Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Can’t Flush This

Comfort Zone - Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning Blog

McMahon Plumbing + Heating Blog

Your toilet is not a magical appliance that makes everything disappear. It can become clogged all too easily. The problem is especially common with modern toilets that use less water; they don't stand up to large items as well. Here are a few things never to put in the toilet.

Toilet paper ‘alternatives’

We’ve all had those times when we run out of toilet paper, and resort to paper towels, napkins, coffee filters . . . But you should know that toilet paper is designed to dissolve and break up in water. Paper are designed to do the opposite of toilet paper — stay strong even when they’re wet. So they tend to bunch up and clog pipes. Similarly, it’s OK to flush tampons, but do not flush plastic applicators or other feminine sanitary products.

Even toilet paper will fail to flush properly if used in large amounts and flushed all at once. It can ball up so that only the outside of the “ball” will dissolve in the water. It is best to use only a few sheets at a time between flushes to prevent a clogged toilet bowl.


The best way to avoid accidentally flushing toys is to keep the toilet seat down when not in use, keep the bathroom door closed, and make sure that children don’t play in the bathroom.

Pet Waste

If you have a septic system, you should never flush your dog’s poop. It can contain grasses, hair, and even rawhide, which can build up in your septic system or even your drain. If your toilet connects to a public sewer, you should make sure that your city’s sewage plant can deal with any pathogens that may be in your animal waste, and still proceed with caution to avoid clogging your drain. Never flush the plastic dog waste bags that you use to pick up after your dog.


We’re (sort of) kidding, but many families do flush pet fish, unwanted reptiles when they start to get larger, or even dead mice. Just don’t do this!

What to do about a clogged toilet

A plunger and a plumbing snake can be used to fix many clogs when they do occur. If these don’t work, call us!

Request Quote

Request Service