A Plumber Tells You: What Shouldn’t Be Put in the Drain

There are many different items that not many of us would realize are not healthy for our drains or plumbing. One good rule of thumb to remember when considering if it should go down your drain or not is if it is not “biodegradable” then it should stay out of your drain.

What types of items should NOT go down the drain?

There are specific items that should remain out of the drain, they include:

  • Cleaning products: (Any products that include the word toxins, toxic, corrosive, ignitable, or flammable.)
  • Automotive products: (Products such as antifreeze, brake fluid, and motor oil)
  • Paints and types of solvents: (Latex and oil paints, strippers, and thinners) Also you want to make sure not to clean oil paint brushes in the sink as well.
  • Art supplies: (Things such as photographic chemicals, glues, and paints)
  • Medical waste
  • Garden supplies: (Items such as pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides)

Now that you have a better understanding of what should NOT go down the drain, let’s take a look further in detail why this is. Wastes such as acetone, are highly flammable, and very dangerous to pour down your drain. Other wastes like paints may not be as obvious, but can contain certain types of metals like mercury, lead, and chromium. Many organic solvents are also located in primers for paint, enamel and varnishes. When you paint you should attempt as best you can to use latex or water based paints. Pesticides that you use within your garden should not be poured down as well because they are highly toxic. Any automobile products such as motor oil, and antifreeze contain heavy metals like lead.

If you are an amateur photographer you should be aware that your photographic fixer contains a higher amount of silver. They should contain a fixer that should be disposed of at your city’s hazardous waste center instead of taking and putting it down your drain.

There are many things on this list that you would realize shouldn’t be placed down your drain, however, some you may not even notice or give second thought too. It is important to pay attention to labels before pouring anything down your drain. You should also watch for getting food pieces in your drain as well as it can cause an unpleasant clog that is difficult to break free. Pay attention to what you are pouring down your drain to save yourself from any issues you may run into in the future, and try your best to keep that drain free and clear.