If you’re a tenant or a landlord it’s always worth keeping on top of property maintenance. At Annapolis Property Services we work with all types of property and one of the most disruptive problems is when drains become clogged up. We seem to be seeing more occurrences of this with the increased popularity of flush-able wipes.
So, here goes for the list of items most likely to cause problems:
1.Flushable Wipes – it seems the flushable wipes aren’t so flushable…. There have been public awareness campaigns and lawsuits. You will now find these wipes have had to drop the flushable description and warn consumers not to flush them. It’s great to feel super clean, but put these wipes in the trash.
2. Cotton Balls/Cotton Buds – these items aren’t designed for the toilet. All that happens is they expand, clump together and block your pipes.
3. Paper Towels – paper towels are meant to wipe up waste. They are designed to be tough and not to dissolve in water. The biodegradable have the same objectives. Paper towels are also quite large which mean they’re even more of a hazard.
4. Dental Floss – the very nature of dental floss means it won’t dissolve in water, so if it goes down the toilet it ends up getting stuck and tangled in pipes and is effective at catching other things like hard fats, oils, paper towels, wipes and anything else going down the toilet.
5. Feminine Sanitary Products – Tampons are designed to expand rather than dissolve. Flushing tampons is the ideal way to block a pipe.
6. Tissues – facial tissues are again, not designed to dissolve in water. They’re meant for blowing noses, taking off make up. Try drying your hands with toilet paper and you’ll soon see how quickly it dissolves.
7. Band-Aids/Plasters – It’s tempting to rip a plaster off and throw it down the toilet. They are small but they also contain plastic which means they don’t biodegrade.
8. Diapers – Amazingly, diapers are found clogging up drains. There is no such thing as a flushable diaper. All diapers must be disposed of in the trash.
Other things commonly flushed down the toilet that we shouldn’t:
- Pills – no pills should go down the toilet. Our sewage systems aren’t designed to break down medications so they end up staying in our other water systems – lakes, rivers, ponds and oceans.
- Pet Excrement
- Cigarette Butts
The upshot is that it is just human waste and toilet paper that should be doing down the toilet. NOTHING ELSE!
Other than what you are putting down the toilet there are occasionally other reasons:
- The Type of Toilet – low flush toilets are designed to reduce the amount of water being used, however if you have low water pressure or your toilet is over 20 years old you may find there is insufficient power to push waste into the drains.
- Too Little Water to the Tank – If there is insufficient water in the tank of the toilet there may not be enough pressure to push the waste out.
- Hard Water Problems – hard water can calcify and form a white substance that is difficult to remove and reduces the size of the pipe for waste to pass through. An immediate fix is to have a specialist solution to go through your system, but to prevent build up going forward it is a good idea to install a water softener.
- Other Blockages – Problems can be caused by other waste water pipes blocking that then affect the entire system. Examples are blockages from washing machines and dishwashers.
- Old Pipework – collapsing pipes can cause clog problems. Often the first sign of this is sediment backwash or slow drains in multiple toilets. As you would expect it’s best not to wait for everything to stop working before you call a plumber.
Whether you rent or own a property it’s always a good idea to keep on top of any property maintenance.