Plumbers prepare for "brown Friday"

At L.A. Sanitation’s notorious Hyperion Treatment Plant (really they’ve made great strides with strong advocacy from Heal The Bay), the water treated with enzymes that break down the plumbing solid waste. A single source of a large dump of chemicals can destroy the enzymes, making for a terrible time for the sanitation workers. Chemicals could be traced back to someone washing or “dipping” their pets in a powerful flea killer, and probably overdoing it.

Hence, at the plant, they’d refer to an enzyme killing event as a “three dog night.”

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It’s also a big day for vets who treat a lot of dogs with pancreatitis from eating too much fat from table scraps.

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I’m pretty handy around the house, and keep my family pretty amused with the steady stream of mumbled curses when I take on plumbing projects.

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Sewage treatment plants are basically giant composters. Anything compostable that won’t plug the pipes will indeed just disappear. Free fats are bad but there is no reason vegetable trimmings can’t go down a garbage disposal and it is arguably better than throwing them in the garbage can if you aren’t going to compost them locally. Even meat scraps most people wouldn’t compost are basically fine in small quantities. It’s really just free oil and fat, especially hot grease, and most seriously when combined with wipes or other paper products that absolutely shouldn’t go down the drain.

In other words, none of the things you would use a disposal for (larger solid food waste) are really a problem. The way people plug their drain is pouring the hot grease and juice from their roasting pan down the sink. Let that cool some and pour it in the trash.

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My wife feels that. But she does appreciate my usefulness.

A plumber acquaintance of mine once told me the three rules of plumbing
1- Sh*t flows downhill
2- Payday is on Friday
3- Don’t chew your nails.
RIP Bob Farmer. You were a wise man.

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I once unclogged my kitchen drain by pouring an entire stockpot of boiling water down it. The problem that my parents used to have was coffee grounds which swell up and are a very bad thing to put down the drain. They learned to be VERY careful when cleaning out the percolator.

You do NOT, I repeat, NOT want to pour boiling water down your drains, if your drains are schedule 40 PVC. They are not designed to withstand this temperature and can deform, causing even more problems.

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Also, if you have compost pickup in your area, use that over the garbage. It keeps that food from turning into methane over time in a landfill.

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for some reason, switching back and forth between very hot water and very cold water a few times gets all the soap off your hands really quickly

approximating that process with a modern faucet is more complicated, takes longer, and doesn’t work as well

Yes! Mixing batteries are a Continental plot to bring down The Empire!
Take back control of your plumbing!

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Thankfully it’s a non-issue in my country. Usage is forbidden in virtually all of Germany.

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I mean I can do stuff, it just comes with the penalty of the internal monologue of my grousing father. It’s really unpleasant.

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I can do plumbing, I’m just not licensed. Most recent episode was when I had the bathroom vanity replaced. The cabinet maker told me firmly, “I don’t do plumbing.” I agreed, but sported bruises from my shoulders to my hips from wiggling in and out of the cabinet while reinstalling the plumbing. Connecting everything was also fun – not. However, it’s now all in place. I may pay someone to replace the shower fixtures including the mixer valve when it’s time, including putting in cutoff valves for the water lines. Soldering the copper lines to the brass valves doesn’t inspire my confidence.

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In rural areas, you don’t have a municipal water and sewage system. Each property maintains their own. That’s why you don’t see garbage disposals: if you think plumbing issues are a pain, you do not want to know about septic systems!

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I had a similar experience but with the kitchen sink. Evidently I did a better job than the real plumber – when I had to call them about a clog that wouldn’t clear, the pipes that weren’t leaking after I installed them started leaking after the plumber left.

…which is why I figured I’d call a plumber instead of wriggling under there again :expressionless:

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Here’s what I don’t get: Boing Boing is supposed to be all “alt”, down with the Climate Change activists, posting articles like this, and then it’s all over the Black Friday debacle, the “gift guide”, the endless cornucopia of gadgets that will end up in yesteryear’s garage sale and tomorrow’s landfill.

You seem a bit disappointed.

No, but seriously though, there are a lot of contributors on BoingBoing; it’s not a monolith.

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Isn’t that some insurance thing? IIRC you can buy insurance for your work, but of course only for the one you’re actually certified and and qualified for. Well, at least certified.

Or wouldn’t you go after a plumber when not a month after they did their stiff your toilet exploded and wrecks the room under it, causing thousands in damages?

That’s the deal – I would indeed expect a licensed plumber to come back and fix anything they repaired if the repair didn’t take, or pay for proper repairs if it failed and did damage. If I fix something and it doesn’t hold, I can only blame myself.

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