toilet.

Drain Flies

One of the most common bathroom drain pests is the aptly-named “drain fly,” which reproduces in stagnant water. To get rid of them, clean the toilet thoroughly, snake out any grime, and swat any remaining adults.

Rats

There have been numerous examples of rats getting into sewer pipes and escaping through a toilet. Unbeknownst to many people, rats are excellent swimmers, capable of making their way up full drains rather quickly.

Frogs

As amphibians, frogs are naturally adept at swimming. Of course, toilet drains aren’t their ideal environment. According to the Tampa Bay Times, toilet frog sightings can be prevented by putting a mesh screen over the toilet vent and leaving nearby house lights off at night.

Snakes

Just as a plumber can snake a drain, a real snake can do it, too. So long as the snake is able to get into an open sewer and swim comfortably through the system, it’s entirely plausible (though rare) to find one sitting in the bowl.

Want to know more about how to prevent and deal with unexpected toilet critters? The experts at Met Plumbing can help! Call us at (281) 599-3336 to ask questions or make an appointment.

8 Ways to Recycle: Bathroom Products and More

In today’s environmentally-conscious society, nearly every family and company is striving to do their part to protect the planet. From LEED-certified buildings and green roof projects to all-natural cleaning agents and water conservation programs, the response to ecological concern has been huge across homes and industries.

Today, we take a look at 8 ways you can make an impact through recycling both at home and at work.

8 Ways to Recycle - Bathroom Products and More

1. Recycle Empty Toiletry Bottles and Toilet Roll Cores

One of the most common solutions in practice, it’s a good idea to recycle any appropriate bottles, bags, or containers when they are empty. To take your efforts up a notch, try to Recycle Empty Toiletry Bottles and Toilet Roll Coresrinse as much product residue as you can before recycling. Although the containers will be washed during the recycling process, pre-rinsing could help make the process more efficient by reducing the amount of washing required. Don’t forget your metal shaving cream can! If it’s marked as recyclable, it can go in the bin, too.1

Another simple bathroom-related solution is to recycle the cardboard cores when the toilet paper rolls are empty. This is an oft-forgotten opportunity, as it’s usually convenient to toss the empty core into a bathroom trash can. Go the extra step by walking the cores to your recycling bin. To make things even more convenient, set up a core-specific recycling bin right next to the bathroom garbage.

 

2. Recycle the Plastic Shrink Wrap and Cardboard Boxes from New Products

Similar to our first point, removing a new product from its packaging can be a somewhat mindless task that can lead to hastily tossing plastic and cardboard packing materials into the trash. Encourage your family (and/or coworkers) to be mindful and set aside these materials for recycling when unpacking. If you run a business, set up a dedicated recycling bin in the receiving area and/or any other location that sees a lot of unpacking.

 

3. Go Beyond Just Recycling: Reduce and Reuse!

We’ve all been taught the three Rs of Earth-friendly action (reduce, reuse, recycle), but with recycling at the forefront, the other two are easily forgotten. In addition to using all Go Beyond Just Recycling - Reduce and Reuseof the recycling tips listed here, make an effort to reuse items as much as possible and reduce the amount of disposable material you use.

Switching to reusable canvas grocery bags is one of the most popular ways to reduce one’s use of disposable products. Another method of re-use that’s gained significant ground in the age of Pinterest is the act of “upcycling”—taking a used product and converting it for another use rather than disposing of it.

For example, an old house shutter can be upcycled into a shabby-chic indoor mail sorter with a fresh coat of paint (just place the envelopes into the slats). Or, stick with an old re-use standby: turn junk mail, old homework, and failed printer pages into scrap paper for notes, drawings, and more.

 

4. Turn Recyclables into Art Materials

Another method of reusing or upcycling materials is to use recyclable materials as part of art projects. Allow your kids to use plastic bottle caps, empty milk jugs, junk mail, Turn Recyclables into Art Materialscardboard boxes, and more as supplies for experimenting with mixed-media artwork. If you’re an artist yourself, put your junk to work in the form of glass mosaics, woven plastic bag totes, soda can jewelry, and more.

