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Have you ever seen a commercial for flushable wipes? They’re meant to seem like a great addition to your bathroom routine: they allow you to feel perfectly clean, and when you’re done, all you have to do is put them down the toilet like toilet paper. It seems almost too good to be true.
Well, that’s the problem: it is too good to be true. In fact, flushable wipes are one of the main reasons that people have to call for an emergency plumber, because they can cause serious issues with the plumbing at your home. The truth is that they’re just one of the products that can cause real problems with your plumbing, and if you put any of them down the toilet, you can look forward to searching for an emergency plumber in the very immediate future. Here are some of the worst things that you can put down the drain!
Are you surprised to see paper towels on this list? Much like flushable wipes, paper towels would seem to be a candidate to go down the drain without any problems, because they don’t seem to be all that different from toilet paper.
But if you’ve ever taken a good look at paper towels, you’d know why toilet paper goes down easily and paper towels lead to a call to an emergency plumber: paper towels are meant to absorb water, not break down in it. Toilet paper goes down easily because it breaks down quickly in water, making it easy for it to dissolve as it travels down the pipes. Paper towels don’t dissolve, however, which makes them a plumbing problem waiting to happen.
Q-tips are often used improperly, but what makes matters worse is that they’re also disposed of improperly. When you try to flush a cotton swab, you’re running into one of the same problems that you do with paper towels: they don’t break down in water. Let these go down the pipes in your home, and there’s a very good chance that you’ll need a professional to clear out the damage.
These might be the single worst thing that you can ever put down your toilet, because not only do diapers not break down in water, but they expand because of the gel inside them. While they’re expanding, what’s going to happen inside a confined space like your pipes? The answer is simple: they’re either going to cause a total blockage, or they’re going to cause your pipes to burst. Both of those situations are a disaster for your plumbing and are going to require a call to an emergency plumber — immediately.
Isn’t waste waste? Not at all. Cat litter comes with two major problems: one obvious, one less obvious. The most obvious one is that cat litter is meant to clump up in liquid, and anything that gets packed tighter when it’s put in water is not going to go down your pipes properly.
The second one is that cat waste contains a toxin that’s known as Toxoplasma gondii, which can be damaging to humans with compromised immune systems. That’s not going to cause you to have to call an emergency plumber, but it’s a bad idea to put it down the drain because it puts others at risk. Much like what everyone has gone through with the coronavirus, putting anyone at risk is a risk that’s just too great.
Pads and Tampons
Just like diapers, pads and tampons going down the drain are a total disaster waiting to happen. Just like diapers, pads and tampons are both meant to absorb liquid, and that makes them incredibly problematic for your pipes. Trying to flush either of these items means that you’re going to need to call for a professional rather quickly.
When you put coffee grounds in water, what happens? You get a delicious cup of coffee, but what you don’t get is dissolved coffee grounds. Instead, you’ve got to throw the grounds away after they’ve been used.
If coffee grounds aren’t going to break down when you put them in your coffee maker, what’s likely to happen when you put them down your toilet? Answer: nothing good. The only thing that’s likely to happen is that you’re going to have an emergency plumber visiting your Heath, TX home.
Aren’t tissues made like toilet paper? Just like paper towels, tissues are made to absorb, not to break down. Even though tissues are easy to tear and seem like they would break down well in water, it takes them a while to dissolve in the water. In turn, that leads to fatbergs in the plumbing system, which leads to clogs throughout the water supply.
Floss is great for cleaning out your teeth, but string isn’t really great for going down your pipes. String can wrap around flushable wipes and other things that aren’t supposed to be put down your toilet, and in turn, that makes a bad situation into a nightmare that requires the services of an emergency plumber.
Just like dental floss, hair isn’t meant to go down your drain because of the damage that it can do to your pipes. But unlike floss, there’s another real damage with hair going down your pipes: hair expands roughly 30 percent when it’s wet. If it never gets a chance to return to its normal size, what’s likely to happen? You probably know the answer by now.
The truth is that sometimes, calling an emergency plumber is an unavoidable situation. But with a little bit of knowledge, you can minimize the risk that you place on your pipes. At bluefrog Plumbing and Drain of Northeast Dallas, we hope you’ll never have to call us for emergency plumbing at your Heath, TX home, but we’ve got the knowledge and experience to help you out if the worst occurs. Contact us when you need the help of an emergency plumber!