4 Things that Will Mess Up Your Plumbing System

Your plumbing system is extremely important to your home’s comfort and functionality — not to mention its resale value. When you invest in preventive maintenance and inspection services for your plumbing system, you’ll be saving money in the long term. Services like camera inspections, drain cleaning, and leak repairs are sure to cost less in the end than emergency repairs and water damage remediation, and you’ll also be better maintaining the value of your real estate asset.

But even being proactive about maintenance can’t save your plumbing system, experts say, if you’re actively destroying it in other ways. If you’re not careful about how you treat your plumbing system between visits from the plumber, you could end up trashing important fixtures, pipes, and sewer lines. You could harm the entire municipal wastewater system, too! Here are a few things that will mess up your plumbing badly. Avoid flushing them down the toilet or sending them down the drain!

“Flushable” wipes

What do you do when you’re done with flushable baby wipes? Unfortunately, “flush them” is not the right answer. Although they are marketed as being flushable, the vast majority of so-called flushable wipes are not really flushable. They won’t break up the way that they’re supposed to, and they’ll linger around and jam up pipes in your house and beyond. They can cause nasty clogs.

Don’t trust the advertising. Even if wipes are labeled as flushable, it’s best to assume that they are not.


Tampons are not flushable, so stick those in the trash! Tampons won’t break down like toilet paper will, and they are, of course, designed to absorb liquid and stay strong. They’re tough little things that can really do a number on your pipes and on municipal systems, so keep them out of the toilet and just throw them away.

And there’s no false advertising to excuse you here. Even the tampon companies say that you should not be flushing their products down the toilet. Listen to them, and go easy on your plumbing!


We’re glad you’re having fun, but please, please, keep your condoms out of your drains! Flushing is not the way to go with these bad boys, because they were designed specifically not to rip or break down. The latex will stand up to all kinds of pressures and chemicals, which makes it perfectly suited to gumming up important pipes. It will join up with other items to clog up sewer lines and bigger pipes, too.

Even if your condoms get through the plumbing system without causing a clog, they are going to end up polluting our waters. That’s bad for our environment (and more than a little bit gross, too). You should never be flushing these. Just use the trash can, please!

Liquid drain cleaner

Have a clog? It’s tempting to want to just reach for the liquid drain cleaner. Brand name products like Drano promise to clear out the clog quickly and easily, with no plunging or snaking required. You’re sure to save money compared to calling the plumber. It’s an easy decision, right?

Well, not really. The reality is that liquid drain cleaner is not good for your plumbing system. Use too much, and you’ll corrode your drains and pipes. Plus, the liquid drain cleaner might not even work on the clog. If that happens, you’ll need to call the plumber after all — and your plumber is not going to be thrilled to find a layer of toxic and corrosive fluid sitting on top of the clog. So do yourself — and your plumber — a favor, and just call a plumbing professional right away for professional drain cleaning instead of using liquid drain cleaner.

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