9 Items You Shouldn’t Try to Put Down Your Drains

9 Items You Shouldn’t Try to Put Down Your Drains

  • Plumbing
Drain clogs repaired by America's Plumbing Co

It’s tempting to dump household wastes down the drain. Sure, it would be so easy to just pour that used motor oil down the sink. But, in the end, the convenience will cost you. Discarding some types of waste in your toilets, garbage disposal and sinks can damage your plumbing system. And fixing that damage gets expensive very quickly. Don’t believe us? Flush things that aren’t meant to be flushed and you could have a backup or overflow on your hands. Washing items or liquids down a sink can have similar consequences in the form of slow, clogged drains.

Even your garbage disposal is not immune. Just because the disposal is capable of chewing up food waste doesn’t mean it can handle anything. There are limits to your garbage disposal’s capabilities, and trying to dispose of items improperly can damage your disposal but cause costly backups and clogs.

Here’s a look at 10 common household products that should never be flushed or washed down a drain.

1. Disposable Diapers and Feminine Hygiene Products.

Never flush a disposable diaper or sanitary napkin down the toilet. These items are simply too big for your plumbing systems pipes to move. They frequently become stuck and can’t be dislodged with a plunger. In many cases, you’ll need a professional to disassemble your pipes and remove the item. This sometimes entails digging up buried pipes in your yard which not only destroys your lawn, but cost a pretty penny.

2. Hair and Dental Floss

Some hair will go down the drain. It’s inevitable. But don’t clean out your hairbrush and dispose of the wad of hair in the drain. And never put dental floss in the toilet or sink. These stringy items will eventually get tangled together and create a clog that no amount of chemical drain opener will clear.

3. Cooking Fats, Oils and Grease (FOGs)

After cooking a delicious pound of bacon, you’ve got a lot of grease left over. Just dump it down the sink, right? Not if you want your drains to remain open and clear.

When you pour any sort of grease down the drain, it congeals as it cools. That means you’ll have a greasy lining on your pipes which slows the rate of water and potentially causes clogged drains. Plus, when FOGs are introduced to public sewer systems, they mix with solid particulates, which damages public infrastructure and makes it more expensive to treat wastewater.

4. Paper Towels, Cotton Balls and Swabs

Unlike toilet paper, paper towels, cotton balls and cotton swabs are not designed to disintegrate in water. Plus, they’re absorbent which means they get heavier and harder to move once they’re wet. Flushing them down the toilet will block up plumbing lines and/or lead to problems with septic systems. Not only is it an expensive problem to fix, but it’s also pretty disgusting.

5. Automotive Fluids like Motor Oil, Transmission Fluid and Antifreeze

Automotive fluids, including windshield cleaner, can easily enter streams, lakes and rivers when dumped down a drain. Not only can these chemicals end up in a public water supply, but they’re dangerous for the wildlife that lives in natural waterways and oceans. Instead of pouring out, transfer these fluids to an old bottle or jar and dispose of properly.

6. Medication

Whether an over-the-counter med or prescription, never flush medications down the toilet or pour down a sink drain. Public water filtration systems cannot remove medications from water meaning those meds can be transferred to you via tap water.

7. Coffee Grounds

Don’t ever put coffee grounds down the sink or garbage disposal unless you want clogged plumbing. Any plumber will tell you coffee grounds are one of the most common culprits for clogged pipes.

8. Egg Shells, Bones or Foods with Hard Edges

Even though your garbage disposal is capable of chewing up egg shells and small bones from poultry or fish, they can damage the disposal and clog up your plumbing. Always throw them in the trash.

9. Stickers and Band-Aids

Anything with adhesive can cause problems or your plumbing system. Even though little stickers that come on produce can collect in your plumbing system’s pipes and create clogs and blockages.  Therefore, never flush a Band-Aid and keep stickers from going down the drain as well.

Call The Experts When You Need Help

America’s Plumbing Co is ready to help! If you’re experiencing problems with you drains, give us a call. We’re ready to help you today!

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America’s Plumbing Co. and Emergency Plumbing Services

America’s Plumbing Co. and Emergency Plumbing Services

  • Plumbing
Emergency plumbing services from America's Plumbing Co in Sacramento, CA

Emergency Plumbing Services

Emergencies never have business hours. They can strike at any time and you should be prepared for them. Whether it’s a burst pipe or a flooded basement, we’re there to help. We offer emergency plumbing services around the clock. Your home’s functionality and your family’s safety are both extremely important, and when you call us, we make it our top priority. We offer quick yet effective solutions that’ll let you rest easy knowing that your plumbing is healthy.

You shouldn’t have to wait hours or even days to get someone with the proper tools to take a look at your plumbing emergency. That’s why at America’s Plumbing Co., we offer emergency plumbing services, brought to you by our experienced team of plumbers. They have only the highest standards in skill, aptitude, and professionalism. We’ll be certain to treat your home like our own as we quickly and efficiently fix your plumbing problems!


  • Drain cleaning and repair
  • Toilets and faucets
  • Garbage disposals
  • Sinks, tubs, and showers
  • Water heaters
  • Gas and water pipes
  • Leak detectors and repairs
  • Insurance work
  • Trenchless sewer lines

About America’s Plumbing Co.

Based in Sacramento, America’s Plumbing Co. is a locally owned and operated plumbing company that entered the industry in 1999. We have been providing high-quality plumbing at reasonable rates every since. Through hard work coupled with a combination of outstanding leadership, experienced plumbers, and a clear vision for the future, America’s Plumbing Co. has been able to provide clients with the top-quality affordable plumbing at a price you can afford.

