Flushing Cigarettes Down the Toilet

Question:

Will flushing cigarettes down the toilet clog the pipes?

Answer:

Flushing 8 to 10 cigarette butts should not clog the toilet. However, if you are on a septic system, the cigarette butts will not decompose in the septic system, adding to the build up of solids. This can lead to more frequent pumping of the solid waste out of the septic tank system. And cleaning out your septic system is not a fun activity and if you hire someone to do it, which most people do, it costs a pretty penny.   Most folks are tied into the city sewer system so such a collection of cigarettes most likely won’t do any harm immediately, but over time, your drain flush could get obstructed and given that the decomposition is a slow process, any blockage that is existing or partial obstruction will only get worse.  I have heard a lot of stories of people flushing all sorts of things down their toilet from tampons, hair brushes, combs, entire rolls of toilet paper, to even some food products.  Some people think of the toilet as a disposal system and in a way it is meant to remove waste from the home, but some solid waste is different than others and if you are trying to move solid waste that are slow to decompose or never decompose down your toilet thinking that is a safe way to get the item out of the house, you are mistaken.  I once had a call for someone who had stuffed their shirt down the toilet thinking that once if flowed through the drain and out into the sewer system, it would help rag up and clean up the blockages that might exist.  I am amazed at the logic deployed by some people and it actually makes for good business for plumbers, but you really want to avoid even thinking of the toilet at your personal disposal system.

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