flushing cat litter down toilet - should landlord forbid this?

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I'm a landlord now dealing with problems in a basement floor drain (Palmer valve) - sewer gas smelling up basement - smell is musty, not clear what it is but I could convince myself it's like cat/crap cat/litter/.
This is an old single family (Milwaukee WI, 1903), converted into a duplex from a single family. The upper unit has a good tenant with three cats.
Should I insist that the tenant refrain from flushing *any* of the cat crap or soiled cat litter down the toilet?
One plumber friend I talked with last night was shocked that cat litter might be getting into the drain system. His concern was that the litter might accumulate in the drain pipes, and might require an expensive repair- cutting out the cast iron pipework to remove the eventual hard blockage.
Comments?
-- regards, Tom Rodman pls run for my address: perl -e 'print unpack("u", "1\:6UP\,\$\!T\<F\]D\;6\%N\+F\-O\;0H\`");'
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On 16 Nov 2003, Tom Rodman wrote:
(snip)

Flushing the actual cat crap down the drain shouldn't be a problem (no more than larger human stuff) but I would *never* flush litter down the toilet. You have it figured right, it is likely clumping up in at least one place. It would be the same as flushing sand or gravel, IMO.
--
Baisez-les s'ils ne peuvent pas prendre une plaisanterie
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It could well be WORSE than flushing sand down. The products nowadays are oftentimes designed to clump when they get wet. And others are clay dirt that will do that to some extent. So you'll tend to get a mounding and blocking effect in the pipes, especially if they are the old style clay pipe in the horizontal run. But I'll bet they have PVC pipes, which shouldn't be quite as vulnerable. The other example, (gravel) would indeed be bad, worse than sand or cat litter, but also pretty unlikely. Tenant needs to be reminded of the type solids that are to be flushed, or not flushed. And that the inconvenience encountered because of the litter flushing habit will be translated to his need to be searching the Yellow Pages for a Ryder truck when the landlord stops accepting his rent. Most people have e-mail nowadays. Rather than trying to forbid, just forward these comments to the tenants, all the tenants that have cats. Or establish a no-pets policy in the lease.

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I-zheet M'drurz wrote:

The problem with flushing cat crap down the drain is it is usually coated with cat litter.
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wrote:

It IS the same as flushing CLAY (that is what kitty litter is!)
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Voice of experience: Flushing cat litter makes for needing to have pipes reamed out.
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Some types of litter is said to be flushable. All others are a big no no. I might also suggest that even the "flushable" types have been questioned and I don't think it is a good idea to even allow these.
Personally I have two cats. I buy the rolls of plastic bags that they use in the produce departments of grocery stores. Once in the bag it goes in the trash, no smell and no problems.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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Next time you do your groceries, ask for "plastic" and use those.
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I do when I use any kind of bag. Of course if I don't get a chance to stop them, I may walk up to the register with five items and they will end up in three bags (or six if they are in a double bag mood.
I have been known to take they out of the bags and hand the bags back to the clerk. I try to use the self checkout, but if the cash register operators nearby don't have something to do, they come over and over back everything anyway.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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Where do you buy those bags at? The market or ???
--
Lee

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www.nationalbag.com
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Joseph E. Meehan

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We use those cat box liners -- works like a charm when we do litter changes. In between, stuff ends up in pretty much any plastic bag we have laying about.
James
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On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 08:29:50 -0600, Tom Rodman

You can put a "no pets" policy in the lease. This restriction can be limited to 4-legged pets to allow for birds and fish which make good rental-property pets for owners, renters, and neighbors. Still, folks will try to flush just about anything down the toilet that does not belong there.
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On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 08:29:50 -0600, Tom Rodman

Require that the cat owners use a litter box with disposable liners. I use the kind with draw strings. Open the litter container, pull draw strings and tie, toss in garbage can. No muss, no fuss, no getting too close to the odor ;-)
...Jim Thompson
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By the way, regarding the sewer gas, make sure the basement drain has water in its trap.

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There are flushable litters on the market but I'm cynical about them myself. Sometimes I'll scoop and toss THAT into the toilet, but in those cases there is little litter on fecal matter; clumps of urine still go into a bag.
You'll need to get with your tenant on the issue -- confirm that he/she is even flushing litter. It may turn out that this is not the case at all. If it is, I'd definitely make notice that this is not allowed.
Have you tried snaking the drains, see if anything comes back out? I know Roto Rooter is now offering a camera inspection of drain systems -- that might allow you to identify the problem with greater certainty.
James
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Even *if* the cat litter is flushable, where the hell do you think it ends up anyway?
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The city's waste recycling plant.
James
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Only if there is enough water flow to move it down the line. Doubtful.
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All cat litters and renters are not created equal. Some renters are smarter than others and some cat litters are flushable and some aren't. I would make it an across the board rule that no cat litter can be flushed. It isn't that big of a deal to put it in a plastic bag and place it in the trash. Unfortunately when dealing with a broad spectrum of the public, you often have to set basic guide lines.
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