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Think Before you Flush

One would think everyone is aware of what not to flush down the toilet, but some people use the toilet as a trash disposal. Plumbers have reported things like cellphones and children’s toys being cleared from toilets. An average call to a plumber for drain cleaning can cost you up to $200, and clearing a severe blockage can cost up to $500.

The following 10 items are things that you must NEVER flush down the toilet:

1. Feminine Products

Tampons and other feminine hygiene products are designed to absorb and expand. When they are flushed down the toilet, they can expand to the point where this might cause them to not pass through pipes.

2. Cooking Grease/Food

Grease should never be poured down any drain, period. It may go down like a liquid but as it cools, it congeals and can clog up your pipes.

3. Baby Wipes/Wet Wipes/Cleaning Pads

Even if the brand says it’s flushable, the paper does not disintegrate as fast as regular toilet paper does. It is increasingly causing clogs and backups in sewage pipes across the country. If you must use these, throw them away in the trashcan.

4. Dental Floss

Floss is not biodegradable which means it does not break down and can cause serious clogs in your pipelines if it gets tanged with anything else in the pipe.

5. Q-tips/Cotton Balls

You might think that cotton will break down, since some toilet paper is made from cotton but they don’t! They will clump together and this will cause clogging at bends in the pipes.

6. Diapers

Diapers are made to expand in water similar to feminine hygiene products. In the unlikely case you really get the diaper to flush, it will likely get stuck in the U-bend of the pipe.

7. Pills

You may think it is a good idea to dump pills in the toilet. They wont get stuck in the pipes but they do have toxic effects on water and wildlife. They become diluted to harmless levels but can disrupt the biology of aquatic animals.

8. Paper Towels/Tissues

Paper towel are not meant to disintegrate in the water the way toilet paper is. Even three-ply toilet paper breaks down very easily in the water but paper towels will not break down and cause expensive clogs.

9. Kitty Litter

Litter can be properly disposed of in the trash, compost, or by properly recycling it. As litter gets wet it clumps together purposefully so that a cats litter box can be properly cleaned. When it is dumped in the toilet it can clump together to clog your pipes.

10. Hair

Hair is known to clog showers, sinks, and toilet plumbing. The hair can create giant balls that can block pipes, plumbing and sewers. Hair can be thrown into the garbage or can be composted.

As a tenant, knowing what can damage your septic tank or clog your plumbing can stop you from disrupting your life and prevent your management company from charging you. As a property owner knowing what can clog your sewer lines can save you large unexpected expenses and reduce your returns.

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