If you aren’t artistic and don’t know anyone personally who might use your recyclables for such crafts, check with local schools and other organizations to see if they might appreciate the materials. You’d be surprised how much treasure an art teacher can find in a box of trash!

 

5. Consider Recycling Your Water

No, this doesn’t mean you have to bathe in dirty water or stop flushing the toilet (eew). Water recycling can be achieved by allowing rain or shower wastewater to be used for Consider Recycling Your Waterflushing the toilet. If you’re a gardener, consider investing in a couple of rain barrels to capture rain for watering purposes.

If you use only biodegradable soaps and shampoos, collect your used bath or shower water to water your plants—but pay close attention to the products you use and their potential effects on the environment before taking this route. Additionally, be sure to consult with a plumber before making any major changes to your bathroom drain systems.

Though most offices don’t have shower facilities in their building, reuse of rain and other types of wastewater is still possible. Consider discussing with an eco-focused plumbing company whether there are feasible wastewater collection options for your commercial plumbing system.

 

6. Start a Compost Heap

Nature’s own recycling system lies in breaking down organic material (like food) and turning it back into its constituent nutrients and minerals. Start a simple compost heap in your backyard, or add a compost bin to your kitchen. If you’ve got a green thumb, compost also serves as a great DIY fertilizer!

 

7. Audit Your Own Waste Stream

No, not that waste stream. With regard to refuse, a “waste stream” is essentially the garbage that is produced by a group or company. Whether you plan to improve your family’s habits at home or kick-start eco-consciousness in the office, start by noting the kinds of materials that get disposed of (in a work environment, see if you can get people to voluntarily log their trash for a few days).

Once you have a good idea of what’s currently going on, try to identify opportunities to eliminate disposable material from your waste stream, re-use certain types of items, or improve overall recycling habits. Not only will you be reducing, reusing, and recycling, but you’ll be able to measure the change with another audit later on. In any environment, it can be especially powerful to see your impact in the data!

 

8. Know How to Properly Recycle Your Old Gadgets

Unfortunately, recycling a laptop, game console, or phone isn’t as simple as just dropping it into the bin. For this reason, it can be tempting to just toss non-functioning electronics into the trash and move on. Don’t give in to the convenience! Identify local electronics drop-off points to make sure that your devices are processed properly and that any hazardous materials in their components are handled safely.3

The Numerous Benefits of Recycling

Aside from the sense of personal responsibility and satisfaction that you can achieve from doing what’s right for the planet, recycling has a variety of benefits in both the homeStart a Compost Heap and business arenas. From a big-picture perspective, the primary environmental benefits of recycling are that it reduces the overall size and growth rate of landfills, and it helps to conserve natural resources like timber, water, coal, oil, and gas.2

From an industry standpoint, recycling (as well as the other two “R”s) can also be quite profitable. Installing a water-conserving plumbing system, for example, can directly save the company money on monthly water usage. Plus, most governments have policies that offer cash benefits for recycled materials.

When high-profile companies take part in eco-friendly behaviors, it encourages others to do the same. When companies and individuals participate in the process on a larger scale, recycling can help to boost the overall economy, reduce energy usage, and give companies a greener, more responsible public image.

By improving the ways in which their company interacts with the environment, business owners could see an increase in community engagement as a result of their alignment with customers’ eco-friendly values. Ultimately, more engagement means greater success and profit in the long run.

Sources

  1. https://www.recyclenow.com/recycling-knowledge/packaging-symbols-explained
  2. http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/benefits-of-recycling.php
  3. http://www.ecyclingcentral.com/

How to Prepare for Plumbing Emergencies

We’ve all been there. One day the plumbing works just fine and the next day it doesn’t. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent unnecessary maintenance on your plumbing. Keep this handy checklist around the house as a friendly reminder of what to avoid so you can save some money in your pocket.

