Many common plumbing problems and clogged drains begin by disposing of the wrong items down your drain. Prevent clogs and avoid plumbing repairs by following these drain guidelines as shared by The Spruce. While some of these may seem self explanatory, others may be less obvious hazards for your home’s sensitive plumbing.
Never flush any of the following items down your toilet, kitchen sink, or other drain:
Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds like to stick together and form a lump in plumbing pipes that just won’t budge easily. So, even a few grounds every day can begin to add up to a problem. Luckily, coffee grounds have uses around the house and are a great addition to garden compost piles. They add nitrogen that helps break down plant material and boost the performance of the soil.
Cooking Grease and Oils: You know what happens when animal fat cools—it solidifies. If it’s poured down the drain when that happens, it blocks pipes. Even vegetable oils like olive, corn, and coconut that don’t fully solidify coat pipes and trap other food particles.
Allow animal fats to harden and dispose of them in a trash receptacle. Reuse oils when possible or check with your municipality about recycling cooking oil.
Rice and Grains: When water is added to rice or dry grains, they expand. If you pour them down the sink, they do the same thing and clog the pipe. Add the grains to the compost pile or dispose of them in a garbage bin.
Eggshells: Eggshells take a very long time to dissolve in water. And, even if they are ground up in a garbage disposal, the membranes can cause clogs to form. The best way to dispose of eggshells is to add them to the compost heap or toss in the trash.
Doughs and Batters: Just as uncooked rice and grains can swell in water, so can batters and dough. Take the time to add it to the compost pile or scrape it into the trash before washing bowls and utensils to prevent rinsing it down the sink.
Paint: Pouring paint down the drain can leave your sink permanently stained and your pipes in need of a plumber. Every type of paint should be disposed of properly to prevent the chemicals from entering our groundwater.
Most waste management companies will accept paint cans that have a small amount of paint that has been allowed to dry out before disposing of the can. Paint can also be mixed with kitty litter before disposal. Full cans are considered hazardous waste and you should contact a waste management collection center for proper disposal procedures in your area.
Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides: While some household cleaning products recommended for cleaning a sink or toilet contain hazardous chemicals, the concentration is low. Most hazardous products like paint thinners, lacquers, or dry cleaning solvents should never be poured down a sink. The same applies to garden pesticides.
Contact your local waste management collection center about proper disposal methods as it can vary between locations.
Flushable and Nonflushable Wipes: Many brands of personal hygiene wipes claim to be flushable but none of them are actually that good for your plumbing system. Attempting to flush too many wipes forms a ball that will clog the toilet and never dissolve. The same is true for condoms and feminine hygiene products. Keep a small lined trash can beside the toilet for their disposal.
Paper towels, cotton balls, make-up pads, and disinfecting wipes for cleaning or hand sanitizing should also be disposed of properly in a trash can—never down the toilet.
Kitty Litter: Even kitty litter box brands that promise to be flushable are better placed in a lined trash can or composted properly. Small amounts of litter add up and can form clogs especially in the tanks of septic systems.
Prescription Medications: If you dump a bottle of pills down the sink or in the toilet, while it’s possible they will form a clog, they usually dissolve. The real problem is that those chemicals are entering the water system affecting living organisms and our food supply.
Avoid Expensive Plumbing Repairs By Following These Guidelines For Your Drain and by reaching out to our team of professional plumbers at the first sign of a drainage issue. We work quickly to correct issues with your plumbing to restore full function to your home or business.
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We proudly serve the many communities of Southeast Texas, including Beaumont, Bridge City, Groves, Lumberton, Mauriceville, Orange, Port Arthur, Port Neches, Silsbee, and Vidor. From small repairs to major reconstructions, our team is here to find the best plumbing solutions for your space. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can increase the functionality of your space.