Irresponsible garbage disposal is one of the major reasons for clogged drains. Not only does it decrease the life of your drains, but it can also cause various problems frequently. Clogged drains can lead to costly repairs or replacements, which can be avoided by being careful of what you flush down your drains. Clogged drains may also lead to leakages and foul odor, which becomes inconvenient for the whole house.
Here are a few items that should never be flushed down the drains:
Even if the label on your wipes packaging says that they are water-soluble or flushable, they’re probably not. Both, cosmetic makeup wipes and baby wipes are not soluble or decomposable at all. Although baby wipes are soft and gentle, they’ll not break down or disintegrate like your toilet paper. They’ll eventually clog up your sewage treatment process and cause a significant blockage. These wipes eventually glue together with other fats and oils in the drains and contribute to the formation of a fatberg. The clog would require more than a plunge to fix—resulting in out-of-pocket plumbing expenses. It’s a better idea just to throw them in the wastebasket.
According to a report by The Insider, flushing down baby wipes can cost you around $10,000 in plumbing repairs. Other than that, the blockages caused by these wipes can also take a toll on the city’s local wastewater treatment plant. In fact, The New York City Department of Environmental Protection stated that they spend around $19 million a year on plumbing repairs that result from flushing down baby wipes.
If you’re a tired mom whose kid loves pooping in the middle of the night, it’s natural to feel lazy and want to flush the nappy. Whether it’s a nappy or a feminine hygiene product, none of it will breakdown in the sewer. They belong to the trash can and not your drains. This is because hygiene products are designed to soak up any liquid and expand. The blockage impact of these products is so profound that even your next-door neighbor might discover a septic leak at their end.
Flushing down pads, panty liners, diapers, tampons, and other menstrual products is also an environmental nightmare.
Medicines and pharmaceutical products
We have all seen protagonists flush down an entire bottle of pills down the toilet seat for an added dramatic effect. Just like the rest of the contents of the movie, you shouldn’t try this at home. Other than choking up the plumbing system, medicinal drugs could be very harmful to aquatic lives as well. Since most water processing plants can’t filter the medicinal contents, they eventually make their way to the rivers and waterways and contaminate them. This also means that the contents can make their way back into the drinking water stream. If you want to dispose of expired or old medicines, speak to your nearest chemist. They’ll be able to guide you better.
Hair and dental floss
Anything that tangles will choke up the drains and need to head to the trash can. What makes hair an absolutely no-go option is that it can wrap around other objects in the gutter and make a huge lump. Besides, hair never dissolves.
On the other hand, regular dental floss is made up of nylon—which doesn’t decompose. As your nearest grocery store, if they have biodegradable and eco-friendly dental floss. When you flush floss, it turns into a net that can also warp around different parts of the septic system. This eventually narrows the interior of your plumbing system.
Here’s a better idea: collect the loose hair strands and mix them with the soil in your planters. Hair could help fertilize your plants. Or better yet, reach for the bin.
All sorts of oils and fats are entirely non-flushable. When you pour some leftover hot oil down the drain, they join forces with other ‘non-flushable’ items in the sewers and create a solid mass. The same goes for food scraps and leftovers. If your kids have reduced to eat something, give it to someone needy instead of pouring it down the drain. Things like seeds, vegetable and fruit scraps, pasta, and eggshells can clog up both the pipes and the sewer. Tea leaves and coffee grounds are also on the list of the culprits.
If you’re too lazy to head to the bin every time, we recommend using a sink strainer on the top of the plughole so that it catches most of the scraps. It’s also a better idea to wait for the fats to cool down before they’re scrapped. Before you wash greasy pans, wipe them clean with a paper towel. If there is excess oil in the food, save it in a container and seek help from your local council on how to recycle it properly.
Paint, chemicals, and cleaning solutions
We strongly recommend against pouring down any harmful chemicals, paint, abrasive cleaning solutions, and bleach down the drains. All of these chemicals contain toxins that can harm your septic system. When these toxins go down the drain and mix with glass cleaner that contains ammonia, it could create a deadly toxic gas. Always use organic cleaners for your plumbing systems. If you’re using chemicals, read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to dispose of them safely. Better yet, get a professional plumbing service to clean the drains.
The author is a regular contributor to the blog and always has excellent advice on making your plumbing system last longer. The author has also been associated with Pro Serve Plumbing from Fort Worth, Texas as a subject matter expert.
For more tips on how to take care of your plumbing system, seek help from Pro Serve Plumbing. Other than plumbing advice, they also offer emergency plumbing services, leak detection services, water heater installation services, and other kitchen and bathroom installations.
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