Emergency Plumbing is never a problem at America’s Plumbing Company due to our speedy response times. Flat rate pricing ensures you know the price before we start. Drains, toilets, faucets, garbage disposals, sinks, and water heaters are just a few of our areas of expertise. Take a look at what we offer here! Also, you can see what our customers have to say at Customer Lobby.


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Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for You?

Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for You?

  • Plumbing
tankless water heater installation in Sacramento, CA by America's Plumbing CO

Tankless Water Heaters Installation

Interested in Switching to a Tankless? Here’s What You Need To Know

While there are still many people who prefer their conventional models, more and more forward-thinking homeowners are replacing their storage tank water heaters with tankless models. What follows are five signs that a tankless water heater is just what you need:

  • You’re tired of not having enough hot water. Some people like cold showers. However, they’re few and far between. Most of us prefer a nice, hot stream of water, regardless of whether that’s when we get up in the morning or after we get home from work. If you’re always stuck with cold water because your household uses a lot of hot water, then an on-demand model is a good choice.
  • You want a water heater that will last. While a conventional model lasts approximately 15 years, a tankless water heater has a lifespan of 20 years. So, while the initial investment might be somewhat higher, you’ll definitely get a good return.
  • Your energy bills are high. Storing warm water costs energy, so a storage tank water heater costs more to run than a tankless model, which will bring your energy bills down considerably. 
  • You want to do the right thing for the planet. Because an on-demand model is more energy-efficient, it’s a more environmentally friendly option. 
  • You want to use the space for something else. A conventional water heater is a large appliance that takes up approximately the same space as a fridge. If you don’t have the space or if you want to use the space for something else, then an on-demand water heater is a better choice as it’s approximately the same size as a desktop computer.

America’s Plumbing Co is your local Sacramento expert when it comes to water heater installation, repair or replacement. If you need a tankless water heater installation, call us today to schedule your service! 

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Signs You Need Garbage Disposal Repair

Signs You Need Garbage Disposal Repair

  • Plumbing
garbage disposal repair by America's Plumbing Co in Sacramento, CA

Is Your Garbage Disposal Struggling?

Accidents happen, no matter how well you’ve maintained things, you may still need garbage disposal repair. Knowing when it’s time to call in a plumber however, can be tricky. Your plumbing can be complicated, but the good news is that there are plenty of clues if the problem is with your garbage disposal. If your garbage disposal is damaged, it’s best to act quickly. Here are a few warning signs to watch out for.

The Warning Signs of a Damaged Garbage Disposal

  • It’s tripping your circuit breaker. Garbage disposals use a lot of wattage which means when in use, you may experience some flickering lights or a slight power surge. If however, your garbage disposal starts to trip the circuit breaker, there could be a wiring issue with either the disposal or your home’s electrical panel.
  • It makes loud, unusual noises. If something is wrong, you’ll definitely hear it, as the sound of metal on metal is very unpleasant. Loud, unusual noises are usually an indicator of a loose part or damaged part, and require urgent repair. 
  • It’s leaking. Unfortunately, a leaking garbage disposal can mean the entire unit needs to be replaced, especially if there is a crack in the disposal itself. Watch out for signs of a leak, such as any dark or wet spots on the floor and cabinets.
  • It’s not working, period. The most obvious sign of a damaged garbage disposal is when it stops working entirely. The good news is that most garbage disposal issues are easy fixes which rarely require an entire replacement.

America’s Plumbing Co Can Help!

In most of these cases, including jams and clogs, it’s easy for us to simply remove the source of the jam or clog and restore your garbage disposal to working order. However, it’s always possible that your garbage disposal is out of commission for good. We can figure this out from the inspection we’ll perform when working on your garbage disposals. If that’s the case, we can help your replace it. When we’re installing garbage disposals, we use the utmost care and are certain to install it correctly.

Give us a call, we’re ready to help you today! 


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5 Signs You Need Drain Cleaning

5 Signs You Need Drain Cleaning

  • Plumbing
Drain cleaning by America's Plumbing

Your drain system is the heart of your family’s sanitation needs. It allows you to shower, clean dishes, eliminate waste, and get fresh drinking water right from the tap. But what happens when your drain system isn’t performing properly? You may need to call the professionals at America’s Plumbing to schedule a drain cleaning. There are 5 telltale signs that you’re in need of a drain cleaning this year. 

Slow Draining Sinks and Showers

Is your sink slow to drain lately? Does your toilet have a sluggish flush? If you’re noticing these symptoms each time you run the faucet or flush, it might be a sign of a larger drain issue. 

Water Backup

If your bathtub or sink fills with water each time you use them, it is a sign of a clogged drain. If you have drains in other parts of your home, or you are not observant, these backups can lead to water damage. 

Foul Odor

Do your drains smell? If so, there may be something in there causing an issue. This can be a clog of old grease that is rotting away, or perhaps a rodent stuck in the pipe. If you can smell any type of sewage, then the problem may be beyond a simple clog. No matter the reason, foul smells coming from your drain is a sign to call a professional. 

Toilet Overflows

Toilets clog and overflow on occasion. But if you find yourself constantly cleaning up an overflowing toilet, there is an underlying issue. If you notice especially that two toilets are clogging at once, this is a sign to call a professional for drain cleaning. Toilets have a direct line to the sewer, so if they are clogging together it means a bigger problem.

Sewage Backup

In the most advanced cases of blocked drains, it can lead to sewage backup. This can present itself as puddling on your lawn as the sewage escapes the drains and leaks into the ground. This process is extremely unsanitary and a blaring warning sign to call a plumber. 

If you find yourself dealing with any of the issues mentioned above, call a professional plumber from America’s Plumbing. If you are experiencing two or more of these at once, then call sooner rather than later. A small plumbing issue can easily escalate into a bigger issue.

Save yourself the hassle of slow drains and backups by getting a drain cleaning with us!  


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