Category Archives: Clogged Toilets

What You Can Flush Down the Toilet — And Lavatory Lies We Have All Believed

The toilet: a porcelain throne designed for one purpose, yet used for many. For some, the toilet is a small but necessary part of the day: a quick pit-stop in the middle of a busy routine. For others, the toilet is a place of comfort and relaxation: a seat on which to linger, located inside a room that is sometimes the best option for peace and quiet. While both of these toilet treatments are acceptable, there is one that is not. The time has come to spread the message: the toilet is not a trashcan.

Our plumbing experts here at 1-800-anytyme know it’s important to discuss the toilet and how to use it properly. Toilet users should know which items should and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, helping you save money and the environment! Read on to learn more about your toilet, and contact our team to schedule professional toilet repairs today!

Flushing Your Toilet: Where Does the Waste Water Go?

Once a toilet is flushed, toilet water (and everything else in it) is sent through pipes on a property that are connected to the city’s municipal sewer system. Once in the sewer, toilet waste water is sent to the city’s wastewater treatment facility. There, wastewater from homes, along with wastewater from businesses, industries, and other properties, is treated by a variety of processes to reduce or remove pollutants.

Wastewater treatment facilities use a number of methods to reduce and remove pollutants from water. These methods include primary treatments, which involve screening and settling out large particles. All municipal water treatment facilities also employ secondary treatment methods, which use bacteria to remove microscopic organic materials, as well as chlorine to kill off bacteria and disinfect water. Some municipal treatment facilities take things a step further and employ a final, advanced treatment process to reduce the presence of pollutants that are of special concern to the local waterbody (such as nitrogen or phosphorus). Once treatment is concluded, the water is piped back into the local water supply.

Bringing it All Together: Water Treatment, Plumbing, and What Goes Down the Toilet

With modern municipal water treatment facilities in place, it would seem that virtually anything could be flushed down the toilet — after all, it would just be filtered out, right? Wrong. Even the most advanced water treatment facilities can only filter certain materials out of water. There are other materials, such as many inorganic substances, that will remain in water even after filtration. Further, some substances are simply difficult for water treatment facilities filter out of water—if they even make it that far. Many large, solid objects flushed down toilets can damage plumbing and get stuck in pipes, leading expensive repairs and replacements for private property owners.

To keep your local water supply clean and protect your plumbing from unwanted damages, it’s vital that you flush only permissible items down the toilet. In the following sections, we cover which items should be flushed down the toilet, and which items should be saved for disposal by alternate means.

Things You Should Flush Down the Toilet

It may surprise the average property owner to read that the list of things you should flush down the toilet is surprisingly small. However, if given just a moment of thought, the “toilet shortlist” makes perfect sense. After all, toilets are designed to do away with human excrement and nothing else —flushing other items down these bathroom fixtures just doesn’t make sense (and can, in fact, cause significant damage in a number of ways). The list of things you should flush down the toilet includes:

Human excrement. The true purpose of a toilet—to do away with human excrement. (This includes both number 1 and number 2.)
Toilet paper. Toilet paper is a necessary item for many toilet-related duties. It is also fairly easy to filter and is best disposed of by being flushed down the toilet.

Things You Should Not Flush Down the Toilet

The above list covers all of the things that should be flushed down the toilet. As you can see, it is quite short. All items not on the above list should not be flushed down the toilet. This includes all other and liquids and solids — including a vast list of things that may disappear after being flushed.

Do not be fooled: if it disappears down your toilet, it can still cause damage down the line. Below is a list of common items that should not be flushed down the toilet (as well as reasons why they should not be flushed).

Household products such as cleansers, beauty products, medicine, auto fluids, paint, and lawn care products. Wastewater treatment facilities are designed to treat organic materials, not inorganic hazardous chemicals. Flushing these chemicals down the drain can lead to the contamination of your local rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.
Excess household grease (such as meat fats, lard, cooking oil, shortening, butter and margarine), diapers, condoms, and personal hygiene products. These materials can clog pipes and lead to costly plumbing repairs. In some cases, they can cause raw sewage to overflow in your home or yard, or in public areas, which can in turn lead to contaminated waterways.
Motor oil and photographic chemicals. These chemicals are hazardous and cannot be completely filtered by municipal water treatment facilities. Their presence in the water supply can lead to severe water contamination.
Large solid objects. Thinking of flushing your trash down the toilet? Think twice. Large solid objects can often et caught in pipes, which can lead to costly plumbing repairs and replacements for you.

Other Toilet and Bathroom Myths

To conclude this guide, we’ll spend a bit of space discussing and debunking several toilet-related myths. Ranging from the weird to the downright dangerous. Believing them could lead to environmental degradation, property damage, and money out of your pocket.

Myth #1: “Flushable” toilet wipes are okay to flush down the toilet. These wipes may be marketed as “flushable,” but most of them aren’t nearly as biodegradable as toilet paper. They can clog pipes and contaminate waterways.
Myth #2: A brick placed in the back of a toilet tank will save water. Bricks may take up space —but they’ll also deteriorate over time and cause other things in your toilet to break. The intended effect can also backfire, leading to too much water displacement and a necessity to flush twice.
Myth #3: Toilet bowl tablets that contain bleach will keep the toilet clean. Cleaning your toilet bowl with bleach may seem like a good idea, but it’s really quite the opposite. If the tablet contains bleach and is designed to sit in the tank, it will destroy the working parts of a toilet within months. Nobody wants to have to buy a new toilet.

