Why Toilet Maintenance is Important

Keeping Things Moving – Why Toilet Maintenance is Important

Plumber working in home bathroom in West Milford NJ

We all take our toilets for granted. We use them, flush them, and don’t give it a second thought. We don’t think that maintenance is a big issue.

Unfortunately, most people don’t learn this until it’s too late. Maintaining the tank and the flush mechanism are vital to not only proper toilet function but helping the environment as well.

Read on to learn how to keep your toilet functioning properly or simply give us a call at Mark Lindsay and Son Plumbing & Heating!

Leaky Toilet Problems

A leaking toilet can waste water and cost you money:

  • According to the US EPA, a leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day. Given the current (and possible future) issues with water supplies, you don’t want to waste any water. Plus, the additional cost on your water bill.
  • A leak can interfere with proper flushing, causing your toilet to use up to four times more water than necessary. And the possible resulting other problems.
  • Flushing your toilet accounts for 38% of home water use and can be one of the biggest ways you waste water in your home.
  • A leaking toilet can waste up to 78,000 gallons of water a year. For perspective, that’s enough to fill TWO average sized residential swimming pools. It’s also a big expense because of higher water bills.

And with the holiday around the corner, the last thing you need is one or more malfunctioning
toilets when you have a house full of guests. I’m sure you’ve heard or seen horror stories from
friends and neighbors or on social media about toilet malfunctions during a holiday party or get
together. Not as funny as it sounds.

Signs Your Toilet Flushing Mechanism Needs Maintenance

  • A loose lever
  • A leaky or malfunctioning flapper valve
  • Overflow of the pipe or flush valve
  • The fill valve won’t shut off
  • Your toilet is excessively noisy when refilling

If your toilet is displaying any of the issues mentioned above, reach out to the expert plumbers at Mark Lindsay and Son Plumbing & Heating for toilet repair!

8 Things You Should NEVER Flush Down Your Toilet

toilet installation west milford nj

Along with neglecting your flushing mechanism’s maintenance, there are things you should NEVER flush down your toilet. These items can wreak havoc on your pipes and sewer lines and have you calling in an emergency plumber. If you thought a broken flushing mechanism was bad, consider the possibility of your toilets overflowing or sewage backing up into your home.

Not only is it incredibly unpleasant, it can be expensive for an emergency plumbing call. Not to mention the inevitable clean up and possible repair costs, especially if you get raw sewage all over the place. The smell has been described as a cross between a salt marsh at low tide and a restaurant dumpster in August.

1) “Flushable” Wipes

While the package may say that your baby wipes or personal wipes are flushable, they’re not. They don’t break down very quickly and can build up and clog your pipes or sewer lines. The best way to dispose of them is in the bathroom waste basket.

2) Paper Towels and Facial Tissue

These aren’t meant to be flushed down the drain. Unlike toilet paper, which is designed to dissolve in water, paper towels and facial tissues are designed to absorb water, so they can swell up and clog your drains, pipes, and sewer lines. The best thing to do is throw them in the trash.

3) Too Much Toilet Paper

It goes without saying that using too much toilet paper isn’t just wasteful but will definitely clog your toilet or pipes. A large lump of toilet paper will overwhelm your toilet’s ability to flush it down and you’ll get the dreaded “water rise” in the toilet bowl, which can cause flooding in your bathroom and possibly water damage. Keeping a toilet plunger (different from a sink plunger) handy is a good idea, but not overloading the toilet is an even better idea.

4) Cotton Balls, Swabs, and Similar Items

These items will cause all kinds of problems in your pipes. Cotton doesn’t break down in water but will absorb it and cause serious problems. They’ll eventually build up and cause a major clog. The clogs can be bad enough they could cause damage to your pipes.

5) Feminine Hygiene Products

Since feminine hygiene products, such as tampons, pads, and similar items are designed to absorb water and can expand to a size several times larger than when dry, they can cause serious clogs that can cause sewer or toilet overflows which can be messy and expensive to fix. It’s best to dispose of them in the trash.

6) Dental Floss

While you may think dental floss couldn’t be a problem, since it’s thin and lightweight, you’d be wrong. Since it’s made of nylon or other similar material, it doesn’t break down at all and can get wrapped around other items in your pipes. This can lead to clogging and backups, and expensive repair bills. Dispose of it in the trash after you take care of your teeth.

7) Medications and Hazardous Materials

Don’t flush medications, paint, some cleaning fluids, such as oven cleaner, down your toilet. It’s
a hazard to the environment and the local water supply. It’s also a violation of applicable laws.
It’s best to dispose of medications at a drug take back site. Some pharmacies have them or you
could contact your local police department for information. For hazardous materials, check with
your community waste disposal website for information about where to dispose of hazardous

8) Kitty Litter

Cat waste, unlike human waste, should never go down the toilet. Flushing cat waste or litter can possibly introduce dangerous parasites into the water supply. Cat litter will absorb water and possibly cause clogs. Always dispose of cat litter in a trash bag.

Help from the Toilet & Drain Clog Pros

Having trouble with toilet issues or pipe clogs? Then call the clog and drain cleaning pros at Mark Lindsay and Son Plumbing & Heating and we’ll be there soon to get your pipes cleared out and flowing properly!

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