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Expert Advice from CDL Plumbing & Drainage on What Not to Flush Down Your Toilets

Maintaining a functional and efficient plumbing system is crucial for every homeowner. One aspect that requires careful attention is the proper usage of toilets. Many individuals unknowingly flush items down the toilet that can wreak havoc on the plumbing system, leading to costly repairs. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the dos and don'ts of flushing, ensuring you avoid plumbing disasters and keep your system running smoothly.

What Not to Flush - Common Items

At CDL, we understand the importance of educating homeowners about what should never be flushed down the toilet or drains and sinks.

Wet Wipes and Sanitary Products

One common mistake homeowners make is flushing wet wipes, including baby wipes or makeup wipes, down the toilet. These non-biodegradable items can clog pipes and cause blockages. Similarly, feminine hygiene products should never be flushed, as they can expand and lead to serious plumbing issues.

Paper Towels and Tissues

While toilet paper is designed to dissolve quickly, paper towels and tissues are not. Flushing these items can result in blockages and damage to your plumbing system. Dispose of them in the appropriate waste bins instead.

Cooking Fats and Oils

These are responsible for 30% of our household blockages. All oils will congeal and also build up in the sewer system as “fatbergs”. Just pour them into a container, let them cool and them dispose of them properly in your recycling on bin day.


Flushing expired or unwanted medications down the toilet can contaminate water sources. It's important to dispose of medications properly at designated drop-off points to prevent harm to the environment and potential health risks.

A Comprehensive List of What Not to Flush

Whilst the list is long and some might say obvious, these are all things CDL have seen when unblocking toilets and drainpipes as backed up the water authorities:

  • Paint (inc oils, lubricants, pesticides & fertilisers)
  • Floss
  • Nappies
  • Medications
  • Hair (large amounts)
  • Condoms
  • Chewing Gum
  • Cotton Buds
  • Tampons & Sanitary Pads
  • Wet Wipes
  • Paper Towels (strong absorbent large ones)
  • Dead Pets (fish & rodents etc)

The Consequences of Flushing the Wrong Things

Blockages and Damage

Flushing inappropriate items down the toilet can lead to clogs and blockages within your plumbing system or toilet. These blockages can cause backups, leading to unpleasant odours and potential water damage.

Unnecessary Plumbing Bills

DIY unblocking of your pipes caused by improper flushing is possible, but not always. If you need a local plumber then this will obviously have a cost. In some cases, extensive repairs or pipe replacements may be necessary, resulting in significant financial burdens.

Proper Toilet Maintenance Tips

Use a Waste Bin

The simplest way to prevent plumbing issues is to use a trash bin for disposing of items that should not be flushed. Place a small bin in your bathroom to ensure everyone has a convenient and safe option for disposal.

Educate Your Household

Ensure everyone in your household understands what can and cannot be flushed down the toilet. Education and awareness are key to preventing future plumbing problems.

Regular Maintenance Checks

Consider scheduling regular plumbing maintenance checks with professionals like CDL Plumbers in Newcastle. These checks will identify any potential issues and allow for early intervention, saving you from costly repairs down the line.

In Summary

By following the dos and don'ts of flushing, you can maintain a trouble-free plumbing system in your home. CDL Plumbing & Drainage in Maitland urge homeowners to be mindful of what they flush down the toilet, avoiding items such as wet wipes, paper towels, and medications is a must. Proper toilet maintenance, including educating your household and regular plumbing maintenance checks, will ensure your system functions optimally for years to come.

For all your plumbing needs in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, trust CDL to deliver exceptional service and expertise. Contact us today to schedule a maintenance check or for any plumbing emergencies. Remember, a little prevention goes a long way in preserving the integrity of your plumbing system.

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CDL Plumbing & Drainage are expert plumbers and gas fitters servicing Newcastle & Lake Macquarie from our Gateshead HQ. We have over 15 years of experience and specialise in all domestic and commercial plumbing, able to take on large-scale drainage projects. Fully qualified (Level 4), licensed & insured with free quotes. We have 2 teams of friendly and reliable plumbers with fully equipped vans.

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