Awkward position / Help
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Awkward position / Help (by Roy [AL]) Dec 6, 2018 5:24 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Jason [VA]) Dec 6, 2018 5:34 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Ken [NY]) Dec 6, 2018 5:37 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Roy [AL]) Dec 6, 2018 5:39 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Hoosier [IN]) Dec 6, 2018 5:45 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by myob [GA]) Dec 6, 2018 5:45 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Roy [AL]) Dec 6, 2018 5:45 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by hammer [TN]) Dec 6, 2018 5:46 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by NE [PA]) Dec 6, 2018 5:50 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by myob [GA]) Dec 6, 2018 5:51 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Robin [FL]) Dec 6, 2018 5:52 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Dave [MO]) Dec 6, 2018 5:54 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by RB [MI]) Dec 6, 2018 6:13 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by fred [CA]) Dec 6, 2018 6:28 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Roy [AL]) Dec 6, 2018 6:45 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by AllyM [NJ]) Dec 6, 2018 7:39 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Dec 6, 2018 8:17 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by LindaJ [NY]) Dec 6, 2018 8:40 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by S i d [MO]) Dec 6, 2018 8:48 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Still Learning [NH]) Dec 6, 2018 9:56 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Robert J [CA]) Dec 6, 2018 10:52 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Laura [MD]) Dec 6, 2018 11:06 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by CX [WA]) Dec 6, 2018 11:39 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by LisaFL [FL]) Dec 6, 2018 12:51 PM
       Awkward position / Help (by Pmh [TX]) Dec 6, 2018 1:06 PM
       Awkward position / Help (by WMH [NC]) Dec 6, 2018 1:26 PM
       Awkward position / Help (by elliot [RI]) Dec 7, 2018 4:28 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Roy [AL]) Dec 7, 2018 4:49 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by plenty [MO]) Dec 7, 2018 4:56 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by plenty [MO]) Dec 7, 2018 5:01 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Pat [VA]) Dec 7, 2018 5:25 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by gevans [SC]) Dec 7, 2018 5:29 AM
       Awkward position / Help (by Roy [AL]) Dec 7, 2018 3:08 PM

Awkward position / Help (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 5:24 AM

Has any LL here, male or female, ever asked a female tenant not to flush tampons down the toilet? This maybe written in your lease somewhere but I am in an awkward position right now in that I may need to have this talk with some female tenants of mine.

Yesterday, I paid $250.00 to have a video sewer line inspection and I was there to watch the color video screen as the technician pushed the video cable through 75 feet of the house drain line. There were no tree roots or collapsed drain walls as I was expecting. All I saw were an excessive number of tampons that were creating the blockage. The plumbing technician told me "There is nothing wrong with your drain line, just need to have a talk with your female tenants and ask them not to flush their tampons.

If you were in my awkward position now, how would you approach your female tenants on this issue? Would you call them or visit them in person? Send a text maybe? This drain will clog again if this issue is not dealt with. My plumber charges $75.00 to snake a drain too.

Awkward position / Help (by Jason [VA]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 5:34 AM

I would issue a notice in writing so that there’s a legal record of the problem, the solution, and the future ramifications for future infractions. If your lease doesn’t already specify, make sure that going forward you add a clause indicating that tenants are responsible for all plumbing stoppages. --174.226.xx.xx

Awkward position / Help (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 5:37 AM

I would have the plumber put it in writing and I would charge them for it,i would call and tell her in no uncertain terms not to do it again,the conversation will only be awkward if you think it will be

Awkward position / Help (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 5:39 AM

Thanks Jason ! I will get started on that letter now.

Awkward position / Help (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 5:45 AM

Use the term "feminine hygiene products" instead. Maybe include a broader list also...for example paper towels used to pick up dog poop should also not be flushed.

Keep it professional.

Awkward position / Help (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 5:45 AM

Every tenant - male or female. This is basic stuff for LL's.

Awkward position / Help (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 5:45 AM


In addition, I have two females that just moved into the garage apartment and there will be an argument as to who flushed what down. It is now two sets of female tenants that I have deal with on this issue.

Awkward position / Help (by hammer [TN]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 5:46 AM

I have a separate plumbing page for my lease.

It covers stoppages, and basically if you havent eaten it don't put it in the toilet. Use only toilet tissue, no "flushable" wipes, q-tips, dental floss, condoms, paper towels, floor sweepings, napkins, feminine products, cooking grease, etc...

It also covers MINIMUM charges for stoppages due to misuse.

Awkward position / Help (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 5:50 AM

Don't walk on eggshells. Use Tact and just tell her like it is.

Awkward position / Help (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 5:51 AM

Roy "awkward" is having to pull the stuff out -- taking pictures and if possible showing tenant.

We have a separate page of the lease-- full - in big print along with signature page. Feminine products- male products- toys- hanging deodorant metals, chicken bones, pork chop bones, "T" bone's, sea shells, little mirrors and a biggie no rice down sink -- etc etc etc..

