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A Plumbing Tip for the Ladies: Don’t Flush Feminine Products Down the Toilet

A Plumbing Tip for the Ladies

Plumbing Tip for the Ladies. Find out exactly why plumbers urge you to toss – not flush.

Attention, women! This Plumbing tip is for you: How many times have you seen a sign at a public restroom begging you not to flush your feminine products down the toilet?
Plumbing Tip
The owners of those businesses probably had to call a plumber once or twice because someone flushed a feminine product—resulting in some serious repercussions.

While some products may claim they’re safe to flush, it’s best to follow the business restroom’s plea to refrain from flushing tampons or pads, even while at home. Here’s why:

  1. Tampons, on average, absorb about 10 times their size in fluid. This makes them hard to dissolve and can cause serious plumbing problems later, especially in older plumbing systems if roots have grown into the pipes.
  1. If the product makes it out of the plumbing system, there still may be blockages—this time, though, the damage can be more extensive. Sewage blockages can have a large-scale effect, causing plumbing problems for your nearby neighbors, and a more expensive tax bill for your neighborhood. Don’t make your neighbors hate you.
  1. The environmental impact is not strictly on landfills, where feminine products and their packaging can make up about .5 percent of the average woman’s “personal landfill load.” Tampons, which are more regularly flushed than feminine pads, contributed to more than $369.1 billion spent on public wastewater treatment from 2001 to 2008, which includes removing non-degradable items from the water that ends up in our ponds, lakes, streams, and faucets.

Oops! I Flushed. Now What?

So, the first sign that you might have a plumbing problem is water and waste not flushing down the toilet. Feminine products don’t break apart in water. You might think the best idea would be to use a plunger or hand auger, however more serious problems can arise from doing this.

Don’t Try to Fix It Yourself

Many homeowners want to try an avoid the cost of calling a plumber, but in many cases, DIY plumbing remedies can cause greater damage.

For example, there are many different plumbing snakes, and using the wrong one for the type of blockage can cause real damage to your plumbing system. You may end up scraping galvanized pipes, or cracking or breaking a pipe. Scratches on the toilet can also lead to rust down the road.

A Price Will Be Paid Over Time

You probably don’t want to hear this, but a buildup of feminine hygiene products and other non-flushable items can cause more unexpected issues. Plumbing often has a venting system to allow air to move and sewer gases to escape. Non-flushable items can cause a blockage in the drain pipe slope further down the line, creating a waste pool in the pipe. The result? Pipes and drains that gurgle and rattle. You might flush the toilet and hear your shower or kitchen or bathroom sinks make suctioning, rattling, or gurgling sounds. In the shower, your toilet might have water that shoots up because there isn’t enough suction. Not the best image to think about, huh?

Time to Call a Plumber

Since most situations requiring plumbers are emergencies, homeowners often dread calling in the professionals. Before you start looking for a plumber, find one who specializes in repairs, rather than in-home installation. Asking for recommendations is always a good idea, as your friends and family members can tell you who they like and dislike. They also might be able to give you a good idea on pricing and service.

If your plumbing situation hasn’t quite reached emergency level, consider calling several different plumbers to get quotes. Look for plumbers with the following:

  • Licensing
  • Positive reviews
  • Longstanding business experience

Moon Valley Plumbing has been providing quality service to homes in the greater Phoenix area for more than 20 years. If you find your toilets may have issues due to feminine products, we can help. Contact us today for honest, quality service and expertise.