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\`");'
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.
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.
Maybe off topic, but I had a Labrador that used to eat the cat shit (with
attached litter) from our cat litter tray.
It was great, just topped it up every couple of days. Only problem was the
My wife trained her cat to use the toilet directly, she never had to use a
litter box. No joke: there's a kit you use to train the cat with, takes the
average young kitty a week or so to learn. No, he didn't flush, but he DID
complain loudly when I left the seat cover down;-)
Structure this into your lease:
The water closets and waste pipes shall not be used for any purpose other
than those for which they were constructed, nor shall any sweepings,
rubbish, kitty litter, soiled kitty litter, or any other improper articles
be thrown into them. Any damage to the building caused by the misuse of such
equipment shall be paid by the Tenant.
And while your at it put this in too:
NO ANIMALS, FISH, BIRDS OR PETS OF ANY KIND SHALL BE PERMITTED IN THE
PREMISES WITHOUT THE LANDLORD'S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT. The granting of
consent to others shall in no way be deemed the granting of consent to the
Tenant, nor obligate the Landlord to grant consent to the Tenant.
Of course, with the no animals clause, you can get rid of the kitty litter
Do yourself a *big* favor. Get rid of the animals. Do one of the following:
have the tenant sign a new lease with the no pet clause, give the tenant a
notice stating you're not renewing or if a "tenant at will" (month to month)
give the tenant the required notice to vacate.
The tenant may think you're not nice, but, it's your property, and you,
ultimately will have to pay for any pet damage you find after the tenant
Of course, their are various laws concerning everything I've stated above.
Consult a lawyer schooled in landord/tenant law before acting.
It is OK to put kitty litter down drain as long as you have a disposal under
your sink. You can put ANYTHING down a sink with a pig.
Local cat lady here was flushing clay and cat shit down drain for a few
years untill the whole line was plugged up. Had to be replaced. When
the scum with the digger lifted the 10 foot section of PVC out he let it
tip to one side and the shit came out. That is the Worst stink I have ever
smelled in my life. Worse than grease trap. The digger almost tipped over
when it tried to lift one section of the pipe.
Oh yeah check this out!! The strangest part of the whole thing was she
kept some of the cat shit. In her basement there were over 50 plastic
grocery bags with about 2 pounds of shit each
There were piles of garbage bags full of clothes and shit from the 70's.
The pile was biggest at the stairs and was starting to back up. Her hot
water tank had rusted out a while ago and had been leaking out into
the basement. the floor was soaked and reeked of mold.
She was an old drunk and very nasty. I tried to be nice to her but she
was so lonely she wouldnt let me go. I finally had to say I was going,
that I was going to get in trouble. She got pissed and said, "I bet you
think I'm dirty". I was kinda shocked but kept going and just said, no,
no I don't, we'll see you now, you have a nice day dear.
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