Last time on the blog we talked about what some of the things you can do to help keep your plumbing system operating smoothly between professional check ups. One of those points was to ‘Know What You Pour,’ specifically talking about what you are putting down your drains. Well, you might not know what’s bad and what’s ok. So, this time on the blog we wanted to talk about eleven different things that should never go down your drain!
11 Things That Never Go Down the Drain
Eggshells are fine right? After all they’re so delicate, they should break down and drain easy. Wrong! The shells can cause blockages, with their edges catching on the uneven sides of the pipes and making for perfect spots for other things to cling to on their way down the pipe. Even one eggshell can be enough to cause the whole dang pipe to clog, when enough other debris build on it.
Perhaps one of the most common causes of clogged drains, coffee grounds build up along the pipe and eventually cause blockages. Always put your coffee grounds in the garbage, or use them for composting if you are so inclined! Just make sure you’re not throwing them down the drain!
Grease is probably the thing most folks know not to put down their drains. The leftover fat or oil from cooking causes tons of trouble. You ever leave grease in a pan overnight? How it cools and sticks to the surface? Now imagine that in your pipes! Any grease that gets poured into drains coats the sides of the pipe, narrowing the area for flow and eventually clogging entirely. Instead, allow the grease to cool, and dispose of it in the trash.
Flour might surprise you but it’s quite simple. When flour interacts with water it mixes into a sticky substance, which is why you use it in baking but for drains that’s a big no no. That sticky mixture will cling to anything else going down the drain with it and make for a fast clog.
This one isn’t so much a problem for clogging potential, thankfully, but it is harmful for the environment! Old, leftover, or expired medicine is technically medical waste and can be thrown away at facilities with those capabilities. If it goes down the drain it can leach into surrounding environment, messing with the ground and your drinking water.
By now you probably have an idea why this is no good. Stickers from produce are, well, sticky, so they can easily grab ahold of the side of the pipe and make for an obstruction just waiting for more friends to grab on to.
Condoms are made of latex which will never dissolve in water. If they get flushed they’ll simply grab purchase somewhere on the way down along a pipe and get stuck. If they don’t well they might just end up in the ocean where sea life will mistake them for food and choke on them. In short, throw them in the trash!
Despite the descriptions on these products, flushable wipes, or clothes, or even cat litter, are most definitely not safe for flushing. Many of things don’t break down correctly in the waste water and instead half fall apart, half clog the pipes. Just put them in the trash like you would any other version of the product and don’t be fooled by the marketing in the future!
Now paint is a liquid, so it shouldn’t cause a clog (though it is possible,) but it is a hazardous chemical and pouring it in a drain can lead to seriously bad effects on the environment. Take it to a hazardous waste facility instead, or speak with a local hardware store – they’ll know where to throw away your excess paint.
Feminine Hygiene Products
Just like latex condoms, feminine hygiene products don’t dissolve in water. They’re also designed to be absorbent. These two things together mean they are a surefire way to clog a pipe. Don’t risk the bill, just toss these in the trash.
Cleaners or Fluids
Like paint, these chemicals may not ever cause a clog, but they will certainly do a number on the environment. And we just don’t want that. Many cleaners have chemicals that can’t be removed in a water treatment plant and those chemicals will go on, harming the environment wherever they end up. Just don’t do it!
With this list in mind, you should be able to keep your drains flowing smooth! If you have a problem now, or a clog that just won’t quit. You give us a call and our expert plumbers will be out in no time to take care of you, whether it’s a clogged drain or a total repiping we do it all.