Many people may get confused with the purpose of a toilet and mistake the common toilet bowl for a trash can. It is not until the toilet starts to backup and overflow all over the floor that people realise the error of their ways.
Sometimes the culprit can be items falling in the toilet and being flushed without realising. Children love to play around the toilet bowl and find it intriguing that their little toys can just suddenly disappear without a trace.
It may be a better idea to remove over toilet shelves to avoid the possibility of items falling in and decrease the risk of clogging of drains.
Damage from toilets blocking can be extremely messy and unsanitary to say the least. Repairs can also be very costly if the blockage is under the slab or cannot be located easily or is extensively blocked up.
If items are not degradable, then they are not flushable. It can be difficult to determine if a product really is suitable to flush especially as items like nappy wipes, tampons and even diapers can be labeled flushable.
Common items that are flushed and likely to cause issues are:
- Nappy wipes
- Feminine hygiene products including tampons and panty liners
- Excessive amounts of toilet paper
- Hair, hair ties, brushes and combs
- Dental floss and chewing gum
- Soaps and clip on toilet cleaners
- Condoms, bandages and cotton balls
- Coffee grounds and cigarette butts
- Cat litter
- Pets – like goldfish and small rodents like mice
How Will I Know If My Toilet Is Starting To Get Blocked?
Tell tail signs that your toilet drain is beginning to partially block include:
- Rising water in the toilet bowl
- Bubbling of water or a gurgling
- Slow or a weak flush
- Low toilet water level created from blockage causing a vacuum effect
Keep it simple when deciding what can be flushed – human waste and toilet paper only. Toilet paper is designed to disintegrate quite quickly and easily passes through the waste drainage system.
With water saving toilets and the desire to save the environment often people select the half flush option, but if you use excessive toilet paper you may need to select the full flush option to help assist passing the paper through the pipes.
When you flush the toilet the waste leaves your toilet and travels through the drains in your home and then connects to the local city sewer system.
Everything that you flush down the toilet is your responsibility and it is important that you know proper flushing etiquette.
Everyone is responsible for what goes down the toilet drain and not only should you be cautious that the items that you flush are only human waste and biodegradable toilet paper so as not to block the toilet drains, you also need to avoid flushing items that may cause damage to sewer systems like: caustic soda, chemicals and poisons etc, grease and oils, food and medicines, paints and solvents.
These items may contribute to the chance of blockages but worse than that they can damage the sewer system that we all use.