aerial view of toilet in an all white tiled bathroom

What Can I Flush? | McAtee LLC

Let’s take a moment to be grateful for Sir John Harrington - the inventor of the flushable toilet. Our toilets have come a long way since Mr. Harrington, but they are still not indestructible. Modern plumbing has advanced to be able to handle certain materials, but certainly not everything.

What Happens After the Flush?

To understand why certain items are not allowed down the toilet, it is important to understand where everything goes once they disappear down the toilet bowl.

You press the lever, and the flush begins. From there, the water moves the waste through your home’s sewage pipes. Other things that are pushed through your home sewer include soap and scum from the shower and runoff from the dishwasher.

Once these items reach the end of your home’s sewage system, they move on to your local municipality’s main sewage lines. For the waste that moves on to municipal care, it continues to flow until it reaches a sewage treatment plant.

At the sewage treatment plant, the waste is sifted through, This is where non-flushable items come into play. If you are flushing items that are not treatable, they have to be removed, causing a disruption in the flow of sewage.

If several people are flushing forbidden items, there is an increased risk of clogs in main sewer lines that could cause problems to homes in your neighborhood and beyond. Not to mention, forbidden items can increase the likelihood of clogs within your home plumbing system.

What Isn’t Allowed?

The only items that should go down your toilet are human waste and traditional toilet paper. That’s it. There are plenty of items that claim to be “flushable”, but in reality do not fully decompose in the sewage line and have to be removed. Here is a comprehensive list of commonly-flushed items that should never go down your toilet.

  • Kleenex

  • Paper Towels

  • Flushable Wipes

  • Make-up Wipes

  • Baby Wipes

  • Cotton Swabs

  • Feminine Products

  • Male Contraceptives

  • Floss

  • Hair

  • Medication

  • Cat Litter

  • Grease, Oil, Wax

They are many other items that people discard in their toilets that should never be flushed, however, this is a list of some of the major violations. Remember: the only things that are flushable include human waste and toilet paper.

If your home has a clogged toilet or you think there may be something wrong with your sewage pipes, let McAtee Plumbing Heating & Cooling help. Give us a call at (803) 335-5109.