Want Happy Pipes? Never Do These 3 Things

If you’re like most people, taking care of your home’s piping system isn't always front-of-mind… until something goes wrong. The good news is that many piping issues stem from making the mistake of sending something down the pipes that shouldn’t go down them. To minimize backup or clogging caused by sending the wrong thing down the drain, follow these three rules:

1. Never flush solids down the toilet. Your toilet’s piping system is meant to handle two things: waste and toilet paper. Flushing anything else is a bad idea, even if the product says “flushable” on the packaging. Baby wipes, feminine products, cotton balls and even cat litter may seem safe to send down the chute, but in reality, these products have the potential to cause major back-up and clogging in your system. Simply put, these products just can’t break down fast enough to be safe to flush.

2. Never pour grease down the sink. It may look harmless going down the drain in its liquid form, but most liquid fats and oils will solidify at room temperature and colder. When the fats travel downward and make contact with the chemicals in your pipes and sewer, they begin to change form. Once solid, fats can jam up and easily cause an unfortunate clog that can be difficult to remove.

3. Don’t send potato peels or pasta through the garbage disposal. This may sound like an odd piece of advice, but let’s talk about the science behind it. Both potatoes and pasta are famous for being high in starch. When wet, the starch in these foods becomes extremely sticky to the point of reaching a glue-like consistency. These foods will react the same way inside your pipes. Once sent through the disposal, potatoes and pasta can easily cause a backup in your system because the starch has the ability to attach them to the pipes and to one another. As a general rule: throw your potato and pasta scraps in the trash.

Even if you knew these three rules before, everyone makes mistakes. If you’re suffering from a backed-up system, even if it’s not from any of the above, we’ve always got your back. Just give us a call, and we’ll be there.