Photo By Artem Ermilov at istock
Toilets are one of those household features that everyone overlooks in their daily lives. For many people it just sits there largely unnoticed except for regular cleanings. So, when it comes to this all-important, but ignored part of the home, anyone would be excused if they couldn’t answer even the most basic questions about toilet do’s and don’ts. It might not be the first thing to come to mind, yet these myths, falsehoods, and true details can prevent a significant issue.
Watch Out for Chemical Cleansers
Cleaning is full of potential and danger. One of the biggest mistakes a person can make during cleaning is to use unapproved cleaners. There are two ways this usually goes and neither has a good outcome. Expect to call a Fort Worth, TX plumber if trying either of these.
With a range of trends encouraging natural products over standard cleaners, it’s easy to get carried away. Any products that go into the toilet end up in the septic system. Items like vinegar that are overused can build up and continue to be an agitator. Others try unproven or odd solutions in place of common sense. Oils and products with a similar makeup may lead to even more issues as they begin to block certain portions or impede normal flow. If someone is worried about what they are using or have used, contacting a professional plumber often helps clear up any confusion. Any plumber knows which items are the most detrimental to systems.
Alternately, products and chemicals present a much more dangerous scenario when used incorrectly. If a product is labeled as a toilet cleaner, use it according to instructions. Do not under any circumstances add another product. Many cleaners counteract each other or can present potentially harmful consequences when used together. This same problem also occurs when Fort Worth, TX residents try their own chemical mixes to clean. While some may not see the consequences immediately, the gasses build up in the septic system to present an extremely dangerous situation.
Not Everything Should Be Flushed
It might be a common thought that toilets can handle everything, but that’s far from the truth. If it is not biological waste, don’t use it in the toilet. While some in Fort Worth, TX might be saying a big “duh” right now, the obvious answer might not seem as clear cut or even come up until after it has occurred and a plumber is on his or her way.
What are some of the most common hazards flushed down the toilet? Cat litter takes the top spot as many owners assume their pet’s hygiene is the same as their own. On the contrary, litter is just like any other rock someone comes in contact with on a daily basis. When rocks come together, they turn into a pile that’s hard to get around; think what the smaller litter pellets or pieces can do to standard plumbing. It only takes one flushing of a standard sized litter box to clog up plumbing. Anything that gets through starts to pile up in the septic system as well.
Another of the worst offenders among toilet flushes is women’s sanitary products. Both pads and tampons count in this category; each one causing unique problems for a plumbing system. That’s why so many businesses include signs or warning about flushing either item. The cotton or synthetic materials included in a tampon help it expand; the same things that make it an effective hygiene product also make it a toilet’s worst nightmare. Even one tampon can continue to expand in the toilet system. If more than one is flushed, it creates a blockage that prevents anything from moving. Much like tampons, pads can become a barrier against regular flow. Unlike their counterparts, pads do not expand, instead presenting details like sticky backing that may attach to a pipe’s walls.
While it might not seem like the first thing that comes to mind, the odds and ends of a home are also a big contributor to toilet backups. Homes with children have to be especially careful of these details. Bathroom items like toothbrushes and bath toys could catch their eye, ending up in the basin before anyone notices. Children aren’t the only culprits when it comes to problematic flushes; the chance to get rid of something quickly proves to be just as much of an issue for adults. As a plumber rule of thumb, if it isn’t biological waste, toilet paper, or products approved by a plumber for use in septic systems, leave it out of your toilet.
Leave the Brick Alone
Speaking of putting things in toilets, there is nothing worse than the brick idea. Some think placing a brick into the tank of their toilet is the best way to cut down on water usage. First of all, this was a plumber hack suggested for old toilets only; it does nothing for newer or low-flow toilets that reduce water use on its own. Many who try to do this trick don’t even take this into account.
Second, placing anything in the tank that has not been approved for use can ruin the whole system. While the brick itself might seem solid, all of that time underwater starts to break down its solid shape. Soon, chunks are flowing into the toilet itself and into the septic system. The pieces could also dislodge key components or break them altogether. Either way, someone is calling a plumber. Basically, if a toilet’s water flow has become a big problem, it’s probably time for a professional plumber to get involved.
A toilet should never be taken for granted. The team at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth knows that there is no small problem when these parts of the home go bad. Contact us to get any toilet (or other part of your plumbing system) up and running again.