As New York City plumbers who serve both residential and commercial clients – places like bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and more – we hear a lot about clogged toilets. People want to know why toilets clog.
The number one reason toilets clog is when people flush things they really shouldn’t. Sometimes this happens by accident – little kids who put their favorite teddy bear (or Mom’s smartphone!) in the bowl and flush really don’t understand what they’re doing. Even so, when these items block or close off the sewer drain pipe, the toilet is clogged. It can even back up, resulting in a nasty mess in your home or place of business.
So there are some obvious items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet. But then there are items that people have questions about. On this list, feminine hygiene products, which includes pads, tampons, and the packaging these items come in. Clearly these items need to be disposed of when you’re done using them – but what happens when you flush them down the toilet?
It’s important to understand that feminine hygiene products are designed to absorb fluids. As a result of absorbing fluids, these products swell. In some instances, they can double or triple in size. Your sewer drain pipe is full of fluids. Any feminine hygiene products that enter that environment are going to swell. If there’s any obstruction whatsoever that keep these products from flushing instantly away – and there often is – they will impede the free flow of water and waste material through your drain pipe.
A standard toilet drain pipe is only 3 inches in diameter. To avoid clogs, it’s a good best practice to avoid flushing feminine hygiene products and other highly absorbent items such as baby diapers.
However, it happens. When you have a serious toilet clog, the fastest, easiest way to get it resolved is calling your New York City plumber. 24/7 emergency service is available for your home or business.