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The COVID-19 scare has caused a lot of changes to our world, and one has been the rise in plumbing issues as Americans try to eliminate any possible risk of exposing themselves to the virus. Unfortunately, in people’s haste to dispose of trash as quickly as possible, they’ve inadvertently created a rise in the number of calls for a plumbing service.
That’s because the virus scare has kept people inside their homes in St. Petersburg, FL and elsewhere in the world, which has led to people flushing some of their trash instead of throwing it in the garbage. However, the toilet is not a garbage disposal and was never meant to be used as such. The only things that should ever go down the toilet are toilet paper and human waste, and when you put anything else down the toilet, you risk needing to call a service sooner rather than later.
However, there are some things you’re much more likely to get away with than others. Without question, these items should never go down your toilet — no matter what!
These are by far the biggest offender on the list, because most people don’t realize just how bad they are for their pipes. After all, don’t they say “flushable” on the label? Sure, but just because a product can go down the toilet doesn’t mean that it should.
The reason that flushable wipes often necessitate a plumbing service call is because these wipes don’t break down in water the way toilet paper does. Even if you’re using strong 2-ply toilet paper, if you submerge it in water for a minute, it’s going to practically dissolve. Flushable wipes, on the other hand, will not dissolve in water.
If they don’t dissolve in water, how do they break down? Answer: they don’t. They often end up accumulating and causing serious clogs in your pipe, which results in you having to find an emergency plumbing service that can clear things out. Just because these wipes say flushable doesn’t mean you should ever flush them; toss them in the trash.
Did you know that hair can expand up to 30 percent longer than its normal length? If you put hair down your toilet, you’re going to find this out the hard way. Hair causes real problems when it gets flushed for two reasons: it expands in length and it can get tangled in other things that come down the pipes. When hair expands, it can get stuck in your pipes and attract other items, causing a clog to get worse.
The same principle holds with hair getting tangled. When hair attaches itself to an item that’s coming down your pipes, it results in a bigger item coming down the pipes. Usually, the result is a blocked pipe at your St. Petersburg, FL home and a need to call for a plumbing service.
Ground coffee tends to clump together in water, not break apart. When you cause any item to clump together inside your pipes, you end up creating a major blockage that isn’t easily fixed.
Bottom line: if there’s anything that doesn’t break apart when you put it in water, it doesn’t have any business going down your toilet. Be smart and throw them in the trash.
Flushable wipes are the worst offenders simply because most people don’t know how much damage they can do to their pipes. But when it comes to blockages that necessitate a call to a plumbing service, nothing causes more issues than diapers.
Think about it: the purpose of diapers is to absorb wetness and keep it away from a baby’s skin. If something absorbs wetness, should it really be going down your pipes, especially if it’s going to expand when it absorbs water?
The answer is a resounding no. If you send a diaper down the toilet, you’re going to need to find the number for a quality plumbing service in short order, because you’re likely going to have a burst pipe pretty soon.
Human waste goes down the toilet with ease, so why doesn’t animal waste? It’s because your cat’s waste tends to get harder after your cat relieves itself, which makes it easy to scoop out of the litter box. However, it makes it difficult or even impossible for that waste to break apart in water.
Throw in that cat litter is meant to clump together when it gets wet, and you’ve got an obvious need for an emergency plumbing service if you happen to flush litter down your toilet. Always scoop your cat’s litter into a trash bag and dispose of it properly.
Menstrual Pads and Cotton
When it comes to going down your pipes, these really aren’t much better than diapers. The only reason these aren’t as bad is that they don’t have a definite shape and can split apart easily while they’re being used. But once they get down the pipes and get into the water, these are a serious problem waiting to happen.
Much like several of the other items on this list, these items are meant to expand in the water rather than break apart. Whenever anything expands in the water, you’re going to need to call a plumbing service, because chances are that it’s going to catch more items that come down your pipes and create a clog that will need the work of a professional to fix.
At Drain Flo Plumbing, we hope that you’ll do all you can to prevent clogs from appearing at your home. But if you’ve made a mistake that requires the help of a plumbing service, we’ll be here to help. Give us a call when things aren’t flowing properly; we’ll be happy to clear away the clog and keep your pipes operating the way they should!