Photo By CasarsaGuru at istock
When it comes to your plumbing system, there’s a lot that can go wrong rather quickly. In some cases, there’s really nothing that you can do to prevent it. Pipes are going to break down over time, and when that happens, you’re going to need a plumbing service to come out to your Atlanta, GA home in a hurry to prevent serious damage.
But in some cases, you might be your own worst enemy when it comes to your plumbing, and the biggest culprit might be what goes down the toilet. Your toilet isn’t meant to be a substitute for your garbage disposal, and if you try to use it as one, you’re going to need to call a plumbing service for assistance on a rather regular basis.
The basic rule of thumb when it comes to your toilet is that you should only be flushing toilet paper and human waste, because those things are meant to break down in water and shouldn’t jam up your pipes. But a few items are simply awful for your pipes, and unfortunately, they’re some of the most common items in your home. Flush any of these, and you’ll need a plumer on speed dial.
Without question, this is the biggest surprise to most homeowners. After all, it says flushable on the label, so how can it be labeled flushable if it can’t go down your pipes safely?
Well, there’s no specific rule that says what’s flushable and what’s not in terms of what goes on the packaging, which means that you’re essentially trusting the company to know what’s best for your plumbing. The reality is that anything can technically be flushable if it goes down the toilet, but the only things that should be flushed are things that break down in water.
Flushable wipes don’t meet that criteria. The main reason you’ll need a plumbing service for flushable wipes is because they can sit in water all day without much change to their structure. Toilet paper lasts only about five minutes in water before it becomes a gloppy mess, which is perfect for breaking down in your pipes. Not so with flushable wipes, which get stuck in your pipes and create major blockages in a hurry. Throw these in the trash can.
This should be rather obvious, but surprisingly, it isn’t. But think about it: a diaper’s main purpose is to absorb wetness and keep it away from a baby’s skin. So if it can absorb a small amount of moisture in that situation, what do you think it’s going to do when it’s surrounded by water in your toilet and your pipes?
Answer: nothing good. Many homeowners have found themselves having to call for a plumbing service because they flushed a diaper, which then expanded in water and created a complete blockage of the pipe, causing real damage to the home. Be smart and throw diapers in the trash to dispose of them properly.
This entry might be surprising, as bleach is often used to clean out a toilet when it’s taken damage from hard water. But even though bleach seems ideal for this task, it’s really not a great idea to use it because it’s a corrosive material that can cause real damage to your toilet and septic system.
Bleach might do the trick as far as cleaning the toilet in your Atlanta, GA home, but the story doesn’t end there. Over time, bleach can corrode metal and glue that holds your pipes together, making a call to a plumbing service a necessity.
Q-Tips and Cotton Balls
Think of these products as being similar to diapers: super absorbent and a super problem for your plumbing. These aren’t quite the threat that diapers are, because they’re a lot smaller and can break down into small quantities, but even a small amount of cotton going down your pipes can lead to a real problem.
Remember, it doesn’t take a lot to clog your pipes, and once they are clogged, your only option is to call for a plumbing service to undo the damage. Even one Q-Tip is too many to toss into your toilet.
How can this become a problem? The same way it becomes a problem in your sink: it can combine with other particles and really mess things up for your plumbing. When hair and other small items combine with liquid soap inside your pipes, you’re going to need to enlist the help of a plumbing service, because these items combine to stick to certain spots in your pipes and create a real blockage. If you’ve gotten any liquid soap on toilet paper, it belongs in the trash can, not the toilet.
The toilet is for human waste, not pet waste. Animal waste tends to become rigid after a few hours, and cat litter in particular is a major issue because it clumps together, causing serious backups in your pipes. Unless you want your local plumbing service to really get to know your pet, make sure to dispose of their business somewhere other than the toilet.
Menstrual Pads and Tampons
Menstrual pads can feel like diapers, and more importantly, they can absorb like diapers. Any product that is designed to absorb liquid should be a no-brainer when it comes to whether it goes in the toilet, but you’d be surprised at how many pads and tampons plumbers have pulled out of pipes. Don’t make this same mistake.
At Peach Plumbing & Drain, we’ve seen just about every plumbing problem you can think of, which makes us the ideal plumbing service to help with any pipe or drain-related issue in your home. No matter what you or someone else might have flushed down your toilet, our team is here to help remove the offending item and repair the damage it might have caused. Contact us today for complete plumbing assistance!