Plumbing emergencies

  • Keep the garbage disposal free from large chunks of food and other debris. Run the disposal daily to keep the drain clear from food and water backups.
  • Do not pour grease down the drain; dispose of it in the trash bin instead.
  • Stay away from or minimize usage of “flushable” wet wipes. Contrary to popular belief, they are not very friendly to septic tanks.
  • Check the hose behind the washing machine for any kinks in the line and straighten if necessary. It’s also best to opt for the durable stainless braided hoses over cheaper rubber types if it’s time for a replacement hose.
  • Avoid drain cleaners with heavy toxic chemicals. They are bad for the environment and there are better ways to unclog a drain.
  • Unclog drains with a snake or plunger. Wire hangers can also be used for small or shallow clogs. Finish up with some good old fashioned salt and vinegar to cleanse the drainage pipe.
  • In colder climates during the winter, turn faucets on occasionally or let them drip a little while away for longer periods of time. This will help prevent frozen pipes and bursts.

 

When all else fails, give MET Plumbing a call for your plumbing emergencies at (281) 599-3336.

Five Tips for Maintaining a Kitchen Disposal

Kitchen disposals are indispensable in the modern kitchen, but few homeowners take the time to properly care for them. Take a look at the following tips for maintaining a functional, odor-free disposal.

Maintaining a Kitchen Disposal

  1. Clean it regularly.

While the disposal is off, wipe the underside of the rubber flaps to remove any grime or residue. On occasion, drop ice cubes and citrus rinds into the disposal to clear debris and provide a fresh scent.

  1. Always check to make sure it’s clear before running the disposal.

Many homeowners have accidentally mangled a spoon by not checking that the disposal is clear of objects. Always check for any stray items before turning on your garbage disposal.

  1. Know what you can and can’t put down your disposal.

Don’t put hard, fibrous or spongy items down your garbage disposal, as these can damage the blades or wrap around the mechanism.

  1. Run cold water while the disposal is in use.

Running water will help wash the debris down, preventing it from sticking to the blades. Use cold water to prevent overheating and keep the water and disposal running for 30-60 seconds after grinding to ensure that all debris is clear.

  1. Avoid disposing of onion in the sink.

Although the blades will have no problem grinding up pieces of onion, the thin tissue and skin of an onion can stick to the sides of the plumbing, eventually rotting and creating a nasty odor.

If you’re having problems with your kitchen disposal or sink plumbing, contact Met Plumbing today at (281) 599-3336.

The Most Bizarre Items Plumbers Find Down the Drain

For many home and business owners, a clogged sink, bath or toilet drain is an all-too-common frustration. When hours of plunging, chemical products and DIY solutions don’t cut it, it’s time to call in the heavyweight: a professional plumber. According to the plumbing companies that take on these incorrigible clogs, it’s not always what you’d expect that stops up the drain. Take a look at just a few of the strangest things these champions of drainage have pulled from the pipes.

 

Dentures

Of the many things you’d rather not drop into the toilet, false teeth are probably somewhere near the top of the list. Unfortunately for one poor fellow in an airport restroom, Dentures Found in a Toiletthat’s exactly where his pearly whites ended up. According to the plumber, when he went to clear what he believed would be a standard toilet paper clog, he found instead a full set of dentures inside the pipe. The amused plumber hung the dentures on the wall of the airport maintenance closet and later added sunglasses. What did he call his creation? “John.” Get it? It’s just a little toilet humor.

 

An Entire Mop Head

Mop Head Found in a ToiletIf you’re going to clean the toilet, using a mop probably isn’t the smartest idea. More than one plumber has discovered an entire mop head in the toilet drain, suggesting that we might need to add a “don’t flush this” unit to our national education standards. Though it’s probably more likely that the people who put them there actually intended to just flush the used mop heads, they’re still a pretty bizarre find. This is exactly the reason it’s important to exercise common sense. When in doubt, toss it in the trash can.

