5 Commonly Flushed Items That Will Damage Your Beaverton Plumbing

Beaverton plumbing can be a tricky thing. Your home’s plumbing is not magic, though sometimes it may seem like it is. Though we may take it for granted every now and again, there’s an intricate system of mechanisms in your walls and around your property dedicated to making your life more comfortable and sanitary. That said, improper use of these systems can result in them failing. Your toilet is one of the most common places for plumbing related issues for the sole fact that many people seem to think that just anything can be flushed down the drain. When improper materials end up in your pipes, they can cause massive blockages that prevents your plumbing from operating as intended, or at all. Here’s a handy list of some of the most commonly flushed items known to damage your plumbing.

Paper Towels

Most people assume these are safe to flush because they compare it to toilet tissue, which dissolves easily in the water. This is not the case. Paper towels are meant to sponge up spills and other liquid messes; they are absorption products. They expand when they come into contact with water. This means that, when you flush them, they expand inside your pipes, causing blockages over time. These are, by a wide margin, the number one cause of drain clogs. It’s not even close. the number of paper towel wads our teams have dug out of Beaverton plumbing systems is higher than we can even count. The best place to dispose of paper towels is, has been, and always will be the waste bucket.

Dental Floss

Not quite as common as paper products, but it can cause just as much of a headache. While paper towels expand in the pipes, dental floss can create a tangled net of string that catches other materials that would have otherwise normally flushed. This is only in large quantities, however. But even though it would take a lot of floss to cause a significant issue, it’s still probably a wise policy to avoid flushing any of it, if out of habit, if nothing else.

Pet Fish

This one surprises people a lot. Flushing a deceased pet fish has become something of a cultural touchstone; most people just assume it’s a thing you do. Not so. Fish are slow to decompose outside of their natural habitats. This means that you’d be liable to have a slowly decaying fish body lodged somewhere in your Beaverton home’s plumbing. Not ideal, to say the least. Next time you have to say goodbye to a fishy friend, consider a more traditional funeral in the backyard.

Feminine Products

We know that the labels say they’re flush safe. They’re not accurate. Hygiene products like tampons, pads and the like are, much like paper towels, built for absorption. This means that they also are prone to swelling up and expanding inside your plumbing after you flush them. This is especially troublesome in septic systems, where even if the material makes it through the pipes, it will sit in the tank and cause problems down the road. Hygiene products are a leading cause of clogs in public toilets, as folks are prone to disposing of them before exiting the stall.


Possibly the most important item on this list. Medication, while unlikely to cause you major blockages or clogs, should not, under any circumstances, ever be flushed down the toilet. This is because the chemicals contained within the pills will disperse into the water. And because local water treatment plants are not able to process out the plethora of chemicals used in modern medicine, a lot of those chemicals end up causing health problems in the community. Always dispose of old pills properly and not with your plumbing.

Have you made a habit out of flushing non-plumbing friendly materials like these? Are you currently experiencing inefficient plumbing, slow drains, gurgling noises inside your walls, or toilet backups? Call the plumbing pros at Cornel Plumbing today! We can sort out any plumbing clogs you may have in your Beaverton or Portland home!

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Expert Plumbing & HVAC Services

Expert Plumbing & HVAC Services

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