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Protecting Your Pipes: What You Can’t Flush down a Toilet

When it comes to maintaining our homes and their many systems and appliances, toilets are often considered last. People often see toilets as watery trash cans that can flush any garbage away as long as it’s small enough. Well, these views are not only wrong, but they can do long-lasting damage to your pipes and can incur a large repair bill as well.

What Not to Flush

Although they may look small and harmless, many household products can actually be very dangerous for your plumbing. These everyday products can be broken down into three categories:

  • Paper Products: paper towels, “flushable” wipes, tissues
  • Food Products: leftover foods, fats, grease
  • Health Products: medications, tampons, bandages, Q-Tips

The main reason that a lot of these products can’t be flushed is that they don’t naturally break down in the environment, so they can sit in landfills or pipes for years. Medications and other smaller products may break down, but they can seriously contaminate the environment later on.

Impact on Your Pipes

The pipes of your house are similar to human arteries: They carry substances through endless corridors and are always at risk of losing their smooth walls. Just like arteries with plaque, your plumbing system is exposed to substances that dry and stick to its walls.This causes the tubes to become increasingly narrow until they are blocked entirely. When this happens, your home is at risk for a sewage backup or worse—a burst pipe beneath your home.

How to Protect Your Plumbing

You don’t have to wait until your toilet is clogged to think about your pipes. In fact, there are a number of easy methods to keep your house (and plumbing system) running smoothly. Switching from chemical treatments to more natural methods can also help your pipes last longer, as chemicals eat away at the metals of your pipes and may not clear your clogs. Pouring ½ cup of salt down your toilet followed by boiling hot water is a safe, environmentally-friendly way that clears clogs and saves you money.

If you’re concerned about possible build-ups in your pipes and would prefer to prevent expensive repairs, give us a call today at 208-232-2458 or check us out online to help your pipes last a lifetime.

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