While it may seem like common sense, certain items such as baby wipes, can in fact cause serious blockages in the toilet, according to expert plumber Sean Richardson. This could result in repairs which could cost hundreds, so it is best avoided in the first place to avoid this.
1. Baby wipes
The expert said: “Be wary of the flushable label, it could end up costing you hundreds of pounds.
“One of the biggest offenders we see most regularly are baby wipes. Although many baby wipes are labelled as flushable, they do not break down like toilet paper.
“They could clog your pipes, leaving you with an overflowing system.” To avoid this, make sure they go directly into the bin.
Flushing baby wipes could result in a cost from anywhere between £50 to £200.
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2. Feminine hygiene products
Feminine hygiene products should never be flushed down any toilet as they can cause blockages as they twist and clump together.
They can form a sort of solid mass, according to the expert, stopping any water and toilet paper from going down.
The expert said: “A lot of these products are designed to expand when they come into contact with moisture and do not break down in water.
“When these products are flushed down the toilet, they can get caught in the pipes and accumulate other debris, leading to blockages.”
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3. Dental floss
While this may seem like a harmless one to flush, flushing floss can significantly heighten the risk of blockages, even if you only do it once.
This is because it does not break down in water, meaning once it is in the toilet, it will stay there.
Sean noted: “When you flush some floss down the toilet, it can wrap itself around any debris which may be lurking in the pipes like hair, wipes and toilet paper, which can create a solid mass.”
Hair should be kept out of drains and toilets at all costs as we’ve all seen how it can clog up drains, and the toilet is no different.
The expert said: “When hair enters the drain, it works similarly to how dental floss would, wrapping around other bits of debris and creating massive blockages.
“When hair is flushed down the toilet, it can get caught in the trapway, which is the curved part of the toilet that connects to the drainpipe.
“As more hair accumulates, it can create a mass that blocks the trapway, making it difficult for water and waste to pass through.
“Hair does not break down easily in water, so it can accumulate in the sewer system and cause backups and overflows.”
5. Paper towels
Paper towels and tissues do not break down like toilet paper, according to the expert, resulting in blockages in pipes or damaging sewage systems.
Paper towels are often thicker and more absorbent than toilet paper, which means they can also absorb more water and expand in size, making them difficult to pass through the pipes.
Sean continued: “Plasters definitely shouldn’t be flushed as they are another product that are not designed to dissolve in water.
“They can become tangled with other materials in the plumbing, which will wind up clogging the toilet. Plasters may also contain adhesives or other substances that contribute to the build up of fats, oil and grease in the sewer system.”
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