It’s the little things you send down the drain that end up becoming the worst problems in the future.
People tend to ignore the limits of their plumbing systems because they aren’t visible. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong.
While it’s convenient to flush everything away, abusing the plumbing system eventually leads to failure. All this does is inconvenience everyone involved and lead to potential health problems. Getting sick and suffering from poor water quality because you let your hair run in the shower for too long is the last thing anyone wants.
It doesn’t take much for a clogged drain to escalate. Whether it’s slow drainage, leaks, flooding, or sewage problems, all it takes is a single mishandled strand of hair to get the ball rolling. Prevention comes from being aware of the causes of clogged drains.
Here’s a handy list of everything you should never pour down your drain:
Hair is a leading cause of blockages. Strands quickly form clumps when combined with sticky substances. While you can’t control hair loss, you can prevent it from slipping down the drain by using a simple drain screen or tweezers after every bath.
Soap scum forms when a bar is exposed to hard, mineral-rich water for a prolonged period. When it builds up, it becomes difficult to remove, creating clogs and bacteria breeding grounds.
It’s because of this that liquid soaps are notably gentler on the plumbing system. Bars tend to leave a thin film, which can also stop the flow of water.
3. Food, Oil, Grease, and Fat
Can you pour oil down the drain? What about grease; can you put grease down the drain? After all, isn’t it what the garbage disposal is meant to do? No. It’s far more beneficial to throw these undesirables into the trash can instead. Oil, grease, and fat buildup can potentially block water flow.
“But, they’re liquid, so shouldn’t it be fine if I dump it with hot water?”
Doing this only quickens the coagulation process and hardens said liquids, creating blockages that are impossible to clear without professional tools. Instead, put them in a melt- and leak-proof container, allow them to cool, and dispose of them elsewhere. Depending on where you live, some businesses and institutions accept and recycle them as well.
Other food items to avoid allowing down the drain are:
- Uncooked rice,
- Coffee grounds,
- Flour, and
Can you pour bleach down the drain? Despite being a cleaning product, bleach should not be disposed of in a drain. When bleach is exposed to other cleaning products containing ammonia, it forms chloramine gas. Its fume causes irritation and poses various health risks.
5. Leftover Paint
Paint contains chemicals. When dumped into the sink, it can contaminate the soil and water and potentially harden inside your pipes. Let it dry instead, then throw it in the trash.
6. Motor Oil
Besides the clogs it can form, used motor oil pollutes the environment. In fact, irresponsible disposal is already deemed illegal in some places. If you need to dispose of it, call your local waste center.
7. “Flushable” Wipes, Paper Towels, and Cotton Balls
Despite what the name suggests, wet wipes are always better off in the trash than your toilet.
Paper towels and cotton balls are designed to absorb water, so, by default, they don’t dissolve and break down fast enough to avoid clogging. You only exacerbate the problem by disposing of them in the toilet or any other drain regularly.
8. Feminine Products and Cosmetic Debris
These do not dissolve in water. Tampons expand when exposed to moisture, and condoms are made of rubber, which is not biodegradable.
Tissue may be soft, and cosmetic debris (e.g., powder, foundation) may be small, but these can pile up in large quantities. By the time you realize something’s off with your plumbing, you may already be several months too late.
Your plumbing system works day and night, but it isn’t meant to last forever. By simply choosing to dispose of your waste in a trash can, you’re safeguarding both your pipes and your finances from drowning.
Are you worried that you’re guilty of any of the acts previously mentioned? Call us at A Better Plumber for an inspection. Having been in the business for a decade, we will let your plumbing system breathe again. We’ll send in the best plumber serving Thornton, CO, and offer fair and affordable pricing! Customer satisfaction and labor warranty are guaranteed. Call us at 720-579-8122, and schedule an appointment now!