What Not To Flush Down The Toilet & Why

Many homeowners mistakenly believe that their toilet can handle anything they throw at it, much like a garbage disposal. The reality is starkly different.

Even items marketed as safe for flushing can pose significant risks to your plumbing system. Understanding what not to flush is crucial for protecting your home’s pipes.

The Risk of Flushing Prohibited Items

Your toilet and the pipes in your home have a specific job: to get rid of human waste and toilet paper. But when you flush the wrong things, you can cause a lot of problems. Let’s see what these problems can be:

  • Baby Wipes and ‘Flushable’ Wet Wipes: Even though they say “flushable,” wipes can be bad for your toilet. They don’t break down like toilet paper, and this can cause clogs in your pipes and problems in your septic system.
  • Clogging and Pipe Damage: Stuff that doesn’t dissolve, like paper towels, cotton balls, and even cigarette butts, can block your pipes. This can lead to clogged drains, plumbing issues, and even burst pipes if the pressure gets too high.
  • Harming Sewer Lines and Septic Tanks: When wrong items get flushed, they can mess up the bigger sewer system or your septic tank. This can cause backups and even lead to clogged sewers.
  • Cat Litter and Other No-Nos: Cat litter may seem okay to flush, but it’s made to clump and soak up water, which can quickly clog your toilet and pipes.

Remember, flushing the wrong things can turn small issues into big plumbing emergencies.

Can a Clogged Toilet Cause a Pipe to Burst?

Yes, a clogged toilet can lead to a burst pipe. When a toilet gets clogged by an object like a flush wipe, the water and waste can’t flow freely. Over time, this blockage increases pressure in the pipes. Over time, if the clog isn’t fixed, this pressure can build up enough to cause a pipe to burst. This is why it’s important to address toilet clogs as soon as they happen.

Other Items You Should Never Flush

Some other objects that should never go down your toilet because they can cause major plumbing problems:

  • Dental Floss: It can get tangled with other things in your pipes, making clogs worse.
  • Hair & Hair Products: It can be tempting to simply flush away loose hairs or expired hair products, however, doing so can lead to clogs or pipe damage.
  • Medications: They can pollute water and harm wildlife.
  • Food Waste: Your toilet and wastewater system are designed to handle human waste, but not food waste. Different types of foods can stick to your pipes and cause foul odors that linger around your home. Throw your food into a garbage can or down a garbage disposal instead.
  • Feminine Products: These don’t break down in water and can clog toilets and sewers.

When to Call a Plumber for Toilet Issues

If you suspect a clog or have ongoing toilet issues, it’s time to call a plumber. Here’s what they’ll do:

  • Assessment: Upon arrival, they’ll assess the situation to determine the best approach.
  • Equipment Usage: Plumbers use tools like plungers, augers (plumbing snakes), or even cameras to inspect pipes.
  • Clog Removal: They’ll work to remove the clog, ensuring the toilet and pipes are clear.
  • Preventive Advice: Post-repair, plumbers can offer advice on preventing future clogs.

Experiencing clogs or other toilet issues? Anthony Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, & Electric is here to help with toilet repair services any day of the week. Let us handle your plumbing problems and get your toilet back in working order.