March 8, 2018 · Pipes · (No comments)

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byAlma Abell

It’s tempting to assume that your pipes are strong enough to handle whatever you throw at them, but just because it would be convenient to flush something doesn’t mean it would be good for your plumbing—pipes can be surprisingly fickle. Flushing certain things can back up your pipes or otherwise damage them, potentially warranting a call to the plumber. Here’s a list of some of the things most plumbers would highly advise you not to flush.

1) Cotton Swabs and BallsThey may seem innocuous, but cotton swabs and cotton balls can actually cause major problems if you flush them repeatedly. They can get backed up in the bends of your pipes and cause huge blockades after a while.

2) MedicationsIf you have children running around and don’t want them to get their hands on your leftover medications, you might think flushing the excess is the way to go, but you should never do this! Flushing medications can contaminate groundwater and have potentially life threatening effects on wildlife.

3) Feminine Hygiene ProductsIf you have a newer sewage system, you might be able to get away with flushing your tampons, but pads are often too bulky to navigate pipes smoothly, so trying to flush a pad could very well cause clogged pipes.

4) Cigarette ButtsAs you probably already know, cigarettes are filled to the brim with extremely toxic chemicals—if you flush them, those chemicals will only end up polluting the water, which isn’t good for anything or anyone.

5) Fat, Grease, and OilWhile the fat, grease, and oil from cooking may be liquid right after you finish with them, they don’t stay that way for long—as soon as it gets in your drains, it will start to cool and congeal, and cause a waxy back up in your pipes.

6) Cat LitterKitty litter is made of clay and sand, which will almost definitely clog your pipes if flushed too much. In addition, your precious pet’s waste has parasites and bacteria different from a human’s—and you don’t want it polluting the water.

7) Dental FlossIt’s tiny and flexible, so you probably think there’s no problem, but dental floss can get tangled up in any preexisting blockades, making small backups even bigger.

These are just a few of the things that you should never flush down your toilet. While they may seem small and insignificant, they can build up and lead to much bigger issues in the future. If you have questions about things that you can and can’t flush, contact a professional Easley plumber today.