While you may not know much about what is going on inside of your plumbing system, you can still protect it against clogs and corrosion by being careful about what you flush down your drains and toilets and contacting a licensed plumber as soon as you start to see problems with your plumbing.
To prevent your home’s plumbing system from failing, take caution when doing everyday things such as tossing your dinner scraps down your kitchen sink or rinsing your paintbrush in the bathroom sink. Don’t allow your system to come in contact with certain materials that can cause damage to your plumbing and prevent costly repair fees down the road.
What Should You Never Put Down Your Drain?
Here is a list of 10 things you should never put down your drain, why they are hazardous to your plumbing system and how to properly dispose of them.
Flushable Kitty Litter
It may have the word “flushable” in the name, but, inconveniently, that description is not accurate. Even the “flushable” brands of cat litter have been known to clog toilets and drains and create major problems for septic systems. Cat litter can also pick up bacteria from your cat’s feces. This bacteria is resistant to the chemicals used to treat water, which means it can eventually be found in the water supply where it can be a threat to wildlife.
Grease, Fats and Oils
When it comes to things like meat fat, bacon grease and frying oil, make sure to properly dispose of them instead of flushing them down the drain. These substances have been known to lead to kitchen plumbing woes. They act as a binder for other materials that have been put down the drain and create thick, sticky globs that can coat your pipes until they no longer allow anything to pass through. The best way to get rid of grease, fats and oils is to allow them to cool and use a rubber scraper to remove these items from cookware, plates, utensils and cooking surfaces. Then, put them in a container and dispose of them in your trash.
Coffee grounds are one of the most likely sources of kitchen sink clogs. Despite popular belief, coffee grounds are not small enough to safely flush down your drain. They will stick around in your pipes and most likely cause clogs.
Cotton Balls and Paper Towels
Cotton balls and paper towels may be biodegradable, but their absorbent design makes them very prone to clogging your pipes. Be sure to dispose of them in your trash and not your toilet.
Things that you use around your house such as household cleaners and car fluids do not necessarily cause clogs in your pipes, but they can be harmful to the water supply. If they are washed down the drain, they can eventually get mixed into the water supply. To properly dispose of car fluids, check with your city, or a local auto parts store to learn about disposal guidelines and household hazardous waste removal options. Using all-natural cleaners can also reduce the risk of polluting our water supplies with toxic chemicals.
Medication may not be the biggest threat to clog your pipes, but no one wants your personal medications running through their water supply. In the past, it has been shown that chemicals present in personal care and pharmaceutical products have contaminated 80 percent of streams that were tested throughout 30 different states. Keep the water supply clean by following the Food & Drug Administration guidance for safely disposing of unused or expired drugs. The best way to dispose of these items is to drop them off at a drug take-back site, location or program immediately.
Those little stickers that come on all of your produce may seem perfectly harmless but they can cause major issues with your plumbing. The small amount of adhesive that is on them can still stick to the inside of your pipes. They can also get caught in wastewater treatment pipes and filters, which can cause damage to the equipment used to treat your water.
Pouring paint down the drain is one of the worst things to wash down your drain. Most locations have rules and regulations about paint disposal. Depending on where you live, you may have to dispose of paint at a household hazardous waste facility. The big problem with washing paint down your drain isn’t that it will damage your pipes, but it will allow multiple toxins and chemicals into the water supply.
When you wash eggshells down the drain, you may think your garbage disposal will take care of them, but it actually grinds them into small pieces that get stuck to grease and oily substances and create a thick and sticky mess that can easily clog your pipes. Make sure to dispose of your eggshells in the trash.
Feminine Hygiene Products
Although some people may debate that it is okay and more sanitary to flush feminine hygiene products down the toilet, plumbers who have had to deal with a toilet clog because of these products will disagree. The products do not dissolve in water, which means they will most likely get stuck. If they happen to make it through your pipes, they can cause severe damages to your septic system. Properly dispose of feminine hygiene products by carefully wrapping them and placing them in your trashcan to avoid damages and a pricey plumbing bill.
Get All of Your Questions Answered with Indiana American Water
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