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Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. Blog

Strange Things Plumbers Have Found in Drains

hand gripping drain pipe

There are various drain clogs and stoppages that plumbers see all the time: soap scum in bathroom sinks, food waste in kitchen sinks, and foreign objects in toilets. But every plumber has a story about truly strange things they’ve found in drains and garbage disposals.

Here are a few things that are unusual–and some that are weird but still fairly common. Perhaps you’re guilty of a few of these, but by reading about these examples you can hopefully avoid plumbing repairs in your home.


No one wants to admit that their smartphone has been down the toilet, but it’s something that has happened to most of us. Smartphones have slipped out of many peoples’ pants pockets–or out of their hands–while taking care of business. What might surprise you is how many times those smartphones are foolishly flushed down the toilet. A phone is definitely big enough to create a major blockage. A plumber can unclog the toilet, but no amount of time submerged in rice is going to save the phone. 

Cat Litter

For the cat owners out there, you should never dispose of cat litter by flushing it down the toilet. Although it seems like a quick and harmless way to dispose of cat litter and feces, it can cause problems. Other than toilet paper, you shouldn’t put any other type of waste down the toilet. Cat litter can quickly become a major issue for toilets because it’s designed to form clumps when it comes in contact with liquid. This can cause major blockages in drain pipes. 

Bathroom Items

Speaking of our feline friends, many of them have a curious habit of batting things off of tables, desks, and bathroom sinks. You know where this is leading… Yes, some furry friends have knocked assorted items such as tweezers, nail clippers, and Q-tips down the bathroom sink with one swipe of their sneaky little paws. It’s often the case that the homeowner didn’t realize it had happened and when the item is discovered, it’s determined that Mr. Mittens was to blame.


You probably know that you shouldn’t put rice, pasta, potatoes, and other starchy foods down your drain or garbage disposal. Jell-O should definitely be on that list! Whether in powdered or prepared form, the gelatin in Jell-O will expand in your pipes and cause clogs Avoid disposing of any products that contain gelatin down the kitchen sink.

Children’s Toys

If you have kids in the house, you know they sometimes hide their toys in strange places or try to give them baths. Kids have been known to send their toys on journeys by flushing them down toilets or sending them down kitchen and bathroom sinks, which can lead to serious blockages. A common culprit is Legos which despite their small size are still large enough to create a major stoppage.

Despite our best intentions, clogged drains and garbage disposals inevitably happen. Your clogged drains are easy for professional plumbers to fix—no matter how strange they might be! When the plunger isn’t enough, give us a call.

Established in 1912, Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. is your trusted resource for reliable plumbing service in Union, NJ. Reach out to us today.

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