If you are leaving your teenager home for a weekend for the very first time, you never know what could come up while you are gone. Instead of coming home to a mess, you need to teach them how to do a few things in case something happens.
Unclog a Kitchen Drain
Your teenager may not clean dishes like you do, and instead of scraping dishes before they wash or place them in the dishwasher, the food gets washed down your sink. If the sink gets clogged and they do nothing about it, the clog will get a lot worse.
One way you can show them how to quickly unclog a drain is by using boiling water, vinegar, and baking soda. Boil water on the stove, and then pour the water down the clogged drain. Dump in a cup of baking soda, and then a cup of vinegar down the drain. This concoction will start to fizz so put the drain plug on top of the drain. Let it sit for a few minutes, remove the drain cover, and pour another pot of boiling water down the drain. The clog should be gone.
If the baking soda and vinegar trick does not work, teach them how to use a drain snake to loosen and remove a clog.
Turn Off Water
There may be some cases where your teenager will need to turn off the water for your home, such as if the water heater starts to flood. Show them where the main water supply is located. This is likely near your water meter outside. The valve will have a round handle that you turn clockwise until you cannot turn it anymore.
There may be times when they would only need to turn off water to plumbing fixtures, such as if the toilet starts to overflow.
To turn off the water for the toilet, there will be a stop valve on the floor next to it. The stop valves for the kitchen or bathroom faucet is located under the sink and connected to the water pipe. The valves are generally plastic or chrome plated, and there will be one for hot water and one for cold water. Turn each valve clockwise until they cannot be turned anymore.
Make sure you leave the number of your plumber nearby just in case they are not able to handle any of these problems on their own.