6 Things You Should Never Flush

August 13, 2014

Avoid flushing these 6 things down the toilet to prevent clogs.

Never FlushIn theory, nothing belongs in the toilet besides waste and toilet paper. In practice, all kinds of other things get flushed. However, it is important to remember that just because an item disappears around the U-bend in the toilet doesn’t mean it was safe to flush it. Many items can get hung up in the pipes in your home, in the local sewer lines, or in your city’s wastewater treatment facility where they may cause costly clogs and even potential pipe damage. Simply not flushing these 6 things will greatly reduce the risk of toilet clogs and related plumbing problems in your home.

Flushable” Wipes & Diapers

So-called “flushable” wipes and diapers have become pretty popular in recent years. The problem is, while these items typically get whisked away from your own home as easily as toilet paper, they do not pass through sewage treatment facilities as easily. Lab tests have shown that even after two months submerged in water, wipes do not break down like toilet paper. Instead, they get stuck in traps and other equipment, causing millions of dollars in damage. A wipe stuck in your own plumbing could also cause a nasty clog.

Cotton

Cotton items such as cotton balls, q-tips, and tampons should not be flushed either. When wet, these soggy little bits of cotton can become quite heavy and tend to collect in pipe bends where they can contribute to clogs.

Condoms

Not only are condoms not biodegradable, their shape can also pose problems. Air or other debris can become trapped inside of them creating a bulkier item that can really clog up your system. Condoms are especially bad to flush in a septic system as they tend to float on the top of the tank and may block pipes.

Dental Floss

Dental floss seems harmless and insubstantial, but if it catches on anything inside a drain line it can form a web that will continue to catch other debris until eventually your pipe may become quite tightly clogged.

Fats, Oil, and Grease

The toilet is not a substitute for your garbage disposal! Do not use it to dispose of spoiled foods or food scraps, especially if those foods contain fats, oil, or grease. These materials can coat the insides of pipes over time, narrowing them and making them more prone to clogs.

Cat Litter

It might seem reasonable to flush cat waste down the toilet, but beware of flushing any amount of cat litter. Almost all cat litter contains clay, which can stick to your pipes and cause a clog. Even flushing a few stray grains of litter at a time can eventually lead to problems.

Need Help Clearing a Clog?

If you already have a blocked drain on your property, call L.A. Master Plumbers for professional drain cleaning. Whether you have a problem with a single toilet or your entire sewer line, we can help.