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Jun 08,2024

What NOT to Flush Down the Toilet

In an age where convenience seems to trump caution, it's common to forget that toilets are designed for a very specific purpose. Contrary to popular mistake, toilets are not all-purpose disposal systems but are meant solely for human waste and toilet paper. Misuse can lead to significant environmental and infrastructural damage, such as the notorious "fatbergs" that plague sewer systems.

In this brief article brought to you by Mr. Rooter Plumbing, we shed light on some things you should especially never flush down the toilet. Again, anything other than toilet paper, pee, and poo are a no-go, but the following are especially risky.

Highlighting the problem

Before we get into the specifics of what not to flush, it's important to understand why toilets cannot handle certain items. The plumbing systems in our homes are designed to transport water and waste to treatment facilities. When non-biodegradable items are flushed, they can clog pipes, damage sewage systems, and cause overflow, leading to costly repairs and environmental harm.

Items you should never flush

  • Hygiene Products: Hygiene products such as sanitary pads, tampons, and panty liners are some of the most common culprits in clogging toilets. These products are designed to absorb moisture, which makes them prone to causing blockages.
  • Wet Wipes: Despite being marketed as "flushable," most wet wipes do not disintegrate like toilet paper. They remain intact long after flushing and can combine with fats and oils in the sewer to form solid masses known as fatbergs. These congealed lumps can block pipes and even require manual removal by utility workers.
  • Cotton Products: Cotton swabs and cotton balls do not break down in water. They can clump together and cause blockages in both household plumbing and municipal sewer systems.
  • Diapers: Diapers are made to retain moisture and are far too large to pass through most plumbing systems. Flushing them can cause immediate blockages and potential damage to pipes.
  • Dental Floss: Dental floss may seem harmless, but it can wrap around other debris and form large, clogging masses. Made from non-biodegradable materials like nylon or Teflon, dental floss poses a significant risk to plumbing.
  • Hair: Hair easily tangles and binds with other substances, creating dense, impermeable clogs. Even small amounts of hair can cause significant issues over time. Brush hair before jumping in the shower, and dispose of hair in a trash bin.
  • Grease and Oil: While not traditionally considered flushable items, pouring grease and oil down the toilet is equally problematic. These substances solidify in pipes, contributing to the formation of fatbergs.

Is the damage done? Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing

If you have made the mistake of flushing non-biodegradable items down the toilet, and are now looking at a clogged toilet, then keep calm and call Mr. Rooter Plumbing. We can have a uniformed plumber dispatched to your home or business today.

In addition to toilet repair, the plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing also offer a wide range of plumbing service. Whether you need the drain line cleaned or a brand new toilet installation mounted, our time-tested professionals are here to help.

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