Most people consider a toilet to be a necessity today. However, we often take this modern convenience for granted. What are some bad toilet habits that can lead to plumbing damage?

Flushing the Wrong Items Down The Toilet

Only flush toilet paper and human waste. Flushing other items can clog your pipes and damage them. Flushing things like dental floss, paper towels, and cigarette butts will soon lead to trouble. While these items may disappear down the toilet at first, they can get lodged in narrow pipes later. Over time, this builds up and causes clogs, backups into bathtubs or sinks, and leaks; only flush pee, poop, puke, and toilet paper to avoid plumbing disasters. Only flushing waste and toilet paper will lead to fewer calls to a caldwell plumber for help.

Excessive Toilet Paper

Modern low-flow toilets can’t handle much toilet paper. As a general rule, use four to six sheets per flush max. Folded or crumpled up toilet paper takes up more space and is more likely to get stuck. For heavy-duty cleaning needs, flush halfway through instead of attempting it all at once with piles of paper.

Teach your kids how to judge the amount of toilet paper they are using. They need guidance in this area. You may want to draw a line on the wall showing them how much toilet paper to use. This simple step can help to avoid problems in the future.

Know Which Products to Use

When a toilet clogs, you may grab an acidic drain cleaner to clear the clog. However, this cleaner could damage the pipes. The sulfuric acid or lye found in drain cleaners can corrode metal and plastic pipes and plumbing parts. Use of the cleaners can lead to leaks, cracks, and full-on pipe failures over time. Likewise, pouring fats, oils, and grease down the drain coats pipes and hinders water flow. Opt for mechanical drain snakes or baking soda and vinegar instead.

Ignoring Signs of Problems

Catching toilet and plumbing problems early is important to minimize damage. However, many ignore subtle warning signs until it becomes a bigger issue. For example, allowing a minor leak around the base of a toilet to persist can lead to water damage, mold, and rotting flooring. Intermit clogs signal future backups. Taking immediate action when something feels “off” with the performance of a toilet can circumvent extensive repairs down the road. Do not dismiss changes in noises, functioning, water levels, or anything abnormal.

Neglecting Regular Maintenance

Lack of routine maintenance causes all mechanical systems to break down more quickly, and toilets are no exception. Simple habits like scrubbing the bowl weekly, replacing worn-out tank parts, tightening loose bolts, and checking for stable water levels in the tank and bowl make plumbing systems last longer. Additionally, leaving leaks unresolved or allowing limescale buildup in pipes and tanks increases the chances for problems like pinhole leaks and cracks. Make toilet care a regular chore, not just a last resort when things go wrong.

With some minor vigilance concerning our flushing habits and toilet care, many common plumbing disasters can be averted. Save yourself the headache and cost of repairs down the line by not abusing your toilet. Treat it with respect, and it is likely to function smoothly for years to come without incident. Adopting better toilet habits keeps bathrooms working properly for homeowners’ convenience and peace of mind.