Our house has been here on this street since the 1940s. I never heard my dad or my grandfather say they needed the drains cleaned. It wasn’t until our kids reached their teenage years that it was necessary. I called a company that does drain cleaning in yonkers ny to bring one of those sewer cameras out and take a look at what was causing the slow drains.
I fully expected it to be a cracked pipe or tree roots. Since this house was built so long ago, it would have terracotta sewer lines instead of modern PVC. Those ceramic pipes can give you trouble. The plumber put the camera into the drain, and there were no signs of any broken sections of pipe, and there was no signs of any invading tree roots. He found a buildup of grease and toilet paper, and was able to knock it all loose with a power snake and some hydrojetting.
I asked him about the buildup. He said that probably someone was emptying grease from cooking down the rain for years, but it could also be the fatty and waxy substances in some soaps and hair conditioners. I asked him about all that toilet paper we saw. He asked me if I had teenagers. I told him we had three. He said, “Well, there you go then.” He told me how his kids would wad toilet paper around their hands until it looked like they had a boxing glove on before wiping.
It took two modern teenage girls and one modern teenage boy to clog up drains that ran perfectly for over 70 years. I asked my wife about the shampoos and conditioners. She said the girls, because of their long hair, go through gallons of the stuff. I asked about the toilet paper. She told me that we should have bought stock in the paper company that makes it. How do you teach kids to conserve after they have been wasteful for so long?