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What Your Drain Can Handle (and What It Can’t)

It’s tempting to just dump whatever you want down your drain. Once it’s down there, you can forget about it, right? For a lot of situations, that may be true, but your drain can’t properly dispose of everything. Knowing what you can and can’t put in your drain can be the difference between disposing of some trash and being forced to shell out a lot of money for an expensive repair.

To help you know which things your drain can and can’t handle, the pros at Mattioni Plumbing, Heating & Cooling have compiled a handy guide to help you become a more informed drain-user!

Things That Are Okay to Pour Down a Drain

Before we get into the things you shouldn’t dump down your drain, let’s go through a few things that are totally fine. After all, your drain is explicitly designed to get rid of liquids and other materials. So, although you’ve got to be careful with what you pour down it, you’ll be good to go most of the time.

  • A vast majority of kitchen and bathroom supplies are going to be okay to pour down the drain. Things like dish detergent, drinks, and non-corrosive toiletries are fine.
  • Since the drain itself is a metal pipe running through and away from your home, you’re basically just going to want to avoid any corrosive materials – or anything that could clog the pipes themselves.

What’s Not Okay to Put in the Drain

The list of specific items that you shouldn’t ever dump in your drain is exhaustive, and taking the time to list every single one of them would take an eternity. That said, there is a general set of rules to follow when figuring out if something is safe or not. Here are a few examples of certain compounds to keep out of the drain, and why they’re uniquely dangerous.

  • Coffee grounds:

    Liquid coffee, once it’s been brewed, is fine. But the grounds themselves should stay away from the drain at all costs because they can build up in the drain pipes and cause blockage. Avoid anything similar to this, like flour. Instead, use it as a fertilizer outside, or put it in a compost pile.

  • Grease:

    Although you’re in the kitchen cooking with grease fairly frequently, never pour this substance down the drain. It sticks to the inside of your drain pipes once it’s traveled down there. Consequently, this buildup can cause significant damage to your drainage system. Dispose of grease by letting it cool and then putting it in the trash.

  • Certain cleaning products:

    Some cleaning products — like a bleach and alcohol combination — contain chemicals that can lead to harmful effects down the road.

Figuring out what’s okay to put in your drain and what you should avoid at all costs isn’t always crystal-clear. That’s why the experts at Mattioni are here to help. We’ve got the know-how and can-do attitude to help you determine the right course of action, and we’re always willing to lend an ear.

Give us a call at 610-400-8510 to speak with a member of our team!

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