Drains and toilets are among the most resilient parts of your plumbing system. In general, your pipes are equipped to handle a lot. However, there are certain things that should never go down your drains, regardless of how commonplace it may be to get rid of them that way. It doesn’t matter if your plumbing system is weak or strong, new or old, if you’ve been flushing these items, putting them in your garbage disposal, or otherwise forcing them into your pipes, now is the time to stop.
The Top 17 Items You Should Stop Putting Down Your Drains Are:
- Coffee Grounds: Yes, it’s true! Even though those coffee grounds are small and dissolve easily, they can also form clumps overtime, and accumulate to create clogs. Next time you’re cleaning up from that morning pot of coffee, throw your grounds in the trash instead.
- Eggshells: Another common misconception is that eggshells are harmless, because they break apart so easily. This is sadly not true. When the garbage disposal grinds them into small bits, the pieces can easily get stuck in fat and grease and other residue to create thick clogs.
- Grease, Fat & Oil: Speaking of grease, this I one of the greatest sources of plumbing problems. Grease, fat, and oils account for almost 50% of sewer overflows, because they are hard to break apart, and easily stick to other substances, like egg shells. Bottom line: don’t wash grease in your sink. Put it aside, let it melt, and then throw it away.
- Produce Stickers: A sneaky but important one, those produce stickers you’re forgetting to take off of your fruit can easily get stuck in your pipes, and cause issues with your water supply.
- Drugs and Medications: While you’re probably not flushing most medications anyway, it’s important to keep pills away from your drains, as medications are terrible for your water supply, and have been shown to have a toxic effect on people nationwide. Make sure to toss those old medications instead.
- Condoms: Latex does not disintegrate, and human fluids are the last thing anyone wants in their water. Plus, they can cause clogs.
- Tampons & Pads: See above.
- Cotton Balls/Other Paper & Hygiene Products: See above.
- Cleaning Products: Antibacterial agents, phosphates, and other chemicals in paint are all harmful to the ecosystem. Fortunately, there are more green-friendly cleaning products on the market now to help reduce their effects.
- Paint: Like cleaning supplies, unless you’re sure your paint is eco-friendly it’s best to toss it, as the toxins in paint can be extremely harmful. And even if it is eco-friendly, it’s still probably best to throw it away, just to be on the safe side.
- Flour: Flower congeals and hardens inside of pipes. As a matter of fact, this goes for pretty much any powders, so make sure to trash them all.
- Pasta/Rice: The high starch content in pasta and rice means they are likely to continue to expand in your pipes, so large amounts should be tossed rather than put in the garbage disposal.
- Potato Peels: Another starch culprit, potato peels can turn to mushy clogs that linger in your drains.
- Bones: See eggshells, but much worse. The sharp edges of bones are too much for most garbage disposals, and can actually tear through older pipes.
- Hard Fruits & Rinds: Yes, it’s easier top put these items in the garbage disposal than throwing them out. But the tougher the fruit, the more likely it is that it won’t be ground up properly.
- Raw Meat: The fattiness on raw meats is terrible for your drains, and can easily cause clogs, in addition to posing risks for your water resupply.
- Fibrous Fruits/Vegetables: Fibrous fruits and vegetables are great for you, but terrible for your drains, as they can easily get stuck in garbage disposal blades.
Now that you know what not to do, you can keep your plumbing system in great shape for years to come. And for when you do need plumbing work, make sure to contact All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical. Our San Bernardino plumbing experts are equipped to deal with drain clearing, as well as other types of bathroom and kitchen plumbing.
Call (909) 253-0664 now for pro service, or fill out our contact form online.