Yes, cigarettes can clog your toilet. Who would think that a small item such as a cigarette butt could clog a toilet? Apparently, many people don’t consider the fact that they are putting their plumbing at risk by the practice of flushing cigarettes. Professional plumbers know that it is always best to throw these little troublemakers in the trash.
The accumulative effect of cigarette litter is having a staggering impact on the environment worldwide. Cigarette butts also have a direct negative impact on the individual homes of those who are careless with the disposal of used cigarettes.
Cigarettes are Non-Biodegradable
There is one main reason that cigarettes should never be flushed down the toilet. That is because they have parts that will not break down over time. The foam filters and plastic mouthpieces that are common on cigarettes are non-biodegradable. These components of a cigarette will definitly cause clogging problems in your toilet. Additionally, they also can build up in the septic/sewer system and do extensive damage. So that is something to also be aware of if you have a septic system.
Another consideration to keep in mind is the amount of harmful chemicals that go into the water supply when cigarettes are flushed. Studies have shown that significant contamination occurs when cigarette butts soak in water. This contamination can go on to harm wildlife in rivers and the ocean, and causes other environmental problems.
The Issue of Expansion
Have you ever seen a cardboard jigsaw puzzle piece get wet? Similar to a sponge, it can swell up to twice its original thickness, or even more! Keep that image in mind when you think of the fibrous filters of a cigarette getting flushed down a toilet.
When cigarette butts are disposed of in a latrine time after time, they can accumulate in the S or U trap. As the butts soak up the water they expand and cause a nasty (literally nasty) blockage. That is yet another reason to be aware of flushing this seemingly innocuous item.
Getting Rid of the Clog
Usually, clogs can be remedied by a hearty plunging without professional help. Make sure your plunger is soft before you begin by running hot water over it for a few minutes. Then when you begin plunging, keep enough water in the toilet bowl to cover the plunger’s head while you work. This ensures that plenty of force is being channeled toward the problem area. Typically, plunging will take care of the issue within a few minutes. However, if you have been plunging for more than 10 minutes without success, it may be time to try a different method.
Another handy plumbing tool is an auger (also called a drain snake). This tool can be directed further down into the toilet to target difficult blockages such as cigarette butt accumulation. One downside to the auger method is that it can cosmetically damage the inside of your toilet bowl, and inexperience may result in some unsightly scratches. Hand augers can be operated by any typical homeowner. However, power augers are best left to professional drain cleaners.
When to Call the Professionals
If you think that you may have an accumulation of cigarettes blocking up your toilet, it might be time to call up the experts. Because of the nature of this type of clog, simple plunging is sometimes ineffective. Professional plumbers have the ability to resolve difficult problems without doing further damage to your plumbing system.
Balkan Drain Cleaning are ready 24/7 to answer emergency calls, and have been taking care of New York City’s plumbing needs for over 65 years. This team of skilled and conscientious workers knows how to handle even the toughest jobs, and they can fix up a work site to be as good as new, and even better! A written warranty on all drain cleaning jobs provides you with the peace of mind that the job will indeed be done right.
Need a professional to resolve your drain problems? Contact Balkan Drain Cleaning today!