When plumb bill comes it goes directly to the tenant along with the maintenance visit charge for my guy. 45.00 first half hour -- 25.00 each additional hour.

Awkward position / Help (by Robin [FL]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 5:52 AM

I had a similar conversation with my tenants a few months ago during an inspection of the dwelling.

While we were discussing proper maintenance for the septic system, I mentioned to the wife and young daughter (who is young & recently started having periods) about not flushing feminine hygiene products as that will cause problems. The wife already knew not to do so & reiterated to her daughter to refrain. The conversation was a bit awkward for the daughter, but she understood.

Awkward position / Help (by Dave [MO]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 5:54 AM

In MO. we call em white mice. Have a talk with her or send a letter. I always spoke to them face to face with the bill from the sewer company. They usually try to blame it on a guest. :)

Recently I had a female tenant flush wipes down the toilet and wipes will do the same as white mice. Wallet training will fix the problem.

Awkward position / Help (by RB [MI]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 6:13 AM

Years ago, Vee put out a list of what (Not) to put

down a Toilet. (Well done and Comical)

This clause should be noted in every lease and mentioned

before every lease signing.

Using your own words, "this isn't Rocket Science".

How much maturity does it take to look at any Tenant,

(eyeball to eyeball) and explain why nothing goes down

plumbing drains except TP and Human Waste.

And then again when it does happen, along with a Bill.


Awkward position / Help (by fred [CA]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 6:28 AM

Once I had a tenant complaining of slow discharge in one toilet.

I pulled the toilet out, carried it to the yard, flushed it this way and that way...and down went pennies - yes copper pennies.

The tenant used the toilet as his piggy bank.

Awkward position / Help (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 6:45 AM


I vaguely remember that list that Vee posted here ago. I wish he would re-post it or tell me where to find it.

Yes, this is not Rocket Science, but it is still awkward to have to tell adults (who should know better) as what they can and cannot flush down a toilet.

Awkward position / Help (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 7:39 AM

Get the plumber to write out the bill in plain language and mention the hygiene products. You then divide up the bill in as many ways as the number of women and give each one the letter, a copy of the bill and their portion of the payment. If the plumber can get still photos and made a video, show them the product stuck in the pipe. I had a male tenant who flushed wipes down. The sewer pipe broke while it was being cleaned inside probably because the washer was sitting over the concrete above it and vibrating during spin cycle. I had it fixed and sold the building.

Awkward position / Help (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 8:17 AM

The first one flushed down there was no blockage of the stack in the apartment building but when the second was flushed down the drain was blocked. Sometimes tenants have a guest who does not care.

Awkward position / Help (by LindaJ [NY]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 8:40 AM

As a woman, this is not something that we "don't mention" any more. I mean, there are advertisements on the television for tampons. The best way to cover it is to explain that the "cleaning pulled some feminine products out. The only thing that should be flushed is actual toilet paper and human waste, even if the package says flushable. Facial tissue won't even break down like toilet paper, and it is important for it break down quickly."

If you feel better, write a letter, include the bill, include the pictures and include a list of nonflushables including but not limited to paper towels, diapers, wipes, condoms, tampons. Make it generic so it includes male, female and other gender. If this is a multi unit, it might be better to just send a letter to each unit.

Awkward position / Help (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 8:48 AM

Send them the plumbing bill for, "blockage caused by feminine hygiene products."

Some land lords create exhaustive lists of what you CAN'T flush. That's too complicated and could leave something out, which then they could use to argue. "We'll you never SAID I couldn't flush rolled up newspapers...."

I make it clear in my lease:

"Toilets are only designed to handle biological human bodily waste and toilet paper. TENANT agrees not to flush ANYTHING ELSE down the toilet. All blockages not due to line collapse will be paid by TENANT."

ANYTHING ELSE includes....anything else. I thought about getting really specific and saying "Only flush human feces, urine, and/or toilet paper"....but my current verbiage has avoided any blockages for almost 5 years. So far, so good.

Awkward position / Help (by Still Learning [NH]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 9:56 AM

It’s only awkward if you make it awkward. I look them in the eye at lease signing and explain that only human waste and toilet paper get flushed. Keep it business like and it won’t be an issue.

Awkward position / Help (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 10:52 AM

Not only am I a landlord of over 100 rental apartment units, but I'm also a licensed plumbing contractor. I have told clients, tenants and just about everyone about the proper things that can and can NOT be put down a toilet.

I have even printed up laminated signs and placed them on the wall above the toilets -- in English, Spanish and other languages.

A tampon, paper towel or Kleenex in a sewer line is one thing, but in a septic system -- it can be murder to the system.

In my homes with septic systems I have installed an in-line waste filter to catch solids. I do not show my tenants where the filter is located, it's under ground and I have to dig down a foot to reach it. SO instead of having to spend $5,000 on a septic system repair, I can retrieve the flushed down item and document the tenants abuse of the system.

