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
pls run for my address:
perl -e 'print unpack("u", "1\:6UP\,\$\!T\<F\]D\;6\%N\+F\-O\;0H\`");'
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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 ;-)
| James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
| Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
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.
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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