But what many people aren’t aware of the damage these objects can cause to the sewage pipes, not to mention the backflow you will have in your bathroom. In fact, numerous objects have been pulled out of toilets that weren’t even garbage, such as credit cards, cell phones, diamond rings, children’s toys, and things you wouldn’t even imagine. While we are not always sure of how exactly they got down the drain in the first place, they can cause a sewer backup – a huge mess that nobody wants to deal with.
While anything that goes into the toilet must come out, it can cause severe destruction in the process, such as damaging septic tanks, city wastewater treatment plants, your building materials, and not to mention dealing with the embarrassment when the plumber finally pulls the object out. So before you stick anything into the toilet other than what is meant for it, check out this list of what not to flush down the drain.
Items NOT to Be Flushed Down the Toilet
- Pills. You are right in thinking that a pill could never possibly cause a blockage because it doesn’t absorb water or clog the toilet because of its size; however, it is considered toxic to the environment and wildlife because of the drugs it contains. Do the world a favor and throw them into the garbage.
- Dental Floss. Many times when throwing floss away, we will aim for the garbage but it ends up in the toilet instead. You may think to yourself if it really is worth it to reach in there and get it out. Yes, it is. Floss is not biodegradable and will clog the toilet when flushed down.
- Cotton balls and Q-tips. Yes cotton and Q-tips are soft and easy to pull apart, but water will not break it down. In fact, it will clump together and create blockages within the drain, causing a sewer backup.
- Diapers. Just because the diaper contains human waste from the baby it does not mean that they are ok to throw away. The material is like a sponge and it will absorb the water, clogging the drain and causing it to overflow.
- Cigarette butts. They are not eco-friendly when squashed into the ground and they are certainly not biodegradable when flushed down the drain. They are toxic and full of chemicals that can contaminate the freshwater going into you and your neighbor’s home. If you must smoke, be sure to dispose of all butts properly.
- Paper towels/tissues. We have seen this one before when an owner had picked up dog feces from the floor, using a paper towel and proceeding to flush it down the toilet. Only minutes later there was toilet water all over the floor, seeping into the basement, and dripping onto the pool table below. They learned very well not to flush paper towel again.
- Baby wipes/cleaning pads/wet wipes. While many cleaning products are becoming more and more eco-friendly, they are still not made to be flushed down the drain. They are actually one of the main causes of sewer backups around the country as some of the boxes say that they can be flushed; they can NOT. Do yourself a favor and throw them away instead.
- Feminine products. You know what we mean. Women see it in public bathrooms all the time and it still happens. Please save everyone the headache and yourself the embarrassment by throwing them in the garbage.
- Food/grease. As you may know, pouring cooking grease down the kitchen sink will cause blockages and damage the pipes. The case of sewage pipes is very similar, and no, water will not carry the food down the pipe. To dispose of the grease properly, pour it into a can or bowl, let it harden overnight, and scrape it into the garbage in the morning.
Sewage Contamination Accidents
Now that you are aware that nothing should be flushed down the toilet except for human waste and toilet paper, you shouldn’t have a problem. But unfortunately, accidents still happen. Kids find toilets fascinating when they see objects disappearing down a small hole, just by pulling a lever. They can put whatever they want down the drain and cause a backup.
Pets can also be the culprit of putting their toys in the toilet, and some are even smart enough to push down the lever. Before you know it, wastewater is all over the bathroom floor and the toilet is squeaking because of the toy caught in the pipe.
Sewage Backup Cleaning
In the event that you have found a sewage backup from your toilet, don’t hesitate to call for a plumber and a professional sewage removal service. Once the plumber has fixed the pipes, the sewage backup cleaning professionals will extract the water from the floor while restoring and disinfecting the building materials.
When searching for a sewage backup cleaning service, consider contacting your local ServiceMaster as many provide emergency sewage backup cleaning, in addition to water damage restoration services. Their professionals will arrive within two hours and fully clean the building materials with advanced products and equipment. With their experience, you can be sure that the bathroom will be cleaned and rid of all bacteria, odors, and wastewater in no time.