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Over on Habitat’s BoardTalk column, the talk is about rats today. Specifically, a ground floor co-op resident apparently saw one attempting to climb out of her toilet bowl last night.
This possibility had never really occurred to us before, so we picked up the phone and called BrickTank expert and plumbing genius Philip Kraus to ask him how concerned we should be.
“It’s not that common,” says Kraus, the president of Fred Smith Plumbing & Heating in Manhattan. “I’ve heard of it but never had anybody call me.”
So what, exactly, had he heard?
“They get into the sewers and then come in through the sewer line from the street,” says Kraus. “Or it could be that there’s a broken pipe inside the building that nobody knows about underground where there are rats. Some of the pipes are 10 feet down, and through the years you can get some undermining of the foundation and if the pipe is broken it will slowly wash away.”
The real NYC plumbing horror stories don’t usually feature rodents, Kraus assured us.
“The most awful things are these horrible stoppages where you have sewage backing up into apartments, or when you have a water pipe break and it completely floods an apartment.”