Reliant Plumbing Blog

Is it Flushable?

As humans, we have become accustomed to several luxuries which over time have become essentials. Modern plumbing and toilets are definitely at the top of the list. Perhaps not the most glamorous of luxuries, but luxuries nonetheless. Toilets are absolutely necessary no matter where we go, which is why it is so important to take care of them and be mindful of what we flush down them. Here are a few items that should NEVER be flushed down a toilet:

Items not to flush:
1. Baby Wipes/Napkins/Paper Towels- these are created to absorb liquids without breaking down, so the toilet is not the best option when it comes to disposing of them.

2. Floss-not only is floss non-biodegradable, but when flushed, it has the ability to wrap around everything else that has gone down the toilet which can cause a major clog.

3. Cotton Balls and Q-Tips- cotton does not break down and has the tendency to attract other materials to attach to it which can cause major blockages in a toilet.

4. Feminine Hygiene Products- feminine products are made with the purpose of expanding when exposed to liquid so it’s never a good idea to flush them.

5. Male Contraceptives- while they may be thin and appear to be harmless, they have the ability to expand and stick to surfaces and are an absolute nightmare for septic tanks.

6. Cigarette Butts-cigarettes do not break down and contain tons of chemicals that can spread into the water supply. Always dispose of them in the trash.

7. Cat Litter- kitty litter clumps when exposed to moisture, which is exactly why it should never be flushed.

8. Band-Aids- not only are they sticky, but plastic is extremely harmful to water systems. Also, they can stick to other materials and cause clogs.

9. Fat/Grease/Oil- even if you flush it as a liquid, it will eventually congeal into a wax-like substance destined to clog your pipes.

If you are not convinced by the list above, then try this “flush ability test.”

Fill the toilet bowl with water, place some toilet paper in the toilet and do NOT flush leave it in there for about a hour. When you come back and check on it you should notice that the toilet paper has started to disintegrated, other times like we mentioned in the list above (wipes, Kleenex, napkins, paper towels) will most likely remain intact. If the items do not start to disintegrate like the toilet paper you are safe to say it should not be flushed down the toilet. You run the risk of a blockage in your pipes or even a clog in a pump station if your home has one. This could lead to a sewage back in your home or place of business. As a quick reminder: The drains that connect your home to the main sewer are often no wider than 4 inches.

Now we know that clogs and blockages sometimes happen, if you encounter a clogged toilet or any clogged drains in your home or business. You know who to call your Austin emergency plumber: Reliant Plumbing

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