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There’s a Job Worse Than a Toilet Clog, and 10 More Not-So-Dirty Secrets Kept by Plumbers

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There are plenty of industries that keep, well…not exactly secrets, but just truths about what goes on behind the scenes. They’re things would only know – and would only need to know – if you were a plumber.

That said, it can be interesting to learn new things; that’s why we’re all here, right?

So, without further ado, here are 11 things you might not have known about plumbers.

11. They can afford to be picky.

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James, a Pacific Northwest plumber, says that it might be hard to convince more experienced plumbers to come fix your poop-filled basement.

“I actively avoid jobs where I know it’s going to be an issue. It’s too disgusting to seek it out, and I don’t like to charge more for jobs that are unpleasant, so I try to avoid them if I’m already busy enough.

I can refer you to seven other great plumbers in the area, though.”

10. They hate drain cleaners.

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Those over-the-counter chemicals aren’t really all that effective, and as Maryland plumber Tom Parker says, can often cause more problems than they resolve.

“They are almost always ineffective and are definitely only temporary. They can also cause corrosion in the drainage system.

And if I have to snake the drain, I can get those chemicals splashed all over me. Please at least warn me ahead of time.”

9. They have a higher risk of some illnesses.

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Close encounters with human waste increases the risk of contracting things like E. coli, stomach parasites, and hepatitis.

Plumber Mike says,

“A lot of plumbers wind up dealing with hepatitis A at some point. You’re getting stuff splashed in your face and mouth.

Every single plumber I know has dealt with something rough.”

8. A surprising number of people try to flush their cell phones.

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You know that horrible moment when you drop your cell phone into a public toilet? Apparently a surprising number of people don’t even try to retrieve it, says Mike.

“Most people are grossed out by it and aren’t going to want to use it again.

They think it’ll go down.”

I think you can guess that it doesn’t.

7. They love it when you’re prepared.

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You don’t have to hand them tools or a yummy baked good, but if you could at least make sure they have an unobstructed path, they would be grateful, says Tom.

“I need access. Bathroom sink clogged or faucet broken. Please remove all the stuff piled under the sink.

Water heater need replacing? Please be sure it is clear and I have a clear path to remove the old one and bring in the new one.”

If you don’t, you’ll be paying them their hourly fee to move your crap out of the way before they get to work on the actual problem.

6. Those flushable wipes? Not so much.

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Plumber Mike says…

“The flushable wipe business has been good for the drain cleaning business.”

Unlike toilet paper, they don’t break down and often stack on top of each other, causing clogs in your pipes.

Get a bidet if you want that extra fresh feeling.

5. Try this trick on your garbage disposal before you call.

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Those piece of metal that pulverize your food scraps can get caked with food on their blades and in the holes.

Plumber Tom says…

“A couple of ice cubes can knock some of that debris loose to clean things up in there a bit.

Adding some lemon peels can help with odors, too.”

4. Toilets aren’t the grossest jobs.

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It’s restaurant kitchen sink, says Mike.

“Everything gets down in there and solidifies. It tends to be fat-based, and no soap works on it.

The stench just sticks to you. It’s far worse than sewage.”

They need to use rubbing alcohol on their skin afterward, and sometimes their clothes can’t be saved.

3. There are better times to call.

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Mondays are super busy, because of all the people who held out over the weekends, so Tuesdays are a better bet.

Same for anytime in January; people are broke from Christmas and only call if they have to.

2. Women love them.

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Maybe it’s all of those s*xy movies, or maybe it’s just something about a man at work, but most plumbers have been hit on, regardless of whether they were flirting or not.

We’re not quite sure that this is actually a thing, because it’s not provable… but we’ll go with it. For their ego’s sake. 😉

1. They make good lunch dates.

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Plumbers know which kitchens are clean and well-kept, and they’re also pretty clean, themselves.

The stories might not all be appropriate to share over a sandwich, though.

Color me intrigued!

Did any of these surprise you? I have to say… the fact that women dig them still feels a bit lofty to me… but perhaps?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!