What Can Be Flushed?

What can I put down my drain?

Have you ever had a moment where you thought, “Is this flushable?” If you have, you’re not alone.

There are times we need to second guess the power of our plumbing systems. Here are a few tips on what you can and cannot flush, pour, or drop down your toilet. The worst kind of thing to think with plumbing is out of sight, out of mind, but you might eventually see a lot more than you want to.

Just because your toilet can make it disappear, doesn’t mean it leaves your pipes. Here are some of the things you should NOT flush down the toilet.

Baby/disposable wipes: While these are marketed as a “flushable” product, they are not flushable. While they may flush down the toilet bowl, they will build up. They can easily get caught in p-traps or pipes and cause a major blockage. Put baby wipes in the garbage for proper disposal.

Cotton balls & cotton swabs: Cotton is absorbent, which means that once they are flushed, they expand and collect which can easily be the next thing to block your pipes.

Dental floss: This is not biodegradable. When it is flushed, dental floss will wrap itself around other objects in the pipes, making small clogs much worse in an instant.

Band-aids: Like floss, bandaids are not biodegradable and will just get worse with time.

Cat litter: Cat litter will clog your pipes no matter what the label says. Cat waste also can contain toxins and parasites that shouldn’t be in our water systems, so please use a biodegradable bag and put cat waste in the garbage.

Feminine hygiene products: Feminine products contain materials that expand when liquid is introduced and can cause major blockages. Both you and your plumber will be embarrassed when this is the source of your drain blockage. Dispose of feminine hygiene products in the garbage can.

Medications: Medications are toxic to our water systems and pollute the ecosystem that our fish and wildlife thrive off of. Take your old medication to the pharmacy and they will disposed of it properly.

Toilet clog

Kitchen Plumbing Part 3

Kitchen Plumbing Tips Part 3

The kitchen is a hub for cooking and conversation. Learn home kitchen energy tips with this blog series.


Using a small pot on a large burner wastes over 40% of the burner’s heat. Save energy and money (approximately $20-$40 annually) by using the right sized pot on stove burners, and cover pots and pans to contain heat when you’re cooking. If you have a gas range, keep the burners clean to ensure the efficiency of your stove.

Green tip: Blue flames indicate good combustion; yellow flames indicate that your range may require service. Servicing your range when you see a yellow flame can help to ensure that it is burning efficiently.

Greener tip: Replace your electric or gas range with an EnergyStar certified range to save the maximum amount of energy possible!

Range Hood

Save energy in your kitchen with a high efficiency range hood. Range hoods remove cooking odors and control air moisture when cooking on the stovetop. EnergyStar certified range hoods use 60% less energy than standard models, and they are also quieter!


Chat in the kitchen on an EnergyStar certified cordless phone with switch-mode power supplies and smart chargers for maximum telephone energy saving as you cook and chat.

Furnace Tips

Furnace Tips

Do you service your furnace every year? Read below for more home furnace tips.

Did you know that in order to maximize your furnace’s efficiency, it should be cleaned every year? Like any service, there is a cost associated with having a technician clean your furnace, but it is incomparable to the cost of having an emergency serviceman dispatched on a cold winter’s night. Get your furnace serviced in the spring or summer to avoid running into an issue when you need heat in colder months.

Furnaces can be as high as 98% efficient. There are many benefits to having a high efficiency furnace installed in your home. High efficiency furnaces can save hundreds of dollars a year in heating costs. A furnace with an efficiency of 89% or higher can typically deliver heating savings of 20% to 35% more when compared to old furnaces in the 60% AFUE range. This range is typical of furnaces from 1970 and earlier.

You can offset the cost of having your high efficiency furnace installed and ensure that you keep your heating bills lower by servicing your furnace every year. In the long run, your furnace will have paid for itself in energy savings and you will be helping the environment too.

Do yourself, your furnace and the environment a favor, and have your furnace serviced today!

Kitchen Plumbing Tips Part 2

Kitchen Plumbing Tips Part 2

The kitchen can be a busy gathering place. Learn home kitchen energy tips with this blog series.

Plumbing and Drain Rescue, professional plumbers in Vancouver bring you part 2 of our 3 part blog post on energy efficient kitchens.


Learn about the specifications of your current fridge, and consider upgrading to an EnergyStar efficient model if you don’t have one already. When your new refrigerator is installed, recycle your old one by putting it in another room or the garage, or pass it on to someone you know who has an older (and likely less efficient) fridge!

Did you know: If your current fridge was made prior to 1993, it uses twice the amount of energy required by new models!

Green tip: There are ways to recycle your old refrigerator if you do not have the space or a place to put it. By recycling your old fridge you can prevent 5,500 to 20,000 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions. Check out the EnergyStar website for places to recycle your old fridge.


Save water by scraping your dishes into the garbage (or compost!) instead of pre-rinsing before they go in the dishwasher. Run your dishwasher only when it is full and use the air-dry option if your dishwasher has that feature.

Did you know: Appliances account for roughly 12% of energy bills. By replacing your dishwasher to a high efficiency model, you can lower that percentage, and save money and energy!


Save energy with your microwave by only using it to reheat or cook small portions of food. Doing this can cut the cooking energy you use by as much as 80%, and will also help to save on air conditioning and fan costs in warm summer months, as microwaves generate less heat than an oven or stove.

Stay tuned for part 3 of our 3-part blog series on kitchens!

