It can be very tempting to dispose of household items by simply pouring them down the sink or flushing them down the toilet, but this can be incredibly bad news for your plumbing and drains and can cause major problems that may be very expensive to find and fix, especially if they cause a blockage in your outside drains!
So, here are 8 household items that should never go down the drain!
Pouring paint down your drain is not only bad for your plumbing, it’s bad for the environment and bad for you. When paint goes into your drain it coats your pipes and then hardens and clogs. It also leaches into the ground and surface water, causing contamination. Additionally, paint can release toxic and flammable fumes.
2. Petrol or Oil
Now, this may seem obvious, but many people have been tempted to pour leftover motor oil or petrol down their drains. This is an incredibly bad idea! These items make their way into the groundwater and potentially contaminate drinking water. Additionally, the vapours that remain in the air after pouring these down the drain are flammable.
3. Flushable Cat Litter
It’s not. So don’t flush it. It may say that it’s flushable on the bag, but putting the extra solids in flushable litter down your toilet can be more than your plumbing system can handle and could cause a large clog. If you have a septic tank system then definitely don’t put cat litter down your toilet. Furthermore, because pet waste carries bacteria and other organisms that are harmful to humans, it’s probably not the best idea to put it into the system.
4. Coffee Grounds
Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they can’t cause a problem. They can get stuck in your pipes and are one of the most common causes of clogs in kitchen sinks and pipework.
The link that comes out with the water in your washing machine drain can cause a nasty blockage and make the drain overflow. You can stop this with a lint catcher – a metal mesh sleeve that goes over your washer discharge hose and stops any debris from going down the drain. Obviously, this will need changing/clearing out when it gets full.
6. Egg Shells
If you have a waste disposal unit on your sink then egg shells could be a bit of a nightmare for you. The disposal unit grinds them up into tiny pieces, which can then get stuck in grease and fat and other oily substances to create a thick mess that can easily clog your pipes. If you have egg shells to dispose of, then the best thing is to pop them in the bin, or, if you’re green fingered, they’re great for composting.
7. Grease, Fat and Oils
As mentioned above, these items act as a binder for things like egg shells and other materials and can create a thick, sticky mess that clogs the pipes picking up more debris, until nothing can pass through it. So, if you do need to get rid of these, you can pop them into a jar and put them in the bin, leave them to cool and harden and put them in the bin, or mix them with bird seed and make fat balls for the birds.
8. Produce Stickers
You may not think it, but these can cause problems everywhere from your pipes at home to the water works. Even a little bit of the adhesive that’s on them can make them stick to the inside of your pipes. If they get past your system, then they can also get caught in wastewater treatment pipes and filters, causing problems with the equipment that treats your water. If they get past this point then they may end up back in the water supply!
So there you have it, 8 things NOT to put into your pipework.