Summertime is a time for loved ones. With school out all season long, now is the prime time to visit family. Although enriching and enjoyable, hosting family from out of town can certainly pose some challenges, especially when kids are involved. Yet somehow, regardless of age, house guests tend to cause some plumbing challenges during their stays, particularly with the toilet, which is problematic considering the acute importance of having a functional toilet at all times, even more so when people are staying with you! So, if you are preparing to have family come into town for a visit, do your due diligence to ensure they don’t flush the wrong things down the toilet. Your plumbing and sewer system will thank you!
Continue below for a list of things that you might want to warn your house guests about before showing them to their rooms!
Stick to the Obvious Flushing Rules
People tend to overlook the fact that most things do not belong in the toilet. Other than human waste, and toilet paper, nothing else should be flushed down the commode. This makes the list of incompatible items quite long, as you can imagine. But when it comes to house guests, there are some items that are more commonly a threat to your toilet. Give your guests a customary orientation on what not to flush down your toilets and sleep easier knowing you won’t be waking up to a mass overflow or backup.
Common Items That Should Not Be Flushed Down the Toilet
Avoid inconvenient toilet disasters and costly plumbing repair bills by telling your guests not to flush these items down the toilet:
Moist Towelettes and Wipes
Moist towelettes, disinfecting wipes, alcohol pads, and bathroom wipes should not be flushed. Even bathroom wipes that are advertised as “flushable” are not really flush-friendly nor do they disintegrate well. These items are notorious for causing backups in sewer systems and plumbing pipes. This can lead to pipe bursts, water leaks, and hefty repair bills.
Paper towels and tissue are also bad news for toilets. They should never be flushed, even if they are totally saturated.
Items like tampons, maxi-pads, disposal underwear, incontinence products, and more are not meant to be flushed. These items expand in water and will quickly clog up your system. Rather than flushing, instruct your house guests to wrap them in toilet paper and toss them into the trash bin. The same applies to contraceptives like condoms.
Cotton Swabs, Balls and Pads
You wouldn’t think something as small and flimsy as a cotton swab or cotton ball would harm your plumbing system, but as it turns out, they are a common culprit behind toilet and sewer system backups. Like the other items listed, cotton balls, swabs, and rounds are made using highly absorbent materials, so they expand inside plumbing pipes and obstruct the flow of wastewater. Never allow your guests to toss these into the toilet.
Disposal and cloth baby diapers should be an obvious flushing no-no, yet they tend to top the list as far as toilet clogs go, especially in public restrooms. Never attempt to flush a diaper down the toilet, no matter how small or clean. They are large and highly absorbent, making them an instant plumbing obstruction.
Although the Fourth of July comes once a year, fireworks tend to linger all summer long. But do not let your curious niece or nephew drop a firecracker down the toilet! Placing a lit firework in the toilet will break the toilet, guaranteed. And if it doesn’t crack the porcelain bowl entirely in half (which is what normally occurs), it will damage the internal trap and fail to hold in the water. Can you say, toilet replacement?
Dead Fish and Amphibians
You may have been raised flushing dead goldfish, crawdads, and minnows down the toilet, but this is actually bad practice. Not only can fish and shellfish caused obstructions in the sewer system, but sometimes they are not actually dead, which can lead to an infestation. Stick to burrowing your dead pets or tossing your deceased fishy into the neighborhood pond.
Additional Items to Warn Guests About:
□ Dental Floss
□ Dryer Sheets
□ Razor Blades
□ Plastic Wrappers
Are you having toilet or plumbing issues? Do you need plumbing service or repair before your family arrives for a summer visit? Contact Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 when you need professional and affordable plumbing services for toilets, drains, showers, tubs, water heaters, water softeners, and more. We serve residential and commercial clients in Indianapolis and throughout Central Indiana.