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Don’t Stick That Down There: How You’re Ruining Your Pipes

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It can be extremely tempting to use your toilet as a trash can: Simply throw the item away with a whisk of the water. However, before you send your artifacts to their watery grave, consider the damage you could be causing to your pipes. Not only could you potentially contribute to environmental risks if your sewer system becomes backlogged, but it could also mean placing a call to your plumber to repair your toilet’s drainage system. While certain wastes are acceptable to take a ride in the porcelain whirlpool, it is imperative that you keep other objects out. Here are five items to avoid flushing down your toilet:

1. Diapers.

While diapers most certainly contain flushable items, the diapers themselves are not to be placed in your toilet. Doing so will cause serous blockage and extensive damage to your sewer system, pipes and toilet.

2. Cosmetics

Yes, it is definitely easier to flush your stumpy eyeliner pencil down the toilet instead of using the trashcan all the way downstairs, but landfills are the best place for these items to go due to their chemical properties. Additionally, depending on the size and weight, they may settle into a preexisting crack or crevice and cause further damage.

3. Tampons and Sanitary Napkins

The cotton fibers of these items snag easily so if your pipes have any root infiltration or cracks, the cotton may become caught in the line. While you may think that flushing a few times will do the trick, water buildup can occur and you may be faced with a serious clog and extensive repairs.

4. Trash

Floss, cigarette butts, dryer sheets or large wipes may be easy to send spinning down the drain, but these items are not biodegradable and can lead to potentially serious clogs in your drainage system. Just because the products appear to fit down the drain does not mean they will travel to the destination without difficulty. You could potentially cause a blockage of sewer pipes for your entire neighborhood depending on the type of your system.

5. Cat Litter

Cat litter, when wet, becomes very heavy even without your cat’s presents in it. When you flush your cat litter, even if it is a handful of particles from sweeping around the box, it will sink to the bottom of the pipe and promote clogs in your sewer system.

Flushing any of these items can be harmful to the environment or your plumbing system. Always remember that many water treatment plants are simply not capable of removing, filtering or destroying pharmaceuticals or chemicals from the water; simply place the trash in its proper receptacle instead of flushing it down the toilet to save yourself from many headaches and costly repairs.

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