Flush this, not that

Plumbers IndianapolisTrue story. Last week, our plumber Austin made a house call to my own daughter’s home. The toilet was clogged. And we all needed someone to blame, so we naturally assumed my own grandson (as cute as he is) tried what all kids do—send a toy down the sewer system.

See the photo to the right. That’s Austin being one of the best plumbers in Indianapolis by querying the situation. All he got was deny, deny, deny from Gavin. Who believes a kid!? Well, Gavin is as honest as the day is long. It was not a toy. It was simply backed up and needed a good snake.

This situation made me think… what else should we not put down the toilet? A quick Google search gave me an interesting list. I removed the stuff from this list we all should know about already. And I learned anything that says disposable probably really isn’t (baby wipes for example). Only flush toilet paper.

  • Chewing gum: Don’t flush it. It never dissolves. And it can adhere to other stuff you’ve flushed to clog up the toilet. Wrap it in paper and toss it in the trash.
  • Hair: Also, never dissolves in water. In fact, it floats and can get caught on its way out the toilet, snagging whatever comes its way. Throw it in the trash can.
  • Dental Floss: Floss is not biodegradable and can cause serious clogs and environmental damage. Put it into the trash.
  • Q-tips/Cotton Balls: OK, so we all might think cotton breaks down. Isn’t some toilet paper made of cotton. (Cottonelle, right?) Turns out it will clump together and stop up the pipes at the bends.
  • Pills: Pills have toxic effects on groundwater supplies and wildlife. There are many community-based programs where you can dispose of old pills correctly.
  • Tissues and paper towels: Again, wouldn’t we all think these dissolve like our toilet paper. Nope. They are not made to dissolve like toilet paper; throw them in the trash.

Here’s a great story on the TODAY show website that outlines more stuff we shouldn’t flush.