Most of us are fortunate to have flush toilets in the comfort of our homes. We no longer require an outhouse to go about our business. But we also don’t have them as backup in case of emergencies when something makes it way into the toilet bowl, clogging up the works! These telephone calls happen all too frequently, and we want to help you be proactive. Your toilet is not a dispose-all in addition to your garbage bin and not everything breaks down properly going through the toilet pipes. Blockages often occur because pipes are not straight and materials can collect in the bends of connected pipelines. Also worth noting is the pipes are typically no wider than 4 inches (about the equivalent length of a lighter).
That said, if your toilet begins to back up on you, we want to be your first call. Trying to fix the problem yourself with just a plunger is not always a great idea.
It might seem like a harmless idea to flush those expired pills down the toilet. The fact is they can contaminate groundwater and impact wildlife. Approximately 30% of Canada’s population depends on groundwater sources.
Do not flush:
- Paper towel: If it’s advertised as ‘strong’ and ‘won’t shred’ – this applies inside your toilet too. Your municipal green bin, on the other hand, can handle paper towels, napkins, and facial tissues.
- Diapers: Just because they can handle your infant’s poop doesn’t mean your toilet can handle the plastic that makes up the composition of the diaper. Wipes and diapers go into the garbage can.
- Cotton balls, gauze, band aids, Q-tips, floss, condoms: None of these belong in your toilet. Again, they are made of material that does not break down in a way that pipes can accommodate them.
- Feminine hygiene products: Similarly to diapers, sanitary products are not made to break down. These should also find their way into a garbage bin.
- Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) and food: When grease goes down a drain or into pipes it cools and solidifies. Basically becoming a wax clog. The garbage can is your best bet.
- Automotive liquids, paints, paint thinner, solvents, etc: These are all Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) materials and require being brought to a community recycling centre to be properly disposed.
- Hair: In the same way hair clogs shower and sink drains, this can happen in your toilet too. Hair bunches and becomes compact (case in point: your hairbrush) and can be problematic in your toilet pipes. Garbage and compost bins are recommended.
- Cat litter: The problem is not what your cat is putting in the litter, it’s the litter itself. Litter is made up of clay and sand which have a weight and will collect in the pipes and not dissolve or move through. Even if the litter says it’s “flushable” ere on the side of caution and put it in the garbage.
This is not a full list but covers the common items found in your home. Plungers can only go so far to help clear out the obstruction. When you call Adam’s Plumbing and Pumps we offer no emergency pricing.