5 things you should never flush down the toilet

During the COVID-19 lockdown household toilets are under increased pressure with many South Australian families disposing of alternative toilet paper products. Here we look at the 5 things you should never flush down the toilet and tell-tale signs your toilet is blocked.

Blocked Drains 1

Blocked drains are unsightly, smelly and can wreak havoc at your property. During the COVID-19 lockdown, we’re at home and using the toilet a whole lot more. Your household’s plumbing is under more pressure to deal with the amount of flushing that now goes on. The average person flushes about 5 times a day. For a family of four, this means 20 flushes a day.

With the shortage of toilet paper on supermarket shelves it has resulted in many South Australian families disposing of alternative toilet paper products such as tissues, wipes or napkins down their household loo.

These issues combined have led to a 20% increase in toilet blockages according to SA Water and the Master Plumbers Association.


5 things you should never flush down the toilet

It’s an ideal time to remind the people in your household what can and cannot be flushed down the loo to avoid unnecessary plumbing repairs due to blocked drains.

SA Water recently launched a campaign to educate the community about “fatbergs” – clumps of waste that form in drains and sewers from items that should never have been flushed down the toilet. Fatbergs cost SA Water over $400,000 a year to remove. To make light of a rather unattractive topic, they’ve even come out with a cute new jingle about the 3P’s of what can be flushed down the toilet!

Closer to home, non-flushable items can cause major sewer blockages and result in a trip from the plumber. Have a good chat with the members of your household about the following items that should never go down the toilet.

  1. Tissues – these might seem like a good alternative but actually take longer to break down than toilet paper
  2. Baby wipes – they may be gentle on babies’ bums but they are hard your plumbing. Their fibres are tough and not designed to break down.
  3. Cosmetic wipes – often thought to be a harmless item, they are guilty of being one of the most common reasons for blocked drains in homes.
  4. Paper towels – many people think it’s ok to pop these down the toilet, but again these are not designed to break down easily and will clog your plumbing.
  5. Sanitary products – never put these products down the toilet, always dispose of in a bin

So what can I flush down the toilet?

Toilet paper - that’s it folks!

If you’ve run out of toilet paper and must use paper wipes or other products, keep a small bin in the bathroom and pop the used paper in the bin. Yes you’ll make a few extra trips to the big bin outside every day, but that’s a small price to pay for what could end up being an expensive inconvenience. It won’t be forever; you’ll save your plumbing and you’ll be kinder to the environment.


Tell-tale signs your toilet is blocked

There are a couple of tell-tale signs to watch out for including:

  • Smelly odours
  • Water draining too slowly
  • The water in the toilet is being sucked back after flushing
  • Making gurgling sounds
  • Water level is higher or lower than normal or toilet bowl is overflowing with water

These are all signs you may have a blockage that needs to be attended to.

Got a blocked drain? Give Ken a Call.

Our plumbers work with all toilet cisterns such as the standard closed coupled toilet, concealed cisterns, urinals and more. We carry an array of drain cleaning equipment and tools necessary to clear any blockage on the spot with minimal disruption including hand-held cleaners, electric drain cleaner, hydro-jet and drain cameras.

We’ll arrange an appointment with one of our qualified and experienced plumbers and attend to your plumbing problem promptly. We’ll also happily give you and the family some tips on how to avoid future plumbing blockages.

If your plumbing is struggling to cope with the amount of people in your household during COVID-19 lockdown, or you have blocked toilet or blocked drains. Give Ken a Call on 8364 5855 or book online.

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