The toilet and the trash can are not the same thing. Everyone knows this, but when you’re in a hurry or feeling lazy, you might go ahead and toss that garbage in the toilet. What harm could it do?
In fact, trash can do a lot of damage to your home’s pipes and even the municipal sewer system. Plumbing and home improvement costs are on the rise partly due to flushed items that are not regarded as trash by those who do the flushing.
Flushing non-human waste down the toilet also wastes water. Depending on the brand and model of your home toilets, you can waste about three gallons of water each time you flush. For habitual flushers of trash, this boosts your water bill.
Here are the six things that should never get flushed.
People may think food is warm, moist, and soft when it slips down the toilet, and that’s the end of it. But it’s not. Pasta and rice regularly go down the toilet, but they don’t remain small or soft. These materials bloat with water and clog pipes. Starchy foods also damage main city sewer lines.
Grease is another food item constantly getting flushed. It goes down smoothly but soon solidifies, lining the inside of pipes and creating major jams.
Condoms are not easy to flush, but somehow people manage it. Down in the sewers, they fill with air and bob on the surface. When they deflate, they stick to the lining of pipes and prevent an even flow of water, eventually contributing to major blockage.
Knowing how to care for your home plumbing system before it gets to the point of needing to call a plumber is the key to saving your house and hundreds of dollars in plumbing and home improvement costs.
Fish are among the most common flushable critters that receive water burials. But some families believe dead gerbils, hamsters, lizards, snakes, and others deserve to rest “at sea” as well. Unfortunately, bones of any kind do not disintegrate but get caught in the pipes and cause backups and clogs.
Parents want to do the right thing, but they are often too tired and pressed for time, so diapers find their way down the toilet. But diapers are designed to be super absorbent. Because of this, it is rare a diaper makes it past the U-bend once it has been flushed. Diapers can cause a horrible pipe blockage.
5. Paint and Construction Debris
Paint is thick by design. When it mixes with grease or fat from food, it creates a large block of hardness. The paint and grease mixture blocks everything in its path, which eventually includes water. This will create extreme damage when the water backs up through your home’s pipes.
6. Medications and Drug Paraphernalia
Outdated and leftover prescription medications should never be flushed down the toilet, because they are harmful substances in other ways. Medications may not affect the pipes but they will flow through your city’s sanitation and waste-water treatment plant.
This means prescription drugs could end up in your drinking water! Drug paraphernalia such as syringes and latex gloves should also never be flushed because they obviously can cause pipe blockage.
If you or a family member does accidentally send something from this list down the toilet, try troubleshooting the problem first. Plumbing repairs are expensive and maybe you can correct the problem without assistance. If you can’t fix your toilet, take a moment before you dial the first plumber listed in the search engine results.
You may be asking, “What’s left to flush?” The answer would be: toilet paper and human waste. That’s all. Unless you want to pay for expensive plumbing and home improvements the next time someone flushes a non-approved flushable item.