What Have You Been Flushing??

Our most common call is a clogged toilet. The common cause….

Ok here it is.. The cold hard facts. The only things you should be flushing is poo, pee and T.P., that is all!

Toilets are great! I mean, whoever thought it up must have gotten tired of digging holes to do their business in. You know what I mean? The problem is they are only great at disposing of human waste. Not your everyday household items. Flushing anything else can clog your drains, damage your pipes and even contaminate our water system. Did you know that your drainpipe is only 4in wide? Can you imagine the thousands of dollars it would cost to fix? Not to mention the mess and damage from an overflowing toilet! Yuck! Here is how to prevent plumbing emergencies and huge bills.

1. Flushable Wipes – Yes, I know the package say they are flushable. But they are not! They do not breakdown fast. They become stuck in the drains and cause them to clog. Keep a trash can next to the toilet to dispose of them properly. (I would use a liner in the can too)

2. Paper Towels – Paper Towel absorb not break down like toilet paper. So, if you run out of toilet paper don’t reach for the paper towels or facial tissue. They are not a good go to. (I know running down the hall with your pants around your knees is not a fun sport) However, an overflowing toilet and high pluming bills is even less fun. Just saying! As with the flushable wipes, they go in the trash can.

3. Cotton Balls and Swabs – I know! I know! Cotton balls are round, and swabs are small. But it’s still a no no. They do not break down when flushed. Nope, they just compact in there and guess what? You got It! Clogged toilet here they come. They can also break your pipes. Once more throw them in the trash. You will thank me later!

4. Feminine Products – Feminine products are designed to absorb and expand. They can expand several times their original size. They also do not break down. So, when you flush them, they swell up and block the pipes. This will lead to swear and septic not able to work properly and causing the water to backup and overflow. So in the trash they go!

5. Dental Floss – I mean come on its dental floss! Right?? Wrong! Dental floss is made from Teflon or Nylon. And guess what? You got it! It doesn’t break down. Over time it can build up or wrap around other items that have been flushed and shouldn’t have. This can cause a large blockage in the pipes and sewer. After you brush and floss always remember to toss the floss in the trash.

6. Hair – The average person sheds between 50 and 100 strands of hair a day. And just like floss it can get wrapped around other things and cause major problems when flushed. It also tends to stick to the inside of pipes, leading to build up and clogs. After you brush your hair and clean out your hairbrush throw it away. Also don’t forget to protect the drains with drain covers to prevent the hair from going down your drains after you shower.

7. Bandages – There are many types of bandages. Most are not biodegradable. They not only pollute our water system but also clog your drain. They have adhesive that can stick to other items. (I see a pattern, do you)? Remember to toss them in the trash and avoid costly plumbing bills

8. Grease, Fats or Oils – Grease fat and oils should never be flushed. Just as a rule you shouldn’t flush food down the toilet either. This may seem harmless but can be problematic in the long run. Grease, Fat and oil may start off as a liquid, but they can solidify and stick to the lining of your pipes. Over time this can cause a buildup thus forming a blockage keeping water from passing through your plumbing. After cooking or cleaning out the fridge, let the grease, oil or fat cool completely (I save a can to drain mine off in) so that it can solidify and throw away in the trash.

9. Kitty Litter – I know it’s cat waste. But unlike human waste feline waste should never be flushed down the toilet. Cat litter can or cat waste can contaminate our water supplies. Feline waste can introduce parasites into the water supply. Cat litter can absorb water, clump, and clog pipes. Always bag and dispose of cat waste and litter in the trash.

When in doubt throw it out. Your toilet is not a trash can replacement. Follow these tips and you will protect your plumbing and your wallet.

Written By Lisa Gray (LEGs Media LLC)