7 Things You Should Never Put Down Your Drain
Posted by Drain King Plumbers on 05-04-2021
Our home plumbing systems can be a lot more sensitive than you think! Letting food and other bulky items disappear down the drain might seem like a convenient shortcut to throwing them away, but when you do this often or with the wrong items, then you could end up dealing with a severe clog down the line.
The problem with our plumbing is that most of us have an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude towards our pipes because they are hidden away under our sinks, walls, or flooring. This means that any blockages or leaks most likely won’t be noticed until the damage has been done.
Your household plumbing is an intricate system that requires the attention of professional plumbers to spot issues and correct them before they become major problems. There are many things you can do as a homeowner in order to avoid blockages, but the biggest is watching what you place down your drain.
Today, we’ll walk you through the 7 things that you should never put down your drain!
1. Coffee grounds
Coffee grounds are not water-soluble, which means they remain solid even when washed down the drain. You should never toss your coffee grounds into your sink. Some might have heard that they help to deal with pipe odours, but if you take that advice, it could result in a clogged drain. In addition, coffee grounds tend to get stuck on other debris in the pipe such as oil or fat. Instead of throwing your coffee grounds down your drain, you can compost them, use them as plant fertilizer, or toss them in the garbage.
2. Fats, oils, and grease
Any types of fat, oil, and grease should never be poured down your kitchen sink. This is because once they cool off, they create a sludge that will solidify inside your pipes. Over time, it builds up and creates a blockage in your pipe. It also encourages other things to stick to it, causing an even bigger issue in the long run.
3. Paper towels
Have you ever been in a pinch and used paper towels instead of toilet paper? Well, you should consider being better prepared next time! Paper towels do not break down in the same way that toilet paper does; they dissolve a lot more slowly. This means that they can clog your septic system, which might lead to sewer repairs. Always throw paper products into the garbage.
4. Sanitary products
Flushable wipes actually aren’t flushable. Even if a product’s packaging claims that they are safe to flush does not necessarily mean that you should. Most of the time, the cotton used to make these products gets caught on the inside of your pipes and contributes to a huge pipe clog. So, rather than take the risk of flushing them down, just throw them away.
Many would be surprised to learn that this common baking product is bad for your pipes. In fact, flour is one of the biggest contributors to plumbing issues. Like fats, flour becomes very sticky and tends to form on the interior of your pipes. When flour mixes with water, it forms into a paste-like substance. The accumulation of flour in your pipes causes clogs and other issues. Always dispose of flour and other starchy food in the garbage or compost.
6. Fibrous foods
Celery and asparagus are two examples of fibrous foods that should never go down the drain. These foods have stringy fibrous strands, which can get caught inside of your pipes where they will help to build a clog. If you have ever cleaned out a chunk of hair from your drain, it looks very similar to a fibrous food clog. Be careful with such foods and make sure they end up in the compost and not in your pipes.
7. Hair, dental floss, and other stringy things
In the same vein, try not to let hair down your drain either. It’s not just long hair we’re talking about here, but also short hair or facial hair, which can be just as damaging. Hair has the ability to gather quickly in your pipes since it gets caught on everything. Try your best to use a drain hair catcher and collect any hair with your hands while you shampoo. If you shave over your sink, then you should collect and sweep up any fallen hair and throw it away.
If you have a clog that is not easily solvable with a toilet plunger, then you shouldn’t try to deal with it by yourself. Plumbing systems can be complicated, and most of the plumbing tools and unclogging products that you find at your local hardware stores are largely ineffective.
You should absolutely never try and clear a blockage using any chemical drain cleaners. These cleaners always contain corrosive chemicals, which will eat away at your pipes and cause holes and leaks in them.