Your home’s plumbing can handle a lot, and perhaps you put it to the test quite often. (No judgement!) Yet, there are many items you would never flush down your toilet, even if the pipes could take it. Common sense tells us that toys, clothes, and household tools don’t belong in the toilet – even if some people try – but there’s a very common misconception about what you can flush.
As a general rule, only flush human waste and toilet paper. That’s it! That’s all your toilet and the pipes that carry your excrement away were designed to handle. Yet, it’s common for people to believe this misconception about toilets: You can flush food. Toilets handle our waste, so they should be able to take on food, right?
Actually, they can’t.
Well, physically, you can flush food down the toilet. It’s possible, but it’s not healthy for your home’s plumbing. Whole, raw, or undigested foods can damage your toilet and your pipes because these products are too large to break down and transport. That’s what makes your digestive system so useful to toilets. Everything becomes much more “portable.”
Mathematically, food overwhelms your plumbing system. Most toilet pipes are only about two inches thick and only widen only a little bit before reaching a plumbing system or septic tank. Imagine a pile of french fries or last night’s salmon squeezing through your pipes. It’s a tight fit, and while it can happen, that pressure can cause damage.
Furthermore, there isn’t enough water used in your toilet’s tank to accommodate transport of whole food into your plumbing. There’s just over one gallon of water used with every flush, and that’s not nearly enough to make your uneaten brussel sprouts disappear. In fact, they just might haunt you days later with a clog!
And, if you must…
We know everyone makes a mistake or sometimes it’s necessary to flush your food. If that’s the case, try to avoid overly oily foods, animal bones, or grains, which can swell or expand in pipes. Potatoes, rice, and oats are some of the worst foods to flush. These food items can turn into a sludge that sticks to your pipes and refuses to budge with normal flushing alone.
We’ll fix your food fiascos
The good news is that if your 10-year-old’s attempt to avoid eating broccoli results in a clog, you can try to work it out on your own. Shut off the water behind the toilet and try plunging. That just might do the trick, but if it doesn’t, trust the experts with generations of experience. Master Rooter plumbers can hunt out the source of your clog, fix it, and help you prevent it from happening again.
Give our team at Master Rooter a call today to tackle your home clogging needs!