Toilet/plumbing

Hi. Considering a move to Costa Rica's Central Valley. I've been reading lots, and we've visited as tourists, but one issue has not been able to be resolved online: In private homes is it common to be able to flush toilet tissue? (Papel hygenico en el inodoro, por favor!)

That will all depend if the house has a septic tank and field properly installed.  We have been flushing paper for five years now.

We lived both in our own home and a rental home, and we didn't flush, similar to many others ... Most commercial places still have a sign saying 'do not flush' even hospitals.

Yes, of course. There isn't any other way to do it, no matter what people say about clogging drainage and the sort. The custom not to flush the toilet paper and instead throw it in the waste basket is so anti hygienic it doesn't deserve a second thought. I rent, and some tico landlords tell you not to flush the toilet paper, I nod for their benefit. Since most dwellings use septic tanks, there's a chemical that helps dilute the paper faster, if that's a worry with you.  But, really, I had never worry about that.

My neighbor has been here for ten years, flushes, and has not had to have the septic tank evacuated.

Thanks. I know I'm shallow, but that makes a move doable for me!)

I get that, we visited for five years before retiring here.  Our septic tank and field sre SOLID!

Many houses have proper plumbing but if you rent a Tico built house it may or may not have proper plumbing or a proper septic tank. I'm not being anti-Tico, I'm just telling it like it is. I've seen some of their plumbing, even in newer built houses!

As to renting you should ask the landlord and I disagree that you should just nod and flush anyway if they ask you not to.

Why? Because if it backs up the Tico may not fix it right away as it costs a LOT of money to have a guy come out and drain it. And the landlord may not be in a hurry to fix it after you clog it up by not following his instructions.

Same with businesses. Some smaller businesses may have a sign "Tirar la papel en el basurero", "throw the paper in the wastebasket" or something like that. If they do, I follow their directions as I do not want to clog up their drainage tubes and cause them to have to pay someone to unclog it. You don't see this a lot in San Ramon but I have seen it in a few places.

But if the house you rent or buy is American built or built by a Tico who isn't / wasn't too poor, the plumbing should be fine.

If you build your own house, which is not that hard to do in spite of popular opinion, you can make sure you install proper drainage and proper septic if need be, so no problem.

samramon wrote:

Many houses have proper plumbing but if you rent a Tico built house it may or may not have proper plumbing or a proper septic tank. I'm not being anti-Tico, I'm just telling it like it is. I've seen some of their plumbing, even in newer built houses!

As to renting you should ask the landlord and I disagree that you should just nod and flush anyway if they ask you not to.

Why? Because if it backs up the Tico may not fix it right away as it costs a LOT of money to have a guy come out and drain it. And the landlord may not be in a hurry to fix it after you clog it up by not following his instructions.

Same with businesses. Some smaller businesses may have a sign "Tirar la papel en el basurero", "throw the paper in the wastebasket" or something like that. If they do, I follow their directions as I do not want to clog up their drainage tubes and cause them to have to pay someone to unclog it. You don't see this a lot in San Ramon but I have seen it in a few places.

But if the house you rent or buy is American built or built by a Tico who isn't / wasn't too poor, the plumbing should be fine.

If you build your own house, which is not that hard to do in spite of popular opinion, you can make sure you install proper drainage and proper septic if need be, so no problem.


LOL. I still nod, toilet paper was made to dissolve.  That custom is a 19th century custom and anti-hygienic, it is a bad custom. In the latest rental I lived in Palmares I was told not to flush, the house is very modern with 3 bathrooms, never had a clogging problem.   The thing is most uneducated people (meaning, do not know better)  will flush diapers, female pads, news paper, etc. clogging even the best drainage. But, no one should take my saying as an order or an advise.

If one visits a friend or neighbors home, and it is obvious that you are 'expected not to flush clean paper' please respect their wishes.

Some people use that very thick double or triple thick toilet paper, and they use way too much of it. Therefore, indeed there are problems with septic tanks sometimes. In some areas of San Ramon there is a very clay soil, which does not absorb the liquid from the septic tank Drainage Field.

So this can be a problem, and I have known Tico's who put in very good septic tanks and drainage Fields but still have problems. And these problems are made worse by people using too much paper.

So  Maybe it's all relative. putting toilet tissue from Human excrement into the wastebasket is not a good practice. But using too much paper for other things is not a good idea for the septic tank.

I appreciate the candid responses I have received. Single-ply tissue here is often marked "safe for septic systems" and that makes sense for dissolving. (I've owned a house with a septic system.) I have followed home-owners' requests for usage of baskets when staying with them … your house = your rules. My question was just for my peace of mind if I move to CR and have my own facilities. I now know the questions to ask prior to renting. Thanks to everyone who responded.

I never "dump" anything on other people's bathrooms, ever. So respect's kept.

And this is why I'm having an incinerator toilet instead.  Burns everything to ashes!

Hello Ziminar,


Thank you for participating in this discussion but unfortunately it dates from 2019 and it has remained inactive since then.


I invite you to browse on the Costa Rica forum where you can engage in more recent/active discussions.


Cheers,


Yoginee

Expat.com team




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