 

An Incredibly Expensive Bracelet

In an airport bathroom, one older woman found herself in a jewelry-fanatic’s nightmare: her $10,000 charm bracelet had come loose from her wrist and fallen into the toilet. Needless to say, she was distraught (and worried about what her husband might say when he found out). Fortunately, the plumber—that very same hero who’d rescued the dentures in our first story—was able to pull the toilet away from the wall and snatch the bracelet back out of the pipe. And, like the great guy he is, he even took the time to carefully wash and dry the bracelet for her before giving it to her in a clean plastic bag.

 

A Wig

One plumber ran into a somewhat “hairy” situation when snaking the drain of a toilet in a popular night club. As the rooter turned, the plumber reported first seeing a red A Wig Found in a Toiletstrand twisted slowly up the wire. Eventually, an entire bright-red wig was pulled from the drain. According to the story, the plumber saw a stage performer wearing the very same wig a week later, completely oblivious to its previous “adventure.”

 

Roughly $12,000 in Quarters

Coins Found in a ToiletMany people will never see $12,000 in their bank account at one time, much less have $12,000 worth of actual cash in their possession. Even so, that’s exactly what one plumber found when called to deal with a blockage in a gravity line. According to the plumber, the mass of quarters filled up two five-gallon buckets. No one could seem to figure out from where, exactly, the coins had originated.

 

Phones Galore

It wouldn’t be a 21st century trip to the bathroom without the constant fear of a cell phone incident. In cases too numerous to count, people’s handheld gadget just haven’t beenA Phone Found in a Toilet able to stay out of the toilet. In addition to “slipped out of my pocket” and “dropped it while texting on the toilet” scenarios, plumbers have found even more difficult to explain clogs, including an entire iPhone 5S—still inside the shrink-wrapped box. Let’s see the Hardy Boys solve that one.

Wedding and Engagement Rings

Wedding Rings Found in a ToiletAnother unfortunately common and cringe-worthy accident is the loss of a wedding, engagement or other meaningful ring down the sink drain. Whether the band is already too loose or slips off during hand-washing, plumbers are regularly called to rescue such baubles from the drain pipes (probably before the wife finds out).

 

An Augur Cable

If there’s one thing you don’t want to do as a plumber, it’s to leave behind any evidence that might suggest you’re not properly doing your job. For example: if the cable to your augur breaks while you’re snaking a drain, for goodness’ sake, find a way to get it out. Otherwise, it will contribute to the clogging issue—and annoy the heck out of the next plumber.

Illicit Substances

It’s probably no surprise that all kinds of illegal substances have been found stuffed down the drain in large amounts, either loose or in bags. In the latter case, the potential for Illicit Substances Found in a Toiletclogging should be obvious (perhaps to the sober individual). Nevertheless, professionals still sometimes find themselves pulling significant amounts of drugs from the drain. The lesson is this: you can’t hide anything from your plumber. Sooner or later, he’ll find your hastily-flushed stash.

 

A Goose

A Goose Found in a ToiletIn a truly unfortunate accident, an entire goose was sucked into a pump and pulled into the plumbing, clogging the drain. The plumber who found the goose estimated that it had been pulled approximately 10 feet into a three-inch pipe, raising the question of how anyone recognized the clog as a goose at all.

 

Live Animals

In similarly-shocking incidents, live animals have been found stuck in drains. Aside from the myriad of goldfish that end up flushed before their time, plumbers have found live squirrels, turtles, rats—and yes—small alligators. In one case, a plumber found a squirrel that had climbed down through a roof ventilation pipe. The poor thing got itself waterlogged and stuck, but was eventually freed by the kind-hearted handyman. Who said plumbers aren’t softies?


One of the X-Men

If you’ve got a potty-training toddler, you’ve already discovered the universal truth that kids love to flush things. In one child’s case, he apparently felt that toilet troubles would be best solved by sending in Wolverine to deal with the issue (why didn’t the grown-ups think of that?). When the plumber went to remove the toy from the drain, he found the X-Man gripping the toilet trap with his tiny faux-adamantium claws. Needless to say, saving the miniature hero was quite the memorable experience.

 

Sources:

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/lists/weird/10-bizarre-things-people-have-flushed-down-toilets/

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/24xkzj/plumbers_of_reddit_what_is_the_most/