Keeping Your Plumbing Flowing Smoothly

If you deal with plumbing clogs on a regular basis, you might find yourself struggling with bent wire hangers, chemical drain cleaner, and unfamiliar pipes. Unfortunately, unless you are a trained professional, all of your efforts might be in vain. Most people don't realize it, but it is possible to damage your plumbing by making a few missteps. If you use the wrong chemicals or you push a little too hard, you might end up dealing with damaged pipes or your clogging problem could get worse. Fortunately, you might be able to use this blog to help you to keep your plumbing flowing smoothly.

Are Tampons Ruining Your Plumbing?


Tampons are an absolute necessity for many women. Everyone should feel free to choose the sanitary product of their choice, but depending on how you're disposing of them, they could be causing issues for your plumbing. Here's why it may not be as safe for you to flush tampons as you think it is.

What's Considered Flushable

There are many things sold these days that are called "flushable," although tampons may be one of the oldest. Nowadays, things like baby wipes and some toilet cleaning products may be labeled as being flushable. However, they aren't necessarily as good for your plumbing as you might think.

There is no oversight committee or any one group that's responsible for classifying something as flushable. It's ultimately up to each manufacturer to run their own tests to determine if something is flushable. That would seem fine, except that they don't necessarily follow real-world conditions. If they are simply testing if a product is small or flexible enough to get down the pipes, it may cause problems beyond that point that aren't being taken into consideration, like it would if you were using the test toilet every single day after continuing to flush those products.

The Problem With Tampons in Particular

Tampons are just one product that's marked as flushable and actually a problem for plumbing, but it stands out as one of the worst. This is because of the simple nature of a tampon.

Tampons are designed to do two things well: remain in one piece, so that nothing is left behind when one is removed from the body, and to absorb fluids. When this meets a toilet, it means that the tampon can become lodged in a pipe or get stuck on other waste that's currently in the pipe. If this happens, the tampon may not completely flush all the way out into the sewer line and to the street, which means a blockage can start developing anywhere in your pipes from the toilet to the sidewalk. If you use them regularly and flush them every time, it's going to get even worse.

What to Do

If you're currently experiencing a clog and think that tampons could be to blame, you can start resolving the problem by using a plunger or toilet snake to clear the immediate pipe of any blockage. If this doesn't work, you'll need help immediately, but you shouldn't put off getting professional plumbing assistance even if it does help. It's likely dislodged the immediate problem but may have just shifted it further down the pipe where it can still be an issue.

Once you've made your attempt, contact a plumber. They can come and inspect the pipe with a camera to determine if there's still an issue or not. If there isn't, consider yourself lucky! You'll want to stop flushing tampons, though, and start throwing them away in a garbage bin. If there is a problem, your plumber will address it for you and then you can prevent future issues by following the same advice.

For more information about plumbing, contact a company like Arnold & Sons Plumbing, Sewer & Drain Services.


1 October 2020