Why these 10 things don’t belong in the toilet

One of the most common plumbing issues we encounter is blocked toilets and drains. Too often we find the culprit of blocked sewer pipes to be everyday household items that people have mistakenly flushed down the toilet. With many products stating they are now flushable, it’s easy for homeowners and businesses to be confused.

But this confusion can come at a big cost.

Flushing the wrong things down the toilet can block pipes, increase foul odours and interfere with the performance of your plumbing and sewer systems. To ensure your toilet is always working when you need it, here are 10 things that don’t belong in the toilet:

  1. Nappies – mostly made of plastic, nappies don’t break down in water and tend to expand when wet, causing blockages. Even biodegradable ones shouldn’t be flushed.
  2. Feminine hygiene products – sanitary pads and tampons don’t break down in water. If flushed down the toilet, they add bulk to your pipes, increasing the chance of blockage. 
  3. Makeup wipes and cotton balls – together with cotton buds, these products won’t break down in water – instead, they will clump together and can clog your pipes if flushed. 
  4. Flushable wipes – while certain wet wipes are marketed as ‘flushable’, they don’t disintegrate like toilet paper and should be disposed of in a bin, not in your toilet.
  5. Medications – If you have medication that is past its use-by date, don’t flush it away as it’s difficult to break down and represents a risk to the greater environment.
  6. Tissue or paper towel – despite their similarity to toilet paper, tissues and paper towels don’t break down the way toilet paper does and can cause blockages if flushed.
  7. Kitty litter and cat waste – toilets are meant to flush water-soluble waste which means dehydrated cat waste is not good to flush. Kitty litter should also not be flushed.
  8. Dental floss – when floss is flushed, it can turn into a net, catching and holding onto other debris. This can clog your pipes and cause serious blockages down the track.
  9. Hair – hair can also form a net when flushed, encouraging debris to clump together in your pipes. It also never dissolves, creating even more risk for clogging your system.
  10. Food waste – while food will eventually break down, flushing food scraps and food that hasn’t been digested down your toilet can still clog your pipes and cause major issues.

If in doubt, stick close to the 3 Ps – Pee, Poo and Paper (toilet paper). These items ARE designed to be flushed down the toilet and will not cause issues with your pipes or your plumbing. Even if another product is branded as ‘flushable’ (such as wet wipes), steer clear of them as they could cause major plumbing costs and inconvenience for you down the track.

Whatever your plumbing problem, OP Plumbing Services is here to help. Your local plumbers in Sutherland, we’re ready to tackle your home plumbing issue or larger commercial projects. Give us a call on 0417 299 820 to get immediate assistance and emergency support.

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