Kitchen Plumbing Part1

Kitchen Plumbing Tips Part 1

The kitchen is often the heart of the home. Learn home kitchen energy tips with this blog series.

Vancouver plumbers Plumbing and Drain Rescue bring you another segment in keeping your home energy efficient. Today we are talking about making your kitchen green!


As mentioned previously, by replacing the type of bulbs used in your kitchen light fixtures, you can save energy! Energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL) light bulbs are great alternatives to incandescent bulbs. Upgrading your light bulbs is simple and easy to do, and it’s a good first step to take when living greener!

Green tip: Turn the lights out when you leave the kitchen. If you’re not in the room, then you don’t need a light on! You can also save energy during the day by allowing natural sunlight to illuminate your rooms.

Greener tip: Recycle your old light bulbs! Call the Recycle Council of BC to find your nearest location: 604-732-9253


Replacing your windows screens with storm windows during winter months will act as an extra barrier against the cold outdoor air by helping to prevent heat loss. Another suggestion is to weather-strip and caulk around your windows to prevent air leakage.

Green tip: By changing your current windows to EnergyStar windows, you can save from $150-$500 in annual energy costs! EnergyStar windows can cut drafts and even reduce the fading of your interior furnishings!


As in the bathroom, there are many ways you can reduce water usage with your sink faucet. Repair any leaks immediately to save gallons of water. (Follow our DIY, or call on our technicians to fix your faucet for you!) Another way you can save energy is by installing a low-flow aerator on your faucet.

Green tip: If you hand wash your dishes, fill up the sink and wash all dishes at once, and then rinse the soap off all of the dishes at once when you’re finished. You’ll save energy by filling your sink up just twice instead of letting the water continuously run.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our 3-part blog series on kitchens!

Bathroom Plumbing Part 2

Bathroom Plumbing Part 2

The bathroom is a highly used area of the home. Learn some bathroom energy tips with this blog series.

Vancouver plumbers Plumbing and Drain Rescue continue to raise awareness of the issue with today’s lack of energy efficient homes in today’s post about energy efficient bathrooms part 2.


There are a few ways you can reduce water usage with your faucet. Firstly, repair any leaks immediately as a leaky faucet can waste gallons of water over time. Follow our DIY, or call on our technicians to fix your faucet with expert timing! If water pressure is not a major concern in your home, installing a low-flow aerator on your bathroom faucet will also reduce your water usage. Another easy-to-adapt-to water saving tip is turning off the water when brushing your teeth instead of letting it run. This tip can also be applied to men who shave with the water running!


Keeping water pressure preference in mind, switching to a low flow showerhead or aerator is one of the easiest routes for saving water while you shower. If you’re the type that likes their pressure, try shortening your shower time to conserve water. A shower longer than 10 minutes uses more water than a full bath takes!


For the technologically savvy homeowner, there are bathroom shower, toilet & sink sets available that connect the three fixtures and conserve water by using tap water to fill the cistern on the toilet. For those with less technological inclinations, or for those on smaller budgets or lack the space required, you can save energy with your toilet by installing a low-flow toilet, or a toilet with multi-flush options. Using less toilet paper will also reduce the need to “courtesy flush” and of course, there is always the Selective Flush option, which happens to rhyme (“if it’s yellow…”) For those who are less than tickled by the latter options, or for those who cannot install a new toilet fixture, say, because they are rental tenants, the easiest way to conserve water with your toilet is to report a running toilet or any leaks to building maintenance immediately, and ensure that spray foam or caulk is used to seal any holes around penetrations near your fixture, such as pipes.

Bathroom Plumbing Part 1

Bathroom Plumbing Part 1

The bathroom is a highly used area of the home. Learn some bathroom energy tips with this blog series.

Vancouver plumbers Plumbing and Drain Rescue want to raise awareness of the issue with today’s lack of energy efficient homes. Nowadays it is not uncommon to be concerned with how your daily living impacts the environment. With increasing media awareness of the occurrence of natural disasters and the ongoing global warming debate, more and more individuals are thinking that it’s time to change up their routine for the sake of the planet. This blog series will explore the ways in which individuals can lead greener, more environmentally-friendly lives by tweaking the spaces they live in.


By replacing the type of bulbs used in bathroom vanity lights, homeowners can save up to $70 annually on energy costs. Energy efficient lightbulbs such as Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL) are great alternatives to incandescent 75 and 100 watt bulbs. Did you know: According to LiveSmartBC, 66% of BC Hydro’s electricity needs are required to be met through energy conservation and efficient alternatives by the year 2020. But why wait, upgrade your vanity lightbulbs and start living greener today!

Green tip: If you’re not in the room, turn out the lights. Remember to flick off when you leave the bathroom!

Even greener tip: Recycle old CFL and incandescent bulbs at the nearest designated location. Call the Recycle Council of BC to find your nearest location: 604-732-9253


Install a venting fan in your bathroom to control moisture in the air, if you haven’t got one already. And if you currently have a ventilation fan, make sure it is energy efficient and is the correct size for the room. Because fans control the moisture in the air while you bathe or shower, to reduce the chance of mildew/mold growth, keep the fan running for 15 minutes after your shower (if the fan is controlled separately from the light fixture.)


Many people may not consider their window set up when thinking about energy saving factors. It is suggested during the winter months to replace bathroom window screens (where applicable) with storm windows to help keep cold air outside. Caulking and weather-stripping also help to create a barrier against the cold and seam leaky windows and doors.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our 2-part blog series on bathroom plumbing!