No matter how old you are and how many years you’ve been flushing toilets, you’ve probably been in a situation in which your first instinct was to dispose of something by flushing it down the toilet. Here’s the bottom line: only toilet paper and human waste should be flushed down the toilet. Period. It’s not so much that certain items won’t go down the drain—most toilets are impressively powerful—but that they shouldn’t be flushed in the first place. Whether there are environmental concerns or the proper function of your plumbing is at stake, some things just aren’t meant to be flushed down the drain.
Rooter Group Inc. has seen firsthand the effects of misguided disposal from numerous customers who’ve called for emergency drain service in Etobicoke. Below are just some of the many inappropriate products that have clogged drains in our service area. Some of these items are very common, while others are a little more offbeat:
- Feminine products: You’ve seen the signs in public restrooms urging customers not to flush feminine hygiene products. The reason is that cotton tends to snag very easily and break down very slowly.
- Diapers: Flushing a diaper successfully may seem like a feat of engineering, but it’s more common than it should be. Diapers won’t break down, and it doesn’t take more than one to create a nasty blockage.
- Hair: Hair will tangle in a pipe just as easily as it tangles on your head. Avoid clogging your drain with leftovers from your brush or in-home haircut.
- Food: While a piece of bread isn’t likely to harm your pipes or take forever to biodegrade, most other food isn’t so easy on your plumbing.
- Dental floss: Like hair, dental floss seems innocuous—until it gets caught on a root or wrapped around an existing clog. It’s also not biodegradable.
- Cat litter: Litter that’s labeled “toilet-safe” seems too good to be true, and unfortunately it is. It’s possible to introduce diseases and parasites into the water by flushing contaminated cat waste, and the litter can form clogs in your pipes.
- Gum: This seems harmless, too, but consider how easily gum sticks to the bottom of a shoe—and how hard it can be to remove.
- Cigarette butts: They aren’t biodegradable, and they’re loaded with chemicals. Cigarette butts do not belong in the toilet.
- Animals: While “burial at sea” is frequently resorted to by owners of deceased fish and even some small rodents, it’s a terrible method as far as your plumbing is concerned.
- Medications: Disposing of old medications via the toilet introduces toxic chemicals into the water supply and can harm fish and other marine life. Perhaps even more alarmingly, those medications can eventually find their way into our drinking water.
Hoping to avoid making a call for emergency drain service in Etobicoke? Keep these items—and anything else that isn’t toilet paper or human waste—out of your toilet. But if something is accidentally flushed, or if your toilet is clogged, give us a call as soon as possible—we’re glad to help.