Toilet repairs and replacements From 1-800-anytyme

Even with the best toilet etiquette, accidents still happen. If you have a busted toilet in your home or business, it’s best to contact a professional in your area to address the problem efficiently and effectively. Here at 1-800-anytyme, we are proud to offer toilet repairs and toilet replacements to homes and businesses across the greater San Diego, CA area. Follow links above to learn more about our professional services, and head over to our Blog to read helpful posts on leaky toilets and more. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact our team today!

Sources

What Can You Do to Protect Local Waterways? Where Does the Dirty Water Go? United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). December 2002. https://www3.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/centralized_brochure.pdf

Vista Plumbers Cite the Most Common House Calls

Vista Plumbers expose most common plumbing problems

Vista PlumbersWhile most professional plumbers are trained to resolve all kinds of gas and plumbing issues, Vista plumbers say most of the jobs they take care of are rather repetitive. The same issues are tackled over and over again, especially from residential areas. As such, they become more established experts in solving this particular set of problems and can get the job done quickly.

The most common house calls plumbers in Vista, CA take are for the following:

  1. Leaky pipes – These can create massive amounts of damage around the house, but most homeowners do not really want to get into those tight spaces where the pipes are so they always seek the aid of local plumbers.
  2. Dripping faucets – These are easy enough to fix, but most folks do not really have an organized system of remedying the situation and would prefer not to deal with the mess and extra wetness that may ensue.
  3. Clogged toilets – These are nasty problems and no homeowner really wants to deal with these directly.
  4. Running toilets – These waste a lot of water and require the technical knowledge and skills of the pros. Repair has to be carried out in a systematic way and it’s always smartest to have the experts perform the task.
  5. Clogged drains – Ones that cannot be remedied by all sorts of powerful drain liquids and are already flooding up certain parts of the house need special equipment and even repair skills of highly experienced plumbers.
  6. Low water pressure – The root cause of this can only be determined and solved by real plumbers.
  7. Ineffective water heaters – These are such an inconvenience for homes. The problem is that most homeowners usually have limited knowledge about the complete functionality of these implements. Plumbers are called in to determine the reason why a heater doesn’t heat up as expected – and usually, it’s because it is not big enough for the needs of the household. Plumbers can then help improve the functionality of the current system and provide sound advice on usage if homeowners do not want to replace the system with a new one.
  8. Installation of new plumbing implements – This job is completed much faster with the services of plumbers. In an hour (or even less), everything from heaters, to new faucets, to additional pipes can be in complete working order.

So, if your home has any of these problems, don’t hesitate to call the Vista plumbers at 1-800-anytyme right away; they’ll take care of it easily so you will be inconvenienced no more.

These Common Clogs Can Be Prevented

The 5 Most Common Clogs in Toilets

Vista Plumber1Flushing certain items down the toilet can be far more troublesome than just an occasional clog.

Not only are you going to cause expensive problems for the plumbing lines down the line, but you are also wasting more water each time you flush the toilet.

In addition, your local water treatment plant was designed to only treat certain items, and certain things being flushed could lead to significant blockages that can disrupt the water treatment process.

Here are the five most common clogs in toilets, and things you should never flush down the bowl.

1. Sanitary Napkins and Tampons

If you want to know the item that causes the most clogs in the toilet, it is tampons and sanitary napkins. The cotton in these items can easily get snagged in any cracks, imperfections, or tree roots that may have penetrated the plumbing lines.

After only a few flushes, the clog gets bigger as more items stick to the napkin and tampon. If the clog occurs further down the line, it can be very expensive to have a plumbing repair company remove the debris.

2. The Cigarette Butt

Cigarettes should always be thrown in the trash, never down the toilet. Many people rather than put out the cigarette, simply drop in the toilet to put out the flame, then flush it down.

The components of the cigarette will never break down, and once they form a clog in your pipes by attaching to other items stuck to the side of the pipe, you will have a serious clog that needs professional attention.

3. Dental Floss

Vista Clogged-ToiletDental floss can be a serious problem when flushed down the toilet. Just like cotton, the string easily attaches to imperfections inside the pipe, then attracts other items to it as they are flushed. Because the floss will never break down, it only accumulates more debris until the line is completely clogged.

4. Paper Towels

After cleaning the bathroom with paper towels, throw them in the trash and not the toilet. One paper towel can easily get trapped in the tight turns of the plumbing system and turn a small clog into a very big and expensive problem.

5. The Dryer Sheet

Don’t be fooled by the lightweight nature of the dryer sheet, not only will it not break down in the water, it is full of toxic chemicals that make it to the treatment facility.

They can easily get stuck on anything in your pipes, and will quickly lead to a serious clog. Throw these in the trash and not the toilet.

Problems with the clogged toilet in your Vista home? Don’t panic, just Call 1-800-Anytime at (760) 477-2222, and we’ll take care of business.