What is your worst nightmare when you are hosting people at your home? One of the most common responses is when a toilet clogs, and the water overflows all over the bathroom. Unless you have a faulty toilet flapper, there is a clog or jam in your drain trap, or something was improperly flushed.
The drain trap is the u-shaped bend in the pipes. Plumbing systems work based on gravity, so if there is a clog, it will not allow the water to continue to move down the pipes. Clogs can come from flushing foreign objects, basically anything other than human waste, water, cleaners, and toilet paper down the toilet. But clogs aren’t the only reason you should not flush any foreign objects down the toilet, and it also prevents environmental disasters and human and animal safety risks.
So what happens after you put something in the toilet, down your sink, or your shower drain? Here in the Reno-Tahoe area, the water that flows through our plumbing systems either flows into a septic tank or the community sewer system. Most homes in Reno are on sewer lines or septic systems. We have all heard the horror stories of clogged septic tanks, which are gross, embarrassingly messy, costly, and time-consuming. Being plumbing technicians, we have listened to a misconception about what people think they can and cannot flush down the toilet.
Even if you don’t have a septic tank at your house, it is the responsibility of the homeowner/tenant to avoid disposing of items that can cause damage to our municipal sewage treatment facilities. It can cause devastating effects environmentally, economically, and for the safety of the community’s health.
Here’s a quick list of things you should NEVER flush down the toilet:
- Baby Wipes, Personal Hygiene Wipes, Makeup Wipes, Cleaning Wipes – Even if labeled FLUSHABLE
There are misconceptions and false advertisements of “flushable” wipes. These wipes are NOT flushable! “Flushable” wipes have caused significant problems for sewage treatment centers, and are now being told to change the name to disposable. Just because it says “flushable” doesn’t mean you are supposed to flush them! Frequently, household plumbing is not the first thought at the moment, but flushing wipes will cause MAJOR issues!
- Facial Tissues and Paper Towels
We all know that paper towels are made with stronger materials, but did you know that tissues are made of stronger fibers than toilet paper? Most think that flushing kleenex or facial tissues are okay, but the material is different than toilet paper and does not break down the same way. It will clump and cause clogs down your home’s pipes.
- Diapers/Feminine Products
Diapers, tampons, and pads are all made with cotton and designed to be absorbent and withhold liquid, once flushed these would fill up with water and instantly clog your pipes and could be absolutely devastating to plumbing systems.
Just as hair clogs in your shower, it should never be flushed because the hair will never break down in the water and will clog your pipes.
- Cotton Swabs, Toilet Scrubbing Pads
The absorbent nature will collect water and then clog the pipes.
- Pet Excrement, Cat Litter
Pet waste and cat litter have toxins that are not biodegradable by the chemicals in our water treatment facilities and can cause serious health risks for our community’s water.
Other items to NEVER Flush
- Fats, Oils, Grease, and Food Scraps from the Kitchen
- Dryer Sheets
- Cigarette Butts
- Dental Floss
- Pills – can breakdown and contaminate our water and cause risks for humans and wildlife
- Anything Plastic
- Hazardous Materials
- Paint and Paint Thinner
- Coffee Grounds
- Bleach – when using it in high volumes it can be too harsh on your pipes
- Contact Lenses
Even toilet paper can cause a clog! Some of the older piping systems in our area can’t handle the thicker ply paper. The eco-friendly brands of toilet paper will disintegrate better than the other brands. Homeowners insurance does not cover clogs, but the good news is most plumbing problems can be avoided with some knowledge, preventative practices, and maintenance.
Since 1893 we have been here to help safeguard our community from devastating costs, health and safety risks for humans and wildlife, and lasting environmental effects. It’s our job, as Nevada’s Oldest Contractor and Reno Plumber, to provide our customers with the education and tools they need to keep their homes’ plumbing system safe and clean, to therefore maintain a healthy and clean community, because that’s the Savage Way!
If you ever have a plumbing emergency we are available to help you 24/7, call us at (775) 828-4193!
Tags: bathroom fixtures, cloggedtoilet, DIY, homeowner tip, Nevada, Nevada's Oldest Contractor, Never Flush, NeverFlush, Nextdoor Plumber, plumber, plumbing, plumbing fixture showroom, plumbing tip, plumbingissue, Reno, Reno Plumber, Reno Plumbing, savage and son, toilet, toiletclog, toiletclogging