I HAVE NO PROBLEMS TELLING TENANTS OF IMPORTANT ISSUES. In a 4 unit apartment building, I found 4 condoms caught in a sewer drain line coming from a unit. I told the tenant, a 92 year old man, to stop flushing down the john his condoms. I wasn't that happy in years because he hasn't used such a device in 40 years. It was his grandson who caused the blockage. --47.156.xx.xx

Awkward position / Help (by Laura [MD]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 11:06 AM

Not awkward at all. This is normal body function and these are the regular tools used to deal with the normal body function. No reason to be awkward about telling her to NOT put it down the toilet and also (this is important) CHARGE HER FOR THE PLUMBING BILL.

Her paying the plumbing bill is what will put an end to this activity.

Awkward position / Help (by CX [WA]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 11:39 AM

ROY at least the charges for the sewer scope and snakeout were reasonable. And at least now you know for certain that the drain line is intact and in good shape!

Keep the video for when you sell the property.

Awkward position / Help (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 12:51 PM

I do this ALL THE TIME.

It's in my lease and I bring it up. I simply tell them they cannot flush items that are even deemed "flushable". This includes things like any feminine products, kitty litter or wipes of any kind.

My plumber calls it a case of having white mice. He recently had to snake a clog and we counted 8 of those buggers dangling by their strings looking just like little white mice!

I reminded my tenant to remind her daughter not to flush any feminine products as there seemed to be some wipes or pads as well as the mice. She sent me payment for the plumbering bill the next day.

I never have these issues with houses occupied solely by men. It's always with women and teen aged daughters or little kids using wipes.

I have qualms about mentioning it and remind the guys to pass the word on to their visiting lady friends as well.

Just call them feminine products :-)

Awkward position / Help (by Pmh [TX]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 1:06 PM

I have no compunction in telling female renters to not flush tampons to avoid plumbing problems. all have appreciated the advice. I have had same conversation with daughter at home....wife will remind her.

Awkward position / Help (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Dec 6, 2018 1:26 PM

This is in my lease:

"Plumbing: The unit is served by a septic system. Landlord warrants that the dwelling’s sewage drains are in good working order, BUT the drains and septic system will NOT accept items such as sanitary napkins, tampons, toys, wads of toilet paper, paper towels used as toilet paper, paper diapers, balls of hair, grease, oil, garbage or table scraps, clothing, rags, sand, dirt, rocks, dead pets or newspapers. DO NOT flush toilet cleaning equipment even if it indicates it can be flushed down the toilet after use. DO NOT flush so-called ‘Flush-able Wipes’. Tenant will be financially responsible for any stoppages unless caused by a mechanical failure of the plumbing system"

Awkward position / Help (by elliot [RI]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2018 4:28 AM

In Roy's case, it is a 2 sets.. multifamily.. I am not sure if you can legally bill any of them unless you have proof..

Awkward position / Help (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2018 4:49 AM

Yes Elliot,...this is my 1st multi-family,..which does complicate things here. What I have here is a 3/1 house with 2/1 detached garage apartment in the rear. All utilities (even water) are metered separate. However, the garage apartment sewer line does connect into the main house sewer line. I do know for a fact this tampon blockage originated from the main house tenants.

Today, I am writing a letter to both sets of female tenants.

Awkward position / Help (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2018 4:56 AM

Roy. The notice goes to all who live on the property

It's about the property not who did it. Just stop thinking about who did it and focus on how to stop it. What a huge time saver and money saver that you found the issue was this simple! Wheezz! Not send your notices to both homes and give up who did it, just make it stop as the next bill is on them. --99.203.xx.xx

Awkward position / Help (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2018 5:01 AM

How do you suppose out of all the bus tours in the world you got on that one? --99.203.xx.xx

Awkward position / Help (by Pat [VA]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2018 5:25 AM

We had the same thing to happen. Tenants were furious at us for the toilet overflowing all over house when the septic cleaning guy back flushed it for some reason? Not even sure how that happened, except I think he told them to keep running water into it to see when he had it clear, IDK. We were away when he was there.

When the report came back that old rough pipes AND tampons were the cause, my husband showed it to the husband but we paid the bill. They were the ones that had to clean the house though, so it was a pretty good lesson (or not) because shortly after they moved into a place they purchased, they had to replace the drainfield, but it was an older home and had maple trees in the yard. They cut down all of the pretty maples so I guess that was why.

BTW, we replaced our "old rough line" going from house to tank.

Awkward position / Help (by gevans [SC]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2018 5:29 AM

I once had the plumber lay out all the sewer white mice in a row next to the clean out, like little trophies. He took pictures and LEFT THEM THERE.

I emailed the pictures to the tenants.

Never had another problem with that particular set.

Awkward position / Help (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Dec 7, 2018 3:08 PM


My plumber will installing a 'clean-out' at this property soon. The next time there is a clogged drain here, I will open the clean-out screw-in top and let the mice out. I will do as you did,..take pictures and send them to them.

Today, I mailed two letters, one to each tenant explaining what caused their drain to clog and what not to flush down the toilet.

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