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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Avoid Toilet Overflows – Don’t Flush These!

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

man plunging his clogged toilet SERVPRO is here to help with water damage from clogged toilets. Give us a call today for assistance!

If you’re like most people, most likely you’ve had that moment when you’ve flushed the toilet and thought, “I’ve just flushed something that maybe... I shouldn’t have.”

If you thought right, you’re left with rising water, floating debris and a call to your plumber of choice.  The thought that you may have harmed your pipes hasn’t even crossed your mind yet and the likelihood of that can really add up if so.

Here’s a list of things that are “unsinkable’ and will more than likely cause overflow to your toilet:

  1. Feminine Hygiene Products – These items are designed to expand and retain fluid. They are not dissolvable and need to be properly disposed of in a trash can.
  1. Flushable Wipes even though they are advertised as such, most brands of towelettes should never be flushed down the toilet. They don’t disintegrate like toilet paper and will likely lead to backed-up sewer lines.
  1. Condoms – Most are latex and will take years and years to biodegrade. Proper disposal involves wrapped them in toilet paper and putting them into a waste can.
  1. Disposable Diapers – Even the smallest size is likely to clog a toilet if flushed. These dirty “surprises” should be wrapped or rolled up and put into a trash receptacle in a plastic bag.
  1. Cotton Swabs (Q-tips) – Whether you use them to remove make-up or clean your ears, the toilet is not the recommended resting place. They will likely get stuck in the bends of the drain and snag everything else that would normally pass through. Big trouble after that!
  1. Paper Towels – This product is designed to hold up when wet. The fact that it won’t breakdown means it will clog for sure. Better off disposing of these in a trash can.
  1. Dryer Sheets – I unexpectedly find these in my clothes quite often. These sheets won’t dissolve when they get wet and they contain chemicals can harm your water system.
  1. Dental Floss – It’s very easy to drop dental floss into the toilet after use. Floss is not biodegradable and has the tendency to wrap around other items in the drain and cause other problems

If you should incur a clogged toilet, fill a pan with hot water and pour it down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes. You’ll know if your efforts were successful if you see the water start to recede. Then, give the toilet a flush. In most cases, the hot water is enough to break up whatever is causing the backup.

For the cleanup of unsanitary water from an overflowing toilet, SERVPRO of East Erie & Warren Counties has what it takes to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us at (814) 636-6760.

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