What Not to Flush: How to Prevent Clogged Toilets

Clogged toilets can become a big problem, especially if the clog is gradual and you don’t realize there is one until you suddenly have a flood. Depending on the severity and cause of the clog, your toilet can overflow, you can have flooding and, in what’s probably the worst case scenario, your entire septic system can back up and spew waste into your home. Clogs can also damage your pipes and compromise the city sewer system. It can negatively impact the plumbing health of everyone connected to the sewer.

How to prevent clogs

The simplest way to prevent clogs is by not flushing things that should not be flushed down the toilet. Here is a list of examples of things you should never flush:

What Not to Flush: How to Prevent Clogged Toilets

Diapers

Flushing diapers is a big gamble and, more likely than not, will cause a big, fat, nasty clog. Even if they claim to be biodegradable and flushable, it’s safest to ditch them in the trash.

Sanitary napkins and tampons

Although it may seem convenient to just drop these items into the toilet, the plumbing problems it can cause can be very inconvenient indeed. Feminine hygiene products do not easily break down and can block pipes. If you keep flushing the toilet, not knowing there’s a blockage, you can make matters worse by adding to the clog, making it more compact, tight and tougher to loosen.

Baby wipes

Even flushable wipes can cause clogs, especially if there is any accumulation already in the pipes. Thrown them in the trash; better safe than sorry.

Floss

You might be shocked to learn that this thin, barely visible string that fits into the tiny space between your teeth can cause clogs, but it can. Floss does not break down, is sticky from the wax and can get snagged in toilet paper and cause clogs.

Grease

Grease is a sticky, fatty substance that thickens, hardens and wreaks havoc on your pipes. It can damage the entire sewer system.

Paper towels

Paper towels are thicker and bulkier than toilet paper, and they do not break down, making them more likely to get stuck in the toilet.

Use your common sense. If it’s not human waste or toilet paper, you probably shouldn’t flush it. In fact, you should even avoid flushing too much toilet paper at once. If you feel like you’re going to need to use a lot of paper, flush at intervals so that not all of the toilet paper is going down at the same time.

Sometimes, however, things go down the toilet by accident, such as a cell phone or a child’s toy. In that case, you should try to recover the item to prevent it from clogging the toilet. However, if the item is too deep inside the pipes, is stuck or you are otherwise unable to recover it with a reasonable amount of effort, call the professionals rather than risk scratching or damaging the toilet. Luckily, Levine & Sons is here to help! Contact us for any plumbing needs.