There are a lot of ways that one’s plumbing can begin to have problems. Some ways are more common than others. So, if you’re having a problem with your plumbing, it’s pretty likely that it was caused by one of these things. Take a look at these 4 common causes for plumbing problems and how they present themselves. You may just figure out why your plumbing isn’t working the way it should.
In part 1 of this series, we’ll talk a bit about user error and how it leads to flushing problems.
If your plumbing problems are primarily manifesting in flushing issues, it’s likely due to user error. This isn’t necessarily your fault – it could have been anyone in the household or even someone who lived there before you.
One of the most common user errors with toilets is flushing things that shouldn’t be flushed. This can lead to frequent clogs, ineffective flushing, and even the toilet backing up. So, what is it that shouldn’t be flushed?
Sanitary wipes of any kind should not be flushed. That means baby wipes, adult sanitary wipes, cleaning wet-wipes, etc. You may have found some wipes that say “flushable” on the box. This does not mean they’re actually flushable. What this means is, they’re less likely to clog your toilet than some other wet wipes. The truth is, these wipes still cause problems and will end up in the big-picture sewage system where someone else has to fish them out. Not a pretty picture, is it? For your benefit and the benefit of your sewage plant workers, put your sanitary wipes in the garbage.
If you or someone in your house uses menstruation products, it’s important for them to know that they can’t be flushed. People flush tampons especially often. These can cause all kinds of problems in your plumbing.
Paper towels, facial tissues, napkins, and more. These paper products may seem similar enough to toilet paper that they can be flushed. It’s not true! Toilet paper is designed in such a way that it dissolves fairly quickly, becoming one with the waste that’s already in the sewage system. These other products are made to resist breaking down easily, so that they’re more effective for wiping things up. They’ll clog your toilet and end up in the sewage system, more or less intact.
Kitty litter is another common offender. For many cat owners, flushing kitty litter is common practice. This primarily became a common practice due to clumping litter. Litter that clumps when damp makes scooping soiled clumps out of the litter box and into the toilet an obvious solution. However, this is terrible for your plumbing. Kitty litter of all kinds is made to absorb water and expand. You can guess what happens when it enters your pipes. It absorbs water from the toilet, expands, and creates a blockage.
What to Flush
When it comes down to it, there’s a really easy guide on what you should and shouldn’t be flushing.
- Bodily waste
- Plain liquids (Things you would drink)
- Toilet paper
- Use anything aside from what’s listed above
If you follow this handy guide, you’re unlikely to have any future flushing problems caused by user error.
If you’re looking for a solution to an existing problem, give us a call at POM Plumbing! We look forward to bringing your toilet back to working order. For more common causes for plumbing problems, check out part